Lessons from Abroad- When Culture Affects Negotiating Styl.doc

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16 Mar 2012
three negotiation strategies widely used in Asia that are likely to be unfamiliar to Ameri-
can negotiators yet extremely useful:
-indirect confrontation
Our individualistic culture encourages us to place our self-interest rst and to
intervene in situations that threaten our desired outcomes. The problem with direct
confrontation is that it often implies blame, which can make a problem become
personal—to go from being an issue of rattling bikes to a concern about the people who
made them rattle.
-indirect confrontation is normative in collective cultures, including most Asian cultures,
which emphasize social harmony and the need to consider other parties’ interests. So
that parties in con ict do not have to confront each other directly, negotiators in Asian
cultures often rely on intermediaries.
- Indirect confrontation has the bene t of keeping personalities out of the equation, leav-
ing one fewer problem to solve.
- effectiveness of “in your face” talk in con ict resolution --- indirect confrontation = saving
face and gets the message across without losing respect
-status-based persuasion
Aristotelian-based factual, linear, and logical argument consists of threats (such as, “If
you don’t, then I
-will”) and promises (such as, “If you will, then I will”),
-which are based on perceptions of power associated with
-each party’s alternatives.
-the use of proposals to gain information.
Gathering information about relative preferences and priorities from proposals requires
highly developed inferential skills and a “big picture” approach. Doing so is common in
collective cultures, where context matters and indirect communication is the norm
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