Negotiating Across Cultures - Overview

This video provides an overview of negotiating across cultures and elements of building rapport, time, understanding your needs/objectives, time, and self-awareness.
Video Transcript

[Dr. Tim Kirk, Col, USAF (Ret)] Great ideas and great initiatives die quickly, even when the person you're negotiating with is on your side. If you execute something in a culturally inappropriate way you cannot succeed.

[Title: Negotiating Across Cultures]

[Dr. Tim Kirk, Col, USAF (Ret)] Understanding how decisions are made and, culturally, how those decisions are arrived at in a favorable manner is essential to getting the job done in a foreign environment.

[CW3 Joe Grano] It is necessary to know what your left and right limits are, what it is, the minimum that you're willing to accept, and the most that you could hope to receive, and then you have to know that about the other person or the other party.

[Marc Robere Hill] You have to build rapport, you have to see what they're willing to give and what you're willing to give.

[Title: Building Rapport]

[Charles C. Mink] You'd want to know everything, as much as you can about somebody up front so that you can avoid making a mistake. There are a number of ways to obtain information about person who you're going to meet there, you know, through open sources or through existing reports.

[CW3 Joe Grano] For a good negotiator, I'm going to need someone who understands those types of things, it knows to go for those types of information, and not just I'm gonna go in there guns blazing to get what I want.

[Charles C. Mink] It's almost a matter of being self-aware enough that you're not going to be able to know everything about someone before you meet them, and that you do need to spend the time actually in the conversation to get to know somebody.

[Title: Time]

[Marc Robere Hill] I think was culture shock to a lot of American service members when they went over there. It's like, why aren't these people ever on time? It's because of the way they see time.

[Dr. Tim Kirk, Col, USAF (Ret)] If you're dealing with rural cultures or remote cultures, they don't measure time in years, they measure it in decades and centuries.

[LTC Remi Hajjar] American soldiers would like to shoot to the bottom line up front and get to the purpose right away, but that doesn't fly in many other cultures. Can you be comfortable with talking about family for 20 minutes, talking about something absolutely not related to the mission at all for half an hour, maybe even the first couple of meetings?

[Dr. Tim Kirk, Col, USAF (Ret)] You really have to have an authenticity, and that authenticity means you have to get involved, and being involved takes a lot of time.

[Caption: Dr. Tim Kirk spent 3 years in Afghanistan as part of the Afghan Hands Program.]

[Dr. Tim Kirk, Col, USAF (Ret)] They do business on the basis of relationships and socialization, much like Wall Street. A lot of work happens in the office, but the best deals are cut at the bar after hours.

[CW3 Joe Grano] The idea that before you talk business or speak business with say the Jordanians, and this goes the same for the Iraqis as well, you kind of have to be social, you have to be friendly had to be warm. You speak about your families and some other things. So we probably need to talk real casually like friends for a little while, take, probably have some coffee or tea, and then we'll talk business.

[Title: Compromise]

[Marc Robere Hill] To have a successful negotiation, if the parties involved with the negotiation are satisfied that all the requirements are met, and it might not be everything that they've asked for everything they wanted, but, when you can walk away and say okay we didn't get, you know, the highest level, but we didn't reach the middle or the lowest either, we did pretty well, and, and they seemed pleased with the negotiation, I think if all those objectives are met and both parties meet their objectives, I think this success, that comes into being called a successful negotiation.

[CW3 Joe Grano] The term, to me, negotiation means that in the end the agreement is in the form of a compromise, not necessarily to one's benefit or the other, but somewhere in the middle.