Of course, it is important to go into your negotiation with the right mindset.
Open your own cultural responses up to meet another culture.
But do not be so focused on the cross-cultural aspect of your negotiation so much that you forget your basic preparation.
Like all negotiations, preparation is important.
You need to know exactly:
Where you stand in your negotiation process,
What your aims are,
What exactly is on the table,
…and what is not.
Prior preparation can also be critical if there are any cross-cultural communication differences.
When you know the extent to which you can negotiate and are fully prepared, you will be able to pace yourself if there are any differences.
So, how do you prepare for your first cross-cultural negotiation?
Broad Outlines – Key Details
You need to prepare both the broad outlines and key details.
Most people remember to prepare for the key details. After all, these are important to the negotiation process. You know what details you need.
You should also ask yourself if there are other details that might be important from another cultural perspective. But don’t get too caught up in this. Blunders do not usually happen due to lack of preparation here.
They can happen if you forget to prepare…
Your broad outlines too.
This is where your own natural assumptions might lead you to miss something.
Here are a few questions to brainstorm:
Why are you there in the first place?
What is the one thing you want to get out of this negotiation?
What are your limits?
Knowing your limits and the broad outlines will help you to navigate any cultural differences more effectively should you find that you are not on the same boat.
Winging it rarely works in cross-cultural negotiations. You must stay focused. Your basic preparation is essential.
With regards to other cross-cultural aspect, a few key questions to the right person prior to your meeting is all you need before the meeting.
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Cindy King is a Cross-Cultural eMarketer & International Sales Specialist, aligning businesses with different cultures. She has over 25 years field experience in international business development and helps mid-sized business owners create international business development strategies that shorten time to profitability.