Intercultural differences during a business negotiation.

Essay by lolliegagindeUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, September 2004

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Recognizing cultural differences when you write or speak, or especially do business with someone from another culture, you encode your message using the assumptions of your own culture. So your meaning may be misunderstood. Cultural context is the pattern of physical cues, environmental stimuli, and implicit understanding that conveys meaning between members of the same culture. Asian cultures encourage lengthy decision making, concentrating on everything detail, and avoids confrontation and debate. Whereas the American culture emphasize quick, efficient decisions on major points while leaving the details to be worked out later and encourage open disagreement.

Nonverbal differences are extremely reliable when determining meaning, but that reliability is valid only when communicators belong to the same culture. The simplest of hand gestures can change from culture to culture, and can sometimes be disrespectful to the other. Interpreting nonverbal elements according to your own culture can be dangerous the elements are apparent in attitudes toward personal space and in body language.

Concepts of personal space for example, people in the United States stand about five feet apart during a business conversation. Use of Body Language gestures of a culture clarifies confusing messages, but differences in body language can be a major source of misunderstanding during intercultural conversation.

Also the word yes may not always mean yes in other cultures it may mean to say yes to confirm they have heard or understood something, but not necessarily to indicate they agree with it. You will seldom get an absolute no. Some of the ways that other cultures say no indirectly include "It will be difficult, I will ask my supervisor, We will think about it, and I'm not sure." Asian cultures place an emphasis on establishing a relationship, and will focus on learning about your company before concentrating on the agreement. Another key...