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ONE’S CULTURE MATTERS IN NEGOTIATION by Dr Asma Abdullah, Interculturalist & CEO of Culturematters The processes of noticing, interpreting and responding.

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Presentation on theme: "ONE’S CULTURE MATTERS IN NEGOTIATION by Dr Asma Abdullah, Interculturalist & CEO of Culturematters The processes of noticing, interpreting and responding."— Presentation transcript:

1 ONE’S CULTURE MATTERS IN NEGOTIATION by Dr Asma Abdullah, Interculturalist & CEO of Culturematters
The processes of noticing, interpreting and responding to events are all influenced by an individual’s past experiences as well as by elements of the situation itself Past experiences are categorized and encoded into cognitive structures within the individual; these structures can be referred to as schemas. Codified responses to schemas are referred to as scripts People are not computers and when people accept new ways of thinking their prior way of interpreting situations is not erased One’s first language will always be special, no matter how many languages one learns. The social experiences of one’s youth will retain a key place despite any subsequent experiences with cultures quite different from the culture mix of one’s first socialization. Scripts and schemas are not immutable but those long in place shape subsequent modifications

2 THE ICEBERG ANALOGY OF CULTURE Underlying Assumptions
Conscious Symbols Rituals and heroes Seen, Explicit Unseen, Implicit Unconscious Values and Underlying Assumptions Ways of perceiving, thinking and evaluating the world around us Skills in International Negotiations and Communication

3 KEY UNDERLYING CULTURAL ASSUMPTIONS
At the unconscious level of social programming Relationship with Nature 1. Harmony ……………......Control/Mastery 2. Relationships Task 3. Hierarchy ……………......Equality 4. Shame…………………....Guilt 5. High Context Comm. ….Low Context 6. Polychronic time…….....Monochronic 7. Collectivism ………….....Individualism 8. Secular ……......Spirituality, Religious Relationship with people Relationship with God

4 16 CULTURAL DIMENSIONS 1. Harmony Control/Mastery - gauges the individual’s relationship with Nature 3. Relationship Task - measures the importance placed on relationships with others versus task accomplishments 5. Hierarchy Equality - gauges the emphasis placed on rank, status and other ascribed attributes over equality issues 7. Shame Guilt - verifies if shame (outer driven, external locus of control or guilt (inner driven internal locus of control is the principle that guides behaviour 9. High Low context communication - measures the extent to which cultures depend on the context: external environment, situation, nonverbal signs to communicate 11. Polychronic Monochronic time orientation - verifies if the principle that guides behaviour is circular or sequential 13. We I - measures the preference for interdependence with other people 15. Religious Secular - verifies the degree in which religiosity, as opposed to secularity, is considered in work related issues

5 UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS and VALUES
1. HARMONY Live in harmony with nature and co-exist with the non-physical aspects of the unseen world Less likely to challenge existing boundaries Difficult to be friends with those we disagree with Status quo Flexible Accommodating Conflict avoidance Cooperation Ketenteraman 2. MASTERY /CONTROL Firm Demanding Assertive Confrontational Competitive Take control over environment and harness forces of nature to meet one’s needs Challenge existing boundaries Can be friends with those we disagree with

6 UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS and VALUES
3. RELATIONSHIP Having good relationships and trust are important in doing business with your partner. Emphasis on social competencies (being friendly, accommodating) Build rapport and understanding before the task gets down Personable Tolerant Friendliness Accommodating Compromising Kemesraan 4. TASK Impersonal Objective Task driven Critical thinking Non-negotiable Having a written contract is key to doing business with your partner Focus on cognitive competencies (problem solving, critical thinking) The task is the boss; relationships are not so important

7 UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS and VALUES
5. HIERARCHY Work, duties and responsibilities are distributed according to seniority Superiors addressed and respected Tolerance of differences in status and wealth Subordinates accept directions from superiors without questions Respect for elders Status and power Protocol and ceremonies Politeness Bersopan 6. EQUALITY Most competent will be rewarded Superiors addressed on first name basis Differences in status and wealth minimised Subordinates not afraid to question instructions of superiors Meritocracy Egalitarian Less ceremonies

8 UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS and VALUES
7. SHAME External locus of control: Rely on external sanctions (group, family, and team and authority) to get things done Concern with “ what will people say” if they do something wrong Truth depends on values, and religious teachings Face saving Group accountability Malu 8. GUILT Internal locus of control: Do things own volition and guided by inner conscience Not concerned with “what others may say about me” Has a code of ethics - absolute sense of right and wrong Independent Autonomous Personal accountability

9 UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS and VALUES
9. HIGH CONTEXT What you see is not what you get - need to consider the context Implicit and indirect Behaviour and person cannot be separated Guarded in stating views and opinions Indirect Not so specific Time waster Face saving Collective agreement Berliku liku 10. LOW CONTEXT Direct Specific Time saver Factual Data-oriented Say what you mean mean what you say explicit meaning and direct Behaviour is separated from the person Not afraid to speak up when they have something to say

10 UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS and VALUES
11. POLYCHRONIC Time as flexible and part of life Do many things at one time Circuitous, non-sequential Non-linear Punctuality and deadlines are not absolute Diffused Analog Flexible Multi tasking 12. MONOCHRONIC Time as a scarce and finite resource Do one thing at a time Sequential Linear oriented Punctual and adhere to schedules and meeting datelines Displaced Digital Focus on targets Timeliness Efficiency driven

11 UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS and VALUES
13. WE -Collectivism Our way Part of a group with common grounds - ethnicity, language, religion Group achievement more important than personal goals Value cooperation, interdependence and collaboration and communal responsibility We: Related self Communitarianism Concern for welfare of others Obedience, Loyalty, Duty, Sacrifice Kita, Kami 14. I- Individualism My way I: Separated self Self-reliance Self-actualization Self-esteem Privacy Autonomy Competition Unique and independent individuals Personal goals more important than group goals Value competition, achievement, and independence

12 UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS and VALUES
15. RELIGIOUS Important to combine both religious and material dimensions in one’s life Workplace ethics are guided by one’s religion Religious commitments be blended with productive work Religious Work is a form of worship kerja sebagai ibadah 16. SECULAR Religion is separated from work matters Workplace ethics influenced by code of conduct and set of principles Work targets more important than meeting religious commitments Work and religion not to be mixed

13 16 UNDERLYING CULTURAL ASSUMPTIONS
No. Country A Country B Country C Cultural Dimensions 1. Harmony 2. Control/Mastery 3. Relationships 4. Task 5. Hierarchy 6. Equality 7. Shame 8. Guilt 9. High Context 10. Low Context 11. Polychronic time 12. Monochronic 13. We –Collectivism 14. Individualism 15. Religious 16. Secular Not likely More likely Most likely

14 MANAGING IN MALAYSIA Work has different meanings for people and that they are most strongly motivated when the demands made on them fit with their deep seated values revered in their respective cultures Managers need to understand the values of their local workforce and learn to balance the hard values of the West with the soft values of the East to achieve the best of both worlds An insensitive technocrat will not be accepted however clever he maybe West - ambition, aggressiveness, achievement, success, Competitiveness, risk taking, forcefulness East - loyalty, trust, cooperation, compassion, tolerance, spirituality and moral behaviour

15 GOOD RELATIONS West China Guanxi
Wulun….unequal, mutual relationships Jen…human heartedness..moral superiority of leader Human heartedness ….Renging Taiwan Harmony…..inhwa Philipines Kapwa Camaraderie…pakikisama Cooperation..bayanihan Thailand Krengchai, Dialogue Malaysia/Indonesia/Brunei Halus Harmony..keselarasan Honor…Kehormatan Korea kibun Harmony , unity, cooperation Japan wa Harmony – On/giri West Empathy

16 PROUDS AND WISHES IN MALAYSIA
Confluence of all major religions Tolerant and always willing to say yes Appreciation of polar opposites cognitive dissonance Tolerance for ambiguity Laid back and never in a hurry Religious oriented Family oriented Prouds Understanding not just tolerate others Their values and beliefs Appreciation of the arts and culture Life long learning Think read and speak up Social consciousness in global issues Balanced values of materialism with spirituality Risk taking and enterprising Wishes

17 What one culture values, the other abhors
3 TYPES OF CULTURAL INTERFACE Intracultural Intercultural Cross cultural e.g Malay Malay, Chinese, Indians Malaysians and Foreigners Group orientation Collectivity Individualistic Politeness Respect authority Informalities Respect elders Respect others Individual performance Religious Harmony Secular Status conscious Protocol conscious Equality Segregation of sexes Preserving face Objectivity Compromising Hospitality Articulateness, openness Tolerance Directness Patriotic Rapport building Specificity, Give and Take Code switching Proper English Slow, unhurried Common grounds Conflict resolution Indirectness Shared experience Upfront Good manners Trust Achievement-oriented Consultative Verbal skills SOFT, GENTLE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>UNASSERTIVE SELF CENTRED<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<ASSERTIVE What one culture values, the other abhors Source: Going Glocal, Malaysian Institute of Management, Kuala Lumpur, 1996

18 NEGOTIATING ACROSS CULTURES
Different cultures deal with conflict differently Ways of defining common interests also vary from culture to culture Misunderstandings can result in an agreement based on confusion, risk avoidance or maintaining surface harmony rather than on an authentic meeting of minds Skills in International Negotiations and Communication

19 NEGOTIATING ACROSS CULTURES
Know the difference between sending the right message (conveying your view of facts and issues) and releasing the desired response (producing understanding and acceptance in the other side) Build rapport and connect with the other side as it can help identify their needs and concerns Understand the other side’s perspective - the way they perceive, think, feel and act, how they process information and deal with issues and problems. Be aware that messages sent from one cultural context may be received and decoded in another where the meaning can be completely different. Avoid imposing our perspective on the other side as this can lead to a breakdown in negotiations Skills in International Negotiations and Communication

20 NEGOTIATING ACROSS CULTURES
Americans - linear, fact driven and numbers oriented - impatient and the contract is their central focus Asians - avoid conflict - express opinions indirectly and maintain a face of surface harmony when too direct can be seen as rude French - enjoy emphasising distinctions and differences - blunt and logical approach to conflicting points of views that can seem antagonistic to people from other cultures Middle Easterners and Latinos - passionate expression of differences - save face and preserve dignity Russians a great deal of posturing and theatrics Skills in International Negotiations and Communication

21 AMERICAN NEGOTIATORS ABROAD
Are loose friends because of language and cultural myopia Shoot first and ask questions later Being informal and egalitarian can backfire if status and relations are hierarchical Unable to speak the host party language Intolerant of opponent’s dependence on home office Prefer logical arguments rather than building trust and personal relationships (non-task sounding) Expect honest information from others Unable to deal with silent periods Need for a definite conclusion and contract signing rather than viewing negotiations as a means of establishing long term commercial relations Has a tendency to settle issues one by one rather than using the holistic approach Mistaking commitment as honoring the agreement Being constant and predictable Skills in International Negotiations and Communication

22 GUIDELINES ACROSS CULTURES
Check whether they think like you Spend time on non-task sounding matters to establish personal relationships Know the differences between your opponent’s social, political and economic systems and yours Know how the above differences affect his thinking, authority and negotiating methods Know your opponent’s legal, technical and financial systems Know how the above will affect our choice of tactics Know the effects of ethical standards (right, wrong,reasonable) Know the importance of face saving Recognize the role of status Understand the role of government in the affairs of your opponent Identify the levels of approval Ask questions, but don’t put pressure Ensure there is a suitable communication system with Head Office Identify the right leader for the situation Make sure when using an interpreter he is skilled in both languages and negotiation. Have a dummy run with him. Get him to translate gestures etc Avoid using jargon Confirm in writing and use words carefully to avoid ambiguity Use team approach by using experts Recognize differences in perceiving contractual differences and agreements Make concessions only after issues are discussed. Skills in International Negotiations and Communication

23 BEHAVIORS OF SUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATORS
Have greater flexibility - wider range of influence styles Recognize that an agreement can only be reached through exchange Label their behaviors - I want to propose..... - I want to give three reasons why.. Limit their reasons to two or three strongest points and repeat them if necessary Evaluate behavior they like positively attributing it to themselves Use incentives and find alternative currencies of value to the other party Summarize and test understanding Identify areas of agreement not on areas of conflict Avoid provoking the other party Use both verbal and nonverbal techniques to support ideas e.g. Use “ I” language to convey that the speaker accepts responsibility for what he or she is saying Maintain eye contact with others as eye contact communicates sincerity, concern and involvement Show a relaxed attitude towards time and do not place unnecessary pressure on themselves by creating artificial deadlines Have persistence and see a difficult task through its completion Value organizational goals above and over their own Skills in International Negotiations and Communication

24 HOW DO MALAYSIANS NEGOTIATE?
O Like to bargain O They are polite, indirect, use give & take approach O Consensus driven O Too accommodating O They lack substance and not always well prepared O Have inferiority complex O Like to haggle for cheapest price but the best depending on the situation O Like to please the other party, too diplomatic, O Leaders are often autocratic, personal not professional, emotional, not assertive, O Too much win-win need to be aggressive at times O Need to set objective, parameters, bargaining – Singapore water situation O Not thorough O Sometimes they take it as another job, O Need good preparation, lead time, fall back position, short handed- developing countries, specialized – Japanese, Malaysian O Tend to avoid conflict - saving face O Importance of activities outside the negotiating table– tea, lunches O If stakes high- not too accommodating, but generally respectful O Informal negotiations O Very arrogant O Malaysian negotiators not effective – long term, need to change for future success

25 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MALAYSIAN NEGOTIATOR
Are polychronic, sambil menyelam minum air, flexible datelines – Japanese not as rigid as Americans - Observe the task as the boss Importance of written contract/ Workplace ethics, control Shame-driven Relationship driven/ Harmony with others Low context - not afraid to speak up/to the point// Are direct in giving feedback Focus on facts, mean what I say, say what I mean Collaboration Secularism Monochronic Equality, most competent Critical thinking more values than social competencies Collectivism, loyalty, group, collectivism, group achievement Control over environment, situation Possible to be friends with those we disagree Task, more valued than social competencies Individualism Guilt driven Secular, work place ethics, set of principles, code of conduct

26 NEGOTIATING WITH MALAYSIANS
Respect Hierarchical differences, Respect seniors Accommodating, Compromising, flexible Indirect approach Sentimental Tongue/slang Adaptive Courteous, polite Use Soft tone Harmony Take a lot of pain not to hurt others Respect beliefs, religions Help each other Tactful Take shoes off when entering a house Eat using hands Recognise peaceful coexistence Regards race and religion as sensitive subjects Know Islam as foundation of work Be tolerant Proper dressing Say thank you for favors made Respect consensus Avoid Speak when food is served Sneeze infront of others Display intimacy between sexes in public Look down upon others Be disrespectful Show arrogance Be rude when you are right Come to my house uninvited Be scantily dressed in public Show with leg, put legs on table Reveal too much of personal life Boast one’s achievements Make fun of our religious beliefs Shout at older people Talk loudly

27 CHECKLIST FOR MALAYSIAN NEGOTIATORS
Do research : Obtain accurate Data, Facts, figures and proper documentation Know what competitors are doing Build Common grounds Have clarity in what we offer, demand Deliver what we promise Listen to the other party Know the needs of the other culture Strategise your styles & skills and when to use appropriately Know what the competitors are offering

28 CHECKLIST WHEN NEGOTIATING WITH
Americans - Individualistic - Task oriented - Time driven - Result driven - Assertive/pushy - Be well prepared Take the hard approach - Be logical rational - Trust Say what you mean direct Japanese - Avoid conflict - Indirect approach - Hierarchical - Trust - Manipulative - Be polite but firm Be patient with flexibility - Time frame for completion Authoritative (empowerment

29 NEGOTIATING ACROSS CULTURES
Philippines Straightforwardness Humor Flexibility Knowledge of protocol Go through ceremonies Extend appropriate courtesies to the hierarchy Reciprocate gifts Look sharply at one’s spouse Go to the residence Call beyond office hours Thailand Family, Wealth Buddhism. Language, Independence Greet with putting two hands together, bow heads and say sawadee Be friendly, smile Be polite Respect king and nation Putting hands on head Touchi8ng till we are friends Kiss or embrace in public Use feet to point Do things that are impolite Criticise the religion Nepalese Culture and practices Enter house with shoes on Make fun in public places Country Values Do’s Don’ts

30 NEGOTIATING ACROSS CULTURES
Country Values Do’s Don’ts Sierra Leone Welcome foreigners and business persons Respect for authority Acknowledge blended culture Dress and behave indecently Be critical of my culture Tanzania Development trend Importance of culture Non-discriminating Take advantage of them Economically, politically, socially

31 NEGOTIATING ACROSS CULTURES
Country Do’s Don’ts Guyanese Appreciate diversity in food Oriental, African American Marriage based on Islamic, Hindu and Christian beliefs English language With 9 dialects each for every tribe Scorn them Refuse to socialise With them Humiliate them Gambian Respect elders Be critical of elderly people when they do wrong Grenadian Tolerate those who are late Stay indoors whn raining Recognise they are church goers Ask us to work weekends Insist marriage before family

32 NEGOTIATING ACROSS CULTURES
Country Values Do’s Don’ts Croats Show beauty of my cultural heritage Respect and adapt as much as possible Be intolerant and want priority Play games with pride Fiji Respect our elders Know rightful place in a village community Be willing to share and care for each other and not expecting anything in return Walk around the village with no shirt – an insult Use obscene language Ignore the village chief when visiting your friend Meet him first to acknowledge his presence Mauritius Harmony Tolerance Respect all cultures Request for beef and pork dishes when coming over o my house Dress indecently and unreasonably

33 NEGOTIATING ACROSS CULTURES
Country Values Do’s Don’ts Myanmar Religion Subculture Procedures Get more Information Take action Against subcultures Pakistan Religion Family Sense of honor Be courteous Be obnoxious or irrational Bangladesh Religion Hospitality Group orientation Joint family Interfere with Official Documents India Tolerance Traditions Hierarchical History Background Know social sensibilities Know history and geography Be flexible Give co0mpliments on culture Be open Propose things with hate Religious remarks Negative terms Ask too many questions At beginning

34 SO WHAT??? Know our counterpart’s culture to discuss the issues better
Use Bridging – know their culture thus facilitate bridging in Find common grounds Formulate appropriate strategies by taking into consideration cultural differences and value systems Avoid taboo and cultural sensitivities Avoid misunderstanding/misinterpretation of their responses either verbally or bodily Decide the tactics used based on culture preferences of our counter party (soft, hard, principled based) Be aware of one’s own culture to strengthen our negotiating position

35 TAKEAWAYS Be humble and show respect Give and take
Be alert, anticipate, think fast and be focus Be open Importance of knowledge and Information Know wants and objectives Be prepared Importance of chit chat Teamwork, cooperation Work on culture tarps Listening, Questioning and Communication and presentation skills Venue Confidence, dressing, delivery Professional and cool Sincerity and Tolerance Leader level headed Ladies more meticulous


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