This is Part 2 of my rebuttal to the Forbes article entitled, Negotiating in China: 10 Rules for Success covering Rules 2 and 3.
While there is never an absolute right or wrong way to negotiate in any culture, success will not be achieved by reading someone's rules or tips. Leaders achieve 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 2. Have a negotiating strategy — your counterpart certainly will.
The Forbes CONTRIBUTOR compares negotiations in China to a marathon, not a sprint, sighting the need for face-to-face negotiations with a translator taking more time.
He also recommends keeping accurate meeting notes for both sides to sign off, as well as having "a clear idea of where you want to end up, and how you plan to get there."
"Patience is essential because Real GUANXI is developed continuously over an extended period. However, giving FACE requires a more flexible mindset and approach that works against specific end goals and strict accountability."
Rule 3. Understand that negotiating in China is a team sport.
The Forbes CONTRIBUTOR asserts that you are likely to face a "team" of negotiators on the Chinese side, so it is important to identify the real decision-maker in the group.
"While phantom stakeholders are often low-key or even absent from negotiations, it is important to develop good Guanxi relationships with everyone because everyone is an influencer and anyone could be a potential saboteur."
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