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cross cultural communication

What is Cross-Cultural Communication?

When preparing for cross-cultural communication in business negotiations, we often think long and hard about how our counterpart’s culture might affect what they say and do at the bargaining table.

As you prepare for cross-cultural communication in business negotiations, how much emphasis should you place on culture? You don’t want to offend your counterpart with insensitive behavior, but focusing too much on culture can backfire.

One common risk of studying up on a counterpart’s culture is that it can lead us to expect that person to behave like a walking, talking stereotype. Such stereotypes may or may not turn out to apply to any given individual. Moreover, our culture is just one contributor to our identity and behavior. Our profession, personal history, ingrained personality, and experiences also define who we are and how we negotiate.

Understanding cultural norms and expectations – and knowing when a foreigner can deviate from them with impunity – can be critical for building a relationship and reaching an agreement. 

Conduct background research on your counterpart’s culture, but spend even more time getting to know her as an individual, including her profession, work experience, education, areas of expertise, personality, and negotiating experience. And because your counterpart also needs to treat you as an individual rather than a stereotype, build in time for small talk before getting down to business.

If you’re looking for international negotiation training that’s second to none, look no further than International Negotiation: Cross-Cultural Communication Skills for International Business Executives. Within the pages of this fast-reading special report, you’ll find out how to select and prepare one of the most critical components of your international negotiation: the translator.

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The following items are tagged cross cultural communication:

How to Overcome Cultural Barriers in Negotiation

Posted by PON Staff & filed under International Negotiation.

Imagine that you’re the American representative of a U.S. food company, and you’re hoping to procure a new ingredient for several of your products from a German company. A representative from the company is flying in to meet with you. Do you expect your German counterpart to behave differently than the Americans you typically deal … Read More 

Managing Cultural Differences in Negotiation

Posted by PON Staff & filed under International Negotiation.

It’s important to educate yourself about your counterpart’s culture so that you don’t risk offending her or seeming unprepared. At the same time, it would be a mistake to focus too narrowly when preparing for cross-cultural communication in business. Research on international negotiation can help us think more broadly when it comes to managing cultural … Read More 

Internal Negotiation: How to Set Up For Success

Posted by Lara SanPietro & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

U.S. Federal Agency Personnel Negotiate Inter-Agency Issues to Better Collaborate with Host Government Officials and Combat HIV/AIDS Most negotiations between companies, organizations, or governments are broken down into internal negotiation and external negotiation. Internal negotiation occurs between members of the same company, organization, or government in preparation for negotiations with an external entity. There is a … Read More 

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

Posted by Lara SanPietro & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Do you teach negotiation to 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; or, 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 … Read More 

Managing Cultural Differences in Negotiation

Posted by Katie Shonk & filed under International Negotiation.

It’s important to educate yourself about your counterpart’s culture so that you don’t risk offending her or seeming unprepared. At the same time, it would be a mistake to focus too narrowly when preparing for cross-cultural communication in business. Research on international negotiation can help us think more broadly when it comes to managing cultural … Read More 

Negotiating Indigenous Land Rights

Posted by Lara SanPietro & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Teach Your Students to Address Fundamental Value Differences While Negotiating Indigenous Land Rights Indigenous land rights have been a key aspect of negotiations by private companies and governments around the world. Indigenous land rights are the rights of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources, which they have occupied for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. … Read More 

Overcoming Cultural Barriers in Negotiations: The Importance of Culture and Etiquette in Bargaining Scenarios

Posted by PON Staff & filed under International Negotiation.

Learn how and when to engage in appropriate cultural traditions when negotiating with counterparts from a different culture. In this article we offer negotiation tips for overcoming cultural barriers in negotiation and present additional articles drawn from negotiation research that may be of benefit to negotiators who need to improve their international negotiation skills. … Read More