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Communicating and Negotiating Across Cultures

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Presentation on theme: "Communicating and Negotiating Across Cultures"— Presentation transcript:

1 Communicating and Negotiating Across Cultures
Presenter: Richard R. Gesteland Global Management LLC

2 Business Culture: A set of expectations and assumptions about how to do business.

3 Two Iron Rules of International Business:
The business visitor is expected to understand the local culture. The seller is expected to understand and adapt to the buyer’s culture.

4 But there are over 6900 cultures in today’s global marketplace…

5 Patterns of Cross-Cultural Communication and Negotiating Behavior

6 First: How to avoid stereotyping when we compare business cultures?
Stereotypes are lazy ways of describing people. So we will refer to cultural tendencies when we compare international business behavior.

7 Cross-Cultural Communication and Negotiating Behavior: 5 Key Variables
Deal-Focus vs Relationship-Focus Direct vs Indirect Communication Informal vs Formal Business Behavior Monochronic vs Polychronic Time Reserved vs Expressive Communication

8 Comparing Deal-Focused and Relationship-Focused Business Behavior

9 Deal-Focused Business Cultures:
United States Nordic countries, Netherlands, Germany, Britain, Canada Australia/New Zealand

10 Moderately Deal-Focused Cultures:
France, Belgium, Southern Europe Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia Hong Kong and Singapore

11 Relationship-Focused Cultures:
Asia (except Hong Kong and Singapore) Middle-East, Africa Latin America (= most of the world!)

12 D-F Behavior: R-F Behavior:
Making direct initial contact often works. Face-to-face meetings less frequent. Usually use direct language. Indirect initial contact is expected. More face-to-face meetings expected. Often use indirect language.

13 Communication and Context:
Relationship-oriented people often use indirect (high-context) language. Deal-oriented people tend to use direct (low-context) language.

14 Direct and Indirect Language:
RF people tend to use indirect language to avoid giving offence or loss of face. RF people tend to avoid saying ‘no’ to bosses or customers. DF people tend to use direct language, are often confused by indirect language.

15 Comparing Egalitarian and Hierarchical Business Behavior

16 Egalitarian: More Hierarchical:
Nordic countries North America Australia, New Zealand Great Britain Most of Continental Europe Asia, Africa, Latin America, Middle East

17 Egalitarian: Hierarchical:
Informal behavior. Status differences tend to be small. Protocol rituals are simpler. Formal behavior. Status differences tend to be larger. Protocol rituals are more elaborate.

18 Comparing Monochronic and Polychronic Business Behavior

19 Monochronic Business Cultures:
Germans and German-Swiss (very monochronic) Northern Europeans, North Americans Czech Republic, Hungary Japan

20 Moderately Polychronic Cultures
Most of Central Europe China, Singapore Chile, Southern Brazil

21 Polychronic Business Cultures:
Southern and Eastern Europe Most of Latin America South and Southeast Asia, Middle East, most of Africa (very polychronic)

22 Monochronic: Polychronic:
Punctuality is expected. Meetings usually follow an agenda. It is rude to interrupt meetings. People are less punctual. Meetings may not follow an agenda. Meetings are often interrupted.

23 Comparing Reserved and Expressive Communication Behavior

24 Emotionally Reserved Cultures:
Northern Europe, Britain East and Southeast Asia (very reserved)

25 Moderately/Variably Expressive:
North America, Australia, New Zealand Central and Eastern Europe South Asia, parts of Africa

26 Very Expressive Cultures:
Southern Europe Middle East, Mediterranean region Latin America

27 Reserved and Expressive Nonverbal Communication – Four Key Elements:
Interpersonal distance Eye contact Touch behavior Gestures

28 Interpersonal Distance:
Close: Middle East, Latin America, Southern Europe. Variable: North America, East and Central Europe, South Asia, Australia/NZ Distant: Northern Europe, East Asia

29 Eye Contact: Intense: Middle East, Southern Europe, Latin America
Moderate: Northern Europe, North America, East-Central Europe. Indirect: East and Southeast Asia

30 Touch Behavior: High Contact: Middle East, France, Southern Europe, Latin America. Moderate: Central/Eastern Europe, North America. Low Contact: Northern Europe. Very Low: East and Southeast Asia.

31 Ambiguous Gestures: Use of left hand Showing sole of shoe
‘Thumbs up’ sign ‘Peace’ sign ‘A-OK’ sign Pointing/beckoning with index finger.

32 Communicating and Negotiating Across Cultures
Richard R. Gesteland Global Management LLC

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