Forbes Negotiating In China: 10 Rules for Success  - Part 1 (Rebuttal)

china chinese mindset guanxi negotiations partnering Feb 14, 2019

Doing business in China is quite daunting for most Westerner, and many try to prepare for success by studying Chinese culture and reading articles like this one published in Forbes in 2011 entitled, Negotiating in China: 10 Rules for Success.

While there is never an absolute right or wrong way to negotiate in any culture, reading someone’s rules or tips isn’t a path to success. Leaders produce better outcomes when they transfer greater cultural awareness into the proper adjustments to their attitude, mindset, and approach (AMA Values).

For the “10 Rules for Success” listed in this Forbes article, I am adding my experience to the discussion by providing greater cultural context and awareness.

PERCEPTIONS affect outcomes, and it is through the mindset of continuously developing Guanxi that you will reach your goals in China.

Rule 1. Manage your own and your boss’s expectations

The Forbes CONTRIBUTOR sights the importance of “maintaining balance and harmony” and the importance of giving and receiving Face (mianzi) as the reason that you and your visiting boss may be lulled into a false sense of complacency.

Forbes CONTRIBUTOR, “Great efforts must be made to understand the meaning behind their words.”


“Literal words have no meaning, especially during the honeymoon period that begins every negotiation with a new potential partner. Therefore, the focus should be on developing Guanxi, rather than trying to understand hidden meanings behind what people say.”

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