No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Any examples of cultural differences in negotiations?


We are putting together a short training course (on NLP skills for Trainers) which is targetted at trainers working across cutlures. One particular aspect relates to understanding how, if at all, different cultures approach negotiations.
Whikst well aware of the challenges of stereotyping, I woudl welcome any ideas out there on what cultural differences, if any, exist.

Is it true that Japanese rarely say "No"? And, if so, how does one sense that the answer WAS "no"?
Do Americans really have a reputation for "hard nosed, don't give anything away"?
Do the Brits really fudge the issues?
Is it typical in an Arab culture to start really high with an expectation of significant bartering?
I'm sure there may be loaqds more - true or not so!
Geoff Roberts

2 Responses

  1. Cultural DIversity
    A MASSIVE topic and potentially a massive course for trainers equality proofing arrangements and from an employment and customer care perspective. But here’s a short cut for all you will need…

    Buy a copy – about £15.00 – in paperback of “RIDING THE WAVES OF CULTURE-UNDERSTANDING CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN BUSINESS” by Trompenaars and Hampden TUrner. Second edition now out. ISBN is 1-85788-176-1

    You won’t put it down.Indeed you’ll carry it strapped to your back in the Training Room.
    If you go on to do customer care,run an exercise based on all the things that can go wrong eg
    SYSTEMS and PROCEDURES indirectly discriminating
    MEET and GREET protocols
    You have listed some.THe subject is vast which is why my strong advice is that you research your local community profile and social atlas based on the 2001 census returns.You can then major accordingly on your locality

    Good luck


    [email protected]

  2. Lots of differences
    Geoff – I agree it is a tough topic for trainers to approach fraught with PC type issues etc.

    However having negotiated fairly large deals in most regions of the world I have to say that the stereotype trap is a big hole that the inexperienced tend to drop into. It is all too easy to go into negotiations with preconceived ideas as to how the opposite side is going to act. This can create confusion, waste time and ultimately lead to failure.

    So some advice – do as Fisher & Ury describe in their book “Getting to Yes” – split the person from the problem. Negotiate on the issues and not the personality as it were. If you do this then the probability of a good negotiated outcome is high. However I must just say that I am somewhat skeptical as to the driver behind their theory, I tend to think it arises from the American thirst for data driven management.

    Unfortunately one of the least practiced processes in negotiation is the preparation stage. Here not only should you understand your position, needs, wants, give aways and try to determine your opposite numbers positions, needs etc – but should also spend a fair amount of time researching on their backgrounds, social, political, economic etc.

    As far as the pure cultural related issues go then it is where negotiation starts to get very interesting and why I kept going so long internationally.

    For example I have come out of meetings in Italy really wondering what we achieved, no closure and no real sense of when we will get closure, later that night over pasta and wine the real deal was done to mutual satisfaction – that’s the way of business in Italy!. Understand it and have some fun I say.

    I could go on and on – drop me an email & maybe we could talk on the phone if you want more anecdotes and tips, obviously only one mans experience but I will gladly help out.

    Adrian Quinney


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!