Deal or no deal? Brexit showcases the art of cross-cultural negotiations

Negotiation Skills

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: http://gulfnews.com/business/analysis/tiptoeing-around-brexit-negotiations-is-not-an-option-1.2107463

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.