Cross-Cultural Video: Negotiation Examples, Lessons And Advice From PON Faculty

Expert Negotiation Scholars Share Their Strategies And Stories

By on / Teaching Negotiation

Do you use negotiation examples to teach students from different cultural backgrounds? Are you teaching students how to negotiate in a cross-cultural context? Do you teach a “one world” model of negotiation? Are there cultural variables that require changes in the basic model of negotiation that you teach?

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School invited three members of its highly experienced faculty to share negotiation examples, insights and lessons about how to negotiate, and teach, in various cross-cultural contexts.

In this enlightening video Jeswald Salacuse, Eileen Babbitt and David Fairman speak openly as they:

  • Explore culture and context: how does each affect the other?
  • Describe carefully honed teaching techniques and useful negotiation examples.
  • Divulge personal challenges they faced in their practice and in their classrooms.

Faculty and trainers can use this video in class as a supplement to their own lectures, or they can build a class around some of the fascinating negotiation examples explored by each presenter.

Here’s a brief sample:

Professor’s Perspective

A Boston-based negotiation professor who used the video in his recent cross-cultural negotiation class had this to say:

“When I played the… clips in the classroom for my students, they seemed engaged and interested, and found useful the discussion of high-context vs. low-context cultures, the ‘onion’ model of culture, stepping back and asking vs. stereotyping, Western vs. non-western assumptions in problem solving vs. relationships, etc.”

“I actually had them do the exercise Eileen Babbitt describes, in which they explained to a partner an [negotiation] example of a cross-cultural interaction where they felt misunderstood. Then as a group, we collectively analyzed the behaviors, attitudes, norms, and values underneath the observations that they shared to get a full picture of where the cross-cultural conflict may have come from, and to think about how one might deal with such a problem in a negotiation or future interaction. I have a very diverse class… so there were plenty of examples of cross-cultural interaction (and misunderstandings) to discuss. They responded enthusiastically and with a good, rich discussion following this combination of video and exercise.”

The Panel

Jeswald Salacuse is Henry J. Braker Professor of Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and served as the Fletcher School’s Dean for nine years.

In his presentation Jeswald Salacuse offers:

  • A working definition, and by extension a typology of what we call “culture”.
  • New ways of understanding cultural similarities and differences.
  • The social functions of culture and the opportunities they present for negotiation instructors. .
  • A hard but valuable lesson he learned as a young negotiator working on reform of the penal code in northern Nigeria.

Eileen Babbitt is Professor of Practice of International Conflict Management, Director of the Institute for Human Security, and Co-Director of the Program on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution at The Fletcher School.

Eileen Babbitt’s insightful discourse explores:

  • High/Low Context cultures in light of her experience with Israeli/Palestinian negotiations.
  • Key negotiation examples she uses in her classroom to help her students practice cross-cultural communication.
  • How she incorporates a TNRC negotiation role-play called MedLee.
  • The importance of building partnerships among cultural ambassadors.

David Fairman is Managing Director at the Consensus Building Institute, Associate Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, and former Lecturer in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

In David Fairman’s presentation he:

  • Breaks down his approach to culture as it has evolved in his work with a wide variety of international clients.
  • Questions the evolving nature of culture, specifically, the emergence of virtual culture.
  • Closes with a fascinating look at organizational culture at the United Nations.

Larry Susskind, vice-chair of PON, moderates the discussion, including a Q&A sessions at the end of each presentation. He also hosts a captivating interview with the three panelists that crystallize the most valuable take-away lessons from exchange.

This video is downloadable as a 14-piece series (each segment is between 2-4 minutes in length) or as a single continuous video that includes all segments (total running time is 40 minutes). A single purchase allows customers to download both versions if they so wish.

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