While business is constantly changing, many business skills remain the same. The art of negotiation is one such skill. Negotiation is important because proficiency in this area can be the difference between a lucrative win and a devastating loss. There will always be discrepancies in business, and the ability to compromise and resolve them helps create success.
There are several elements of negotiation needed to achieve the best outcome. Confidence is essential. Bullies know how to intimidate others to get their way, and when people are intimidated it makes them more vulnerable. In business, this can mean loss of sales and new opportunities. Although one person may appear more certain than another in a negotiation, it is often not because they deserve something more but because they are convinced that they deserve something more. This attitude can lead to better negotiations.
Another aspect of negotiation is knowing when to walk away, especially when there is unwillingness to compromise. When people are trying to get their way without making any concessions, it is no longer a negotiation. Additionally, negotiations should be fair. If both people are being reasonable and understanding of each other’s needs, it is more like they will reach an agreement without dispute.
One of the most important characteristics of negotiation is interpersonal skills, like communication, listening, mutual respect and decision-making. Presenting a point of view effectively and approaching a compromise respectfully can go a long way to achieving success during negotiations.
Learning about the art of negotiation can be invaluable, especially when cultural differences are involved. Understanding these differences helps with overcoming them. For instance, in Chinese culture, listening quietly during negotiation discussions shows calmness and attentiveness. In Western culture, speaking candidly and expressing emotions shows interest and approval. Another dissimilarity is attitude towards senior managers. Since it is important to show respect for senior managers in Chinese culture, subordinates do not disagree with their superiors. In Western culture, subordinates openly share ideas and convey disagreement. In fact, they are encouraged to do so because diverse perspectives are valued.
One of the most significant cultural differences pertains to the prominence of business connections. In Chinese culture, being successful in business is directly related to having a strong bond with the government as well as ethnic and social networks of business relationships. These types of connections are not essential for success in Western culture. While relationships are extremely advantageous, they are not usually as intertwined. Understanding the importance of negotiation skills and how Western and Chinese cultural differences impact negotiations is essential for business success.
To learn more, join Digital BootCamp Asia’s INSPIRED SERIES Workshop: Negotiations in China on March 20. Jon Newton, Founder of Chinapreneur Business Insights, Forbes-featured entrepreneur and adjunct lecturer will share his knowledge learned from 20 years of closing business deals across China, Europe and Africa. He will discuss the importance of pre-negotiation preparation, how personal perceptions can affect negotiated outcomes and how to practice cultural reflexivity in international business engagements. To register for this workshop, please visit https://yoopay.cn/event/32004524.