International Negotiation

Negotiation skills are very important if you want to get things done. With that being said, many people are unawares of how to be an effective negotiator. There are some very standard facts you must adhere to when you negotiate starting with:

-Make sure you are negotiating with the appropriate person. There is nothing more annoying then spending a week reaching an agreement with someone then having his boss shoot it down.

-A good negotiator will ALWAYS portray himself at the end of the negotiation even if he got the better deal. The key is making the person you negotiated with feel good about what he accomplished.

With that being said, it is important to understand how and why the person you are negotiating with thinks. Recognition of projective cognitive similarity is of high importance. This means that one assumes that the other perceives, judges, thinks and reasons the way he or she does. This is rarely EVER the case, ESPECIALLY with international negotiation. The awareness of cultural influences and practices is essential. There are 4 crucial steps involved with the cross-cultural negotiation process.

1. Non-task sounding or establishing rapport

2. Positioning- objectives, expectations, preferences

3. Reflection, evaluation and persuasion; determine points of conflict, strenghts and weaknesses, differences

4. Adjustment and agreement

With these steps in mind, you must also understand how you, as an individual, negotiate. We will use a U.S. negotiator as an example.

Typical U.S. negotiators are:




-Expect opponents to have authority






Most of these work against our ability to negotitate. However recognizing such flaws is the first step in making the transition from a sub-par negotiator to a subperb one.

On a seperate note there are several other issues you must consider when negotiating. First off, negotiations can be either strategic, or synergistic. A strategic negotiation is one where resources are limited, and a synergistic negotiation is one where resources are unlimited. Distinguishing between which negotiation you are pursuing is key. Other issues to be considered include:

-Context; high/low

-Time; Poly/Mono

-Risk-Taking Propensity; Cautious/Adventurous

-Decision Making; Authoritative/Consensual

-Final Form; Oral/Written

-Aspirations; Personal/Corporate

-Argument Style; Logical/Emotional

-Protocol; Formal/Informal

Identify these aspects before you go into a negotiation can ultimately decide the negotiations outcome. If you practice due dilligence you automatically have a step up because if you know the philosophies of your negotiating party, you also know how to beat them.

Skilled negotiatiors will also:

-Use interpreters

-Plan; 50% before meeting face to face

-Use fewer irritators

-Make fewere immediate counter-proposals

-Use fewer reasons to back up arguments

-Review the negotiation at its conclusion


Negotiation is just a skilled way of interacting with others to reach a desired outcome. In order to get to that outcome you have to practice obvious principles of respect, tolerating ambiguity, being able to relate to other people, being nonjudgemental, personalizing ones observations,  empathy, and persistance. These aforementioned skills can be categorized into 4 different forms of negotiating, factual, intuitive, normantive, and analytical.

Factual Style: The facts speak for themselves


-Pointing out facts in a neutral way

-Keeping track of what has been said


-Looking for proof

-Documenting Statements

Intuitive Style: Imagination can solve any problem


-Making warma nd enthusiastic statements

-Being imaginative and creative

-Going beyond the facts

-Coming up with new ideas all the time

-Being deductive

Normative Style: negotiating is bargaining


-Judging, assessing and evaluating the facts according to personal values

-Approving and disapproving

-Offering bargains

-Using status, authority, looking for compromise

Analytical Style: Logic leads to the right conclusions


-Forming reasons

-Drawing conclusions

-Analyzing for cause and effect

-Putting things into logical order

-Weighing pros and cons thoroughly


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