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Intercultural Conflict/ Negotiation Dr. Phyllis Ngai Department of Communication Studies The University of Montana-Missoula.

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Presentation on theme: "Intercultural Conflict/ Negotiation Dr. Phyllis Ngai Department of Communication Studies The University of Montana-Missoula."— Presentation transcript:

1 Intercultural Conflict/ Negotiation Dr. Phyllis Ngai Department of Communication Studies The University of Montana-Missoula

2 Workshop Overview Focus:  Intercultural interpersonal communication  Cultural-general skills  Foundation for on-going development 3-step competence-development approach : 1. Self-discovery 2. Cross-cultural comparison 3. Simulated application/Case study

3 Intercultural Context consider cultural influences 1.Encoding effectively? 2.Using culturally appropriate channels and forms? 3.Decoding correctly?

4 Cultural Dimensions: r ange of possibilities  Direct Indirect  “We” focused ”I” focused  Status conscious Egalitarian  Long-term Short-term

5 Direct vs. Indirect  Explicit/verbal.  Details verbalized.  Linear.  Deductive.  Silence avoided.  Reactions oblivious.  Schedule specific.  Feels threatened by ambiguous situations.  Implicit/nonverbal.  Details implied.  Circular.  Inductive.  Silence meaningful.  Reactions reserved  Time open, flexible.  Tolerate uncertainty, ambiguity. Me? My culture? My counterpart? My counterpart’s culture? Direct Indirect

6 Are there cultural meanings implied in nonverbal cues? Facial Expression Glaze & Eye Movement Gestures Space & Territory PosturesBody Movement TouchUse of Time Conversation Regulators ArtifactsPhysical appearance Vocalics

7 Case Study: What would you have done differently?  Was Somebody Saying No? Direct-----U.S X-----Indirect  Request for a Price Concession Direct-----U.S L-----Indirect

8 We focused vs. I focused  Interdependent.  Relationship paramount.  Decision=what is good for the group.  Try to blend in.  Prefer avoidance.  Desire or even demand consensus.  Independent.  Autonomy paramount  Decision=what is good for the individual.  Try to speak out.  Prefer confrontation.  Accept and encourage dissent among members.  Conflict and competition are natural. Me? My culture? My counterpart? My counterpart’s culture? “WE” ”I”

9 Case Study: What would you have done differently?  The Quiet Participant “We” focused----W US ”I” focused  In the Matter of Mr. K “We” focused----K M/chair ”I” focused  Attributes of collectivists vs. individualists: Implications for Negotiation (handout)

10 Status Conscious vs. Egalitarian  Status, age, gender shape how one communicate.  Extensive set of rules, regulations, & rituals. (more formal)  Prefer a humble style esp. with superiors (self criticism).  Authorities should not be (openly) challenged.  Communicate in more or less the way with everyone.  Try to minimize rules and rituals (more informal)  Prefer assertiveness (self enhancement)  One can disagree with superiors.  More democratic decision making. Me? My culture? My counterpart? My counterpart’s culture? Status Egalitarian

11 Case Study What would you have done differently?  Considering The Source Status conscious----Y S------Egalitarian  The Sick Secretary Status conscious----K T------Egalitarian Indirect Direct “We” “I”

12 What is conflict? Ting-Toomey 2003 “I”, Egalitarian Cultures  To air out differences and problems.  Dysfunctional when repressed.  Functional when provides opportunity for solving problems.  Separated from relational issues.  Dealt with openly and directly.  Can be win-win problem- solving game. “We”, Status-conscious  As damaging to social face and relational harmony.  Should be avoided.  Dysfunctional for the most part.  Signals a lack of self- discipline and self- censorship of emotional outbursts.  Relational face issues and conflict intertwined.  Dealt with subtly.  Win-win face game.

13 How to deal with conflicts/disagreements? “I”, Egalitarian, => Direct  Direct request.  Direct verbal justifications.  Upfront clarifications to defend one’s action or decision.  Silence as admission of guilt or incompetence. “We,” Status conscious, => Indirect  Use qualifier (Perhaps we should…).  Tag questions (Don’t you think…).  Disclaimers (I’m probably wrong but..).  Tangential responses (Let’s not worry about that now.).  Indirect request (If it won’t be too much trouble,…).  Pick up the hidden message and respond indirectly or equivocally.  Verbal messages believed to compound the problem.  Silence as self-discipline.

14 Case Study What is going on?  Business or Pleasure? Long-term H T------Short-term

15 Long-Term vs. Short-Term  Take time to building relationships.  Important to maintain the “face” of self and others.  Reciprocity a key element in building relationships.  Expectation of quick results following one’s actions.  Confrontational and aggressive in social relationships.  Commitment to long- term relationships is lower. Me? My culture? My counterpart? My counterpart’s culture? Long Term Short Term

16 Case Study What would you have done differently?  The Tea Party Long-term -----K US-----Short-term

17 When working in… Indirect, “We,” Status-conscious, Long-term Cultures  Build trust slowly by saving face and focusing on relationship.  Be proactive in dealing with disagreements (informal consultation and “go-between” method)=help opponents save face.  Focus on nonverbal “how” process. Manage disagreements on the implicit, nonverbal pacing level (i.e.use silence, deliberate pauses, attentive listening, and patient conversational turn- taking.)  Be sensitive to the importance of quiet, mindful observation. Restrain from asking too many “why” questions.  Let go of a disagreement if the other does not want to deal with it directly. Let the relationship heal first. (a cooling period).

18 When working in… Direct, “I,” Egalitarian, Short-term Cultures  Focus on resolving the substantive issues; openly express points of view.  Open negotiation with upfront thesis statement. Be to the point.  Be ready to accept disagreements, counter-proposals, etc.  Verbally explain a situation fully and learn not to expect others to infer their points of view.  Use verbal paraphrases, summaries, interpretative statements to verify the reasoning.  Use direct, integrative verbal messages that clearly convey concerns.  Avoid silent moments (perceived as weak).  Learn to work out disagreements collaboratively.


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