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.
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The following items are tagged cross cultural communication: