Northern Americans prefer come straight to the point rather than roundabout the topic, whereas it is the main feature of Chinese culture. Realizing this point, I would not give a lot of holiday words at the beginning of our negotiation; instead, my prologue will target the center of our topic. Normally, the Americans do not like to spend much more time on talking about the weather and other irrelevant affairs. But they are willing to get more information about the work immediately.
During a negotiation, both of the two sides want to take the initiative position. From the above profile we can know that Americans are very reluctant to concession until they have to do some comprise. So if I want to let the Americans make concession willingly, I must hold some chips, which the Americans really want to get it, otherwise, I will in a passive situation. The rich information about my opponent is very significant, after fully understanding the goal that they want to achieve, and then I can arrange my steps in the process of negotiation.
As mentioned in the list, it seems that the Americans like to claim their position as clear as possible at the very early stage of negotiation. In contrast, we Chinese people eager to observe opponent’s situation at first and expose our position according to the situation of other side’s and the process of negotiation itself. Due to the different customers, I would like to pay more attention to listen to their position. My position should also be clearly defined after knowing opponent’s standpoint.
Moreover, U.S. negotiators typically have authority to bind their party to an agreement, so if the right deal is struck the matter can be resolved quickly. This is why deadlines are so important to Americans. They have come to do business, and they want to get things resolved immediately. (Hodgetts, R. M. ; Luthans, F. 1991)
Swedish people heritage the traditional Scandinavian culture, so they emphasis on the prudent usage of time and the efficiency. When taking a negotiation with Swedish, the strong concept of time will bring a good impression and it also indicates a pleasant development of negotiation. Moreover, Swedish also appreciate to get a high efficiency. Sometimes, Chinese like to take ‘marathon’ style of negotiation which means a very long period of negotiation because we want to know more about the opponent through the salutation but Swedish want to maximum utilization of time.
As a result, Swedish would like to get the satisfied result in a limited time. According to Crane (2000) that “[t]hey most often do their best to give short, straight answers to question, trying not to leave ‘ loose ends’ or too much scope for interpretation.” As a manager, I should notice the different understand of time of the two countries, so I will try to shorten the time of waste and at the same time I should control the pace of negotiation as well. If I always try to follow the opponent’s pace, I will easily to loose my own direction and make my side in a very disadvantages situation.
The profile shows that Swedish are very cautious during a negotiation. Therefore, it means Swedish pay more attention to some little affairs and detailed problems. In my point of view, I should be more careful about minutia and maybe even the expression of every item should be double checked in order to make sure that every little part is perfect. Otherwise, I might lose my go-aheadism because of an ignorance of minor mistake. Japanese and Chinese are both belong to Asian culture, so it seems a little bit easier to make business with Japanese because the similarity of culture. Although it makes a little convenience, we still need a good preparation before the negotiation.
Japanese people attach importance to formality, so we should think much about our courtesy. The politeness of action and caution of the usage of words might establish a good start. It also matches a piece of Chinese idiom ” A good start is a half way of success.” Since then, a formal mutual introduction and the change of gift is very necessary. What’s more, business cards are an important part of doing business in Japan and key for establishing credentials. Bring a plentiful supply, since the Japanese counterparts will be keen to exchange them.
Compared with Northern American culture, Japanese culture is much more implicated and indirect. In the process of negotiation, the Japanese may not tell you directly what they want so we have to guess the real meaning from the surface of words and actions. Furthermore, “Saving face” is an important concept to understand. In Japanese business culture, a person’s reputation and social standing rests on this concept. When a person loses his or her composure or otherwise causes embarrassment, even unintentionally (“losing face”), this can be disastrous for business negotiations. From this point of view, it is very near Chinese culture, which is also emphasis on the face saving. During a negotiation, we should realize that the appropriate choice of words and the indirect implication give both sides of the negotiators a step. Sometimes, it is even necessary to pretend that your Japanese colleague understood you. Because in Japanese business protocol, these “face-saving” measures are essential for maintaining cordial relations.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the ultimate aim of international negotiation is to reach a ” win-win” result. Every person involves in the negotiation tries his best effort to get more and more closer to the final success. As a manager of Chinese based multinationals, the fully understanding of culture that is playing an important role throughout the whole process of negotiation can not be ignored. As Luthans and Hodgetts (1991) says “in order to negotiate effectively in the international arena, it is necessary to understand how cultural differences between the parties affect the process.”
Adjer,N.J (2002) International Dimensions of Organizational Behaviour, fourth edition, U.S.:South-Western.pp: 222 Boy ½ Lafayette De Mente (2000) Tuning into Japan’s Cultural Telepathy, [www[URL:http://www.executiveplanet.com/business-culture/92783609828.html [Accessed 24 March 2003]