I want to do that from three different fronts, namely; Cultural differences in communication The patterns of communication between the countries are different even though tooth countries communicates basically in English language as an accepted language of communication. Communication in this sense can be verbal or non-verbal. Non- verbal also Includes written communications. Nigeria has over 400 languages but English language Is the accepted lingua franca. The united States has other native languages but English Is still the accepted language of communication.
Though I will communicate in English with my American business partners but I must also understand that the way the Americans write and pronounce some words is different from the way we write and pronounce our words in English language. The American counterparts for instance will write the word “favor as favor” but I will write the word “favor as favor” because Nigeria was colonized by the British, so we take our language after the British pattern of writing and communicating.
Nigerian are exclusion minded in communication; we will tend to see how the conversation does not align with what we already know and would usually want the American counterpart to align with our own position of knowledge. The American partner will rather communicate based on an Inclusive mindedness; they will rather want to know how what I am saying makes sense. American look for the sense In the conversation, does the numbers tally, are the figures correct, so they have a broader view to the conversation.
Also Most Nigerian communication style follow after the collectivists’ culture; (Grove & Hallowed; 1994) “Collectivists convey negative feedback indirectly via an intermediary or by quiet withdrawal of a perquisite. Sometimes they omit saying anything that’s negative. If you are managing employees in (or from) a collectivist culture, you might not find out what’s going wrong in your operation until the proverbial eleventh hour; there’s deep reluctance to upset group harmony by ailing you the bad news”.
This means we would rather not say “no” to you openly even though we disagree, but we will rather let the conversation go on peaceably until we have another time to object to most of the Initial points of our conversation. My American partner would rather tell It the way It Is If It doesn’t go down with them. (Grove & Hallowed; 1994) They pattern after the Individualist culture In conversations. Generally speaking, American culture communication style are usually Comfort talks, they are emotionally objective and practical in approach, their interactions are usually very direct and open.
They don’t hide any cards off the table, they play all the cards on the table. But when it comes to reactions, they react to issues analytically and they remain persistent in their analysis until otherwise convinced. These are the factors that influences how Americans communicate. Cultural differences in negotiation and conflict-resolution Let’s think of a scenario of negotiation with our U. S. Partner for a presentation from an IT company overseas. The American makes his presentation very apt and technically done by expressing his overwhelming objective points and reasons why the product is best for my company in Nigeria. Well, we would say “the presentation is brilliant but I still do not trust this guy. He thinks objectively while I think subjectively, so our negotiations can either stall or proceed based on how we handle this cultural differences between our cultures. (Mimicked, 2010) To most Americans, difference is a threat, they will naturally tend to overlook similarities and take note of the difference when they first begin the negotiations. We Nigerian are looking for similarity with what we already know and experience, similarity makes us comfortable in the negotiation.
During negotiations with Americans, you must understand that they hate silence, and they would often interrupt you at intervals during negotiations, while that is rude in my country, to interrupt someone while he is still talking, the Americans have that as a normal way of life. Cultural differences in problem-solving and decision-making In terms of problem solving, the American approaches it from a highly objective point of view, they would naturally first carry out a critical analysis of the problem and then cake decisions based on the facts on ground.
While we Nigerian usually make decisions based on sentiments sometimes, we decide to enter a business agreement when we feel intuitively inclined to do so, there is mostly no objective reason except we feel convinced inside that this is a good buy so we make the money decision. I would first seek an understanding of the cultural differences that have been highlighted earlier. After which I will approach the negotiation objectively, knowing that is how my American partner thinks.
I will also approach most of our negotiation room an individualist point of view while also letting my American friend understand the collectivist point of view. My approach would be to achieve a win-win situation. In my country I can afford to have a win-lose situation during negotiations but I understand that the American is highly objective and would not go by my sweet talks or by my expressing an overwhelming emotional conviction about the business I am trying to sell to him. So my thought pattern will naturally change from when negotiating with my fellow country man.
The factors of negotiation and business allegations to consider in this case would be; Listening skills- I will need to be more active in listening so that I get the objective point the American is making rather than rely on my emotions to guide my decision making in the negotiation. People skills – I need to feel comfortable with our differences and not look hard for similarities between us before I connect with the American counterpart. BATAAN – I must establish what the Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement is. This is vital to my than what I may have done otherwise. The BATAAN is what I can or might do if an agreement cannot be reached.
This is my final position in case an agreement is difficult to reach. Have a Plan – I would consider having a plan ahead of the negotiation. My plan would likely include the following: (Yachted, D; ND) Trying to establish the negotiating style of the other party. This helps me think through how best to communicate and go through the process of negotiation and making educated guesses as I go along. What are my interests? This is gives me a perfect reason to answer the question of why? Before the negotiation. What is my real interest? What are the interests of the American Partner?
I must understand where y American partner is coming from what are the shared interests we have and what are the opposing interests. Opposing interests is what I must negotiate. What do I have that I can trade that is of lesser value to me and of higher value to the American Partner? This helps me consider the options in the give and take phase of the negotiation. I must know beforehand what I can trade off at any time during the negotiation that is of a lesser value to me and of a higher value to my partner. What are three options I can implement to move the negotiation from compromising to joint problem solving?
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