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Imagine a European trying to negotiate for some oil in exchange for some pigskin to offer in Saudi Arabia. The outcomes can range from getting kicked out of the country to getting yourself killed for the proposal, as pigskin are considered vile in many Muslim cultures. However, putting up a similar proposition to another European person or company might work just as normal or, at worst, be declined without any threats. So, why is the difference? Or better, you can ask where lies the problem?
When it comes to cross border negotiations, cultural differences can influence it in various significant and unexpected ways. For example, what is considered normal in one country can be banned in another country— for instance, the pigskin in Saudi Arabia. As a result, the cultural differences can contribute to several challenges of cross cultural negotiations.
Some of the commonly used gestures in one country can be seen as disrespectful in another country. Hence, one must be equally aware of the cultural differences and cultural preferences to ensure that negotiations are conducted properly. Besides, knowing about the other party’s culture can work like a charm when negotiating any deal.
If the cultural differences weren’t enough of a challenge for conducting cross border negotiations, know that there are other hidden challenges associated with it. They are often overlooked and the more treacherous aspects of the cross border negotiations. It may involve the local legal technicalities and the power players involved in the process of negotiation.
The legal technicalities may refer to the local rules and regulations that you must adhere to for carrying out a successful negotiation. Apart from this, the power players involved can be the national or state government, who can flex huge leverage over the negotiation deals to their benefit at the expense of your losses. You can learn more about these power players in this article.
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