Negotiating in China: Cultural Difference

Speaking about Business Communication: “Cultural Differences?”:

Remember: Cultural differences do not kill deals. Bad communication does. Cultural difference makes communication difficult. It is up to both sides to overcome cultural barriers.

If you want to be involved in future international deals, be very careful about using “Cultural Differences” as a reason for a failed negotiation. It is best to simply get the phrase out of your vocabulary. Westerners who hear it may think you are unsophisticated. Your Chinese manager’s response will be to find someone else who can understand other cultures – like a returnee or an overseas Chinese – who will probably be your new boss.

When we choose to do international business, we take on the responsibility of dealing with different cultures and different styles of communication. If you feel that it is too challenging, then you should step aside gracefully and let one of your colleagues take on the international opportunities for your company.

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