The opening shots have been fired in the most challenging and complex negotiations in history - Brexit. The parties have appointed their negotiating teams – each busy working on strategy – and with a clear deadline of (now less than) two years. It’s also one of the most multicultural - the 27 EU members and the UK (comprising England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales).
Here are some building blocks for any cross-cultural negotiator to consider: First, anticipate differences in strategy and tactics that may cause misunderstandings; analyse cultural differences to identify differences in values; recognise that the other party may not share your view of what constitutes power; avoid attribution errors; find out how to show respect in the other culture; find out how time is perceived in the other culture; know your options for change; find out what ‘yes’ actually means (or you may get a nasty surprise).
The art and rules of cross-cultural negotiation apply even to these extraordinary Brexit negotiations, and we wish the negotiators every success.
Read the full article by Prof Arun Singh in Gulf News.
Professor Arun Singh OBE is an international lawyer in private practice, a board director, and a corporate educator working with The University of Manchester’s executive education programme in the Middle East.