George Kohlrieser on Negotiating Across Cultures

George Kohlrieser says the directness common to negotiation in the West does not apply in other cultures.
  • Transcript


Kohlrieser: The way you engaged in putting issues on the table, so that we have to understand the cultural mindset. However, there’s far more in common than there is indifference. So, in Asia, in Japan, other parts of Asia, for example, saving face is fundamentally a process. You simply don’t rip the face off of another person. You don’t also open so much of yourself in the beginning because you don’t want to lose face yourself. So, it takes longer to build those bonds and if you, the same way in the Middle East, if you go to the Middle East, you cannot go to a [shouk] and buy something without sitting and having a tea if it’s a significant purchase. In the West, we tend to be more direct, what’s your bottom line, you go right to it, which are fundamental mistakes.