Chinese are high context society that are communicating nonverbally. It is challenging to figure out Chinese culture if you were not born and raised in that region. Chinese people talk with their face, hands and so many unspoken words is exchanged and hidden in their actions. On the other extreme, Americans are very low context society. They may go to business dinner meetings but prefer separating their professional and personal life. While Americans are looking into the business part of the negotiation, Chinese are more interested in establishing a long term relationship. They prefer to make a deal while getting to know the person who is making a deal with, hence job title or position has less value. At the same time, hierarchy has a stronger respect in China.
There are less information about companies located in China so the process of initial fact finding is a challenge. On the other hand, Chinese can learn so much about companies located in the United States. There are tremendous information about some companies even the people who are working for that particular company including their backgrounds and titles. For example, linkdin.com is good source to gather a lot of information about executives and managers. This is an advantage for Chinese since they will be well prepared before the initial negotiation. Also, Americans talk more so it is easier to figure them out compare to Chinese that they prefer to listen. Americans think negotiation means argument, unlike Chinese that favor back and forth exchange. While meetings in America is structured and quick, Chinese take their time to wrap up a deal. American’s point of view is, “Time is Money” though Chinese prefer to spend more time to get to know and understand the negotiators. Contracts and legal papers have a totally different definition in western and eastern culture. American think signing a paper means closing a deal while Chinese may not see it the same way because legal and law suits is not an issue there (Terry Hird). Confrontation is another issue that needs to be avoided in Chinese culture, contrasting Americans that are willing to confront directly but more like correcting not criticizing. American bosses may have no reservations about being harsh in order to boost the bottom line, however, this mindset can be counterproductive in Chinese culture (Mah).
In summary, “Americans see Chinese negotiators as inefficient, indirect, and even dishonest, while the Chinese see American negotiators as aggressive, impersonal, and excitable. Such differences have deep cultural origins” (Lam).
German and American’s culture are more alike compare to Chinese, but there are still differences when negotiating in the business environment. Germans tend to think a lot while in a conversation and don’t use any body language or face expressions where Americans show their emotions with nodding and gesture. Communication and confrontation are not as direct in American culture. More often,…