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cultural differences in negotiation

What are Cultural Differences in Negotiation?

Research on international negotiation can help us think more broadly when it comes to managing cultural differences in negotiation.

When weighing how to deal with cultural differences in negotiation, consider whether or not our negotiating counterparts share a “family resemblance” with their culture of origin. Remember, though, that sizing up your counterpart’s culture should be just one element of your due diligence, along with learning about her as an individual and analyzing the issues at stake in the negotiation.

Unfortunately, when managing cultural differences in negotiation, negotiators tend to over-rely on stereotypes, to their detriment, University of Waterloo professor Wendi L. Adair and her colleagues have found. In a study of American and Japanese negotiators, the researchers found that study participants typically adjusted their negotiating style too far toward the other party’s culture.

However, a simple yet powerful cultural framework can help us make sense of our differences, get along better, and achieve more at the bargaining table. Although all cultures have social norms, the relative “tightness” of these norms—and the sanctions people face for breaking them—varies widely across cultures, according to University of Maryland psychologist Michele Gelfand. 

But when we understand the logic behind behaviors that might otherwise seem foreign and frustrating, we become more collaborative and effective negotiators. Moreover, this type of cultural insight can make us more tolerant of our counterparts’ “flaws”—and perhaps more aware of some of our own. 

If you’re still facing issues around cultural differences in negotiation, take frequent breaks to encourage deeper thinking, lessen the stress surrounding your negotiation, get to know one another, and make sure deadlines aren’t too tight.

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The following items are tagged cultural differences in negotiation:

Managing Cultural Differences in Negotiation

Posted by & 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 

International Negotiations and Cognitive Biases in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

In discussing international negotiations and cognitive biases in negotiation, professor Cheryl Rivers of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, highlights in a negotiation research literature review, seasoned negotiators often hear stories about the unethical behaviors of people of other nationalities. Perhaps the toughest problems arise surrounding what Rivers calls “ethically ambiguous” negotiation tactics and … Read More 

Overcoming Cross-Cultural Barriers to a Negotiated Agreement: Negotiation Ethics and International Negotiations

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Cross cultural negotiation examples provide insights into how negotiation techniques change depending on the context in which negotiators find themselves. As Professor Cheryl Rivers of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, points out in a recent negotiation research literature review, seasoned negotiators often hear stories about the unethical behaviors of people of other nationalities. … Read More 

Managing Cultural Differences in Negotiation

Posted by & 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 

Unlocking Cross-Cultural Differences in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Cross-cultural differences in negotiation can be particularly challenging. When people from different cultures negotiate, they often feel uncertain about how to act and confused by one another’s statements and behavior. The potential for misunderstandings and conflict is often high as a result. In her new book, Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures … Read More 

How to Overcome Cultural Barriers to Communication in International Negotiations

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

How to overcome cultural barriers to communication: As members of organizations and families, we all know from experience that even people with identical backgrounds can have vastly different negotiating styles and values. Nonetheless, we continue to be intrigued by the idea that distinct patterns emerge between negotiators from different cultures. … Read More 

Culture and Communication

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation.

Adapted from “Cultural Notes,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. As members of organizations and families, we all know from experience that even people with identical backgrounds can have vastly differing negotiating styles and values. Nonetheless, we continue to be intrigued by the idea that distinct patterns emerge between negotiators from different cultures. Researchers do confirm a … Read More