Coping with cultural differences

By — on / Daily, International Negotiation

Have you ever found yourself negotiating with people from other cultures, whether at home or abroad?  If so, did you try to adapt your negotiating style to fit the other person or team’s culture, and if so, how?

Most negotiators understand that cultural differences are likely to be a factor in negotiations. Unfortunately, many negotiators actually adjust their negotiating style too much in an attempt to meet the other party in the middle, new research suggests.

When preparing for an international negotiation, it can be tough to figure out how much emphasis to place on culture. On the one hand, you don’t want to offend your counterpart with insensitive behavior. On the other hand, focusing too much on culture can backfire, especially if the other side is doing the same. In fact, negotiators may be tempted to give too much weight to cultural factors when preparing for talks, to their detriment.

In the July issue of Negotiation newsletter, the editors and experts from the Harvard faculty and member institutions of the Program on Negotiation offer advice to help you negotiate effectively with people from other cultures.

“Coping with Culture at the Bargaining Table” is just one featured article in the July issue of the Negotiation newsletter. In it, we’ll give you 3 guidelines to help you strike the right balance when negotiating with people from other cultures. In particular, we’ll show you why it’s important to pay just as much attention to your counterpart’s career background and personality as you do to his or her culture.

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