10 Questions to help understand and plan for cultural differences when negotiating

In today’s global market, surely we no longer need to consider the old fashioned idea of cultural differences when negotiating? Wrong!

International commerce means the world is fast becoming a smaller place. As a result it is easy to assume that, if organizations are interacting routinely across geographic boundaries and conducting business in one increasingly universal language, there is no longer a need to consider our cultural differences. Cultural differences shape who we are, and failure to understand these differences and adapt our negotiation approach can doom a negotiation to failure or, at least, deliver sub-optimum outcomes.

Tracey Ives by Positive Purchasing Ltd  on 21-Jul-2016 


Culture is the way of thinking and doing things that, in a society, are passed on from one generation to another. These include the language, norms and values that collectively create a pattern of human behaviour. Culture is not biologically inherited, but who we are is determined largely from environmental influences. It is established cumulatively through generations and holds societies together, providing the template for new generations to follow. At an individual level, culture is expressed in customary ways of behaving and interacting in everyday life from religious beliefs and observance to moral standards and the way life is organized – especially family life.


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