Forbes Negotiating In China: 10 Rules for Success  - Part 3 (Rebuttal of Rule 4 and 7)

china chinese culture negotiations partnering Feb 22, 2019

This is Part 3 of my rebuttal to the Forbes article entitled, Negotiating in China: 10 Rules for Success covering Rules 4 and 7.

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 4. Assemble a capable Chinese team and enlist the support of third parties, most importantly the government.

The Forbes CONTRIBUTOR asserts that you need a capable Chinese team to help bridge cultural differences and open back channels to smooth negotiations.


"Developing mutual trust and strong Guanxi relationships with your local Chinese team and intermediaries is essential, but developing cultural awareness and empathy for the nuances of Chinese behavior is even more critical." 

Rule 5. Remember that in China, a yuan is a buck.

The Forbes CONTRIBUTOR asserts that differing views about money issues arise from a different cost perspective between a 100 yuan bill that Americans see as approximately $15.


"Chinese have different values and priorities, but attributing this to the denomination of hard currency is outdated."

Rule 6. Leave your ego at home.

The Forbes CONTRIBUTOR asserts that the Chinese pay attention to what you do, not what you say, so it is vital to be more understated and modest.

Show your Chinese counterparts respect, and make an effort to get to know them on a more personal level. "This will help you to gain their empathy for your position."


"Sustainable success in China requires many mindset adjustments. Your goal is to have empathy, not to obtain it."

Rule 7. Patience is a virtue in China; learn to listen more and speak less.

The Forbes CONTRIBUTOR suggests the "cold shower" approach to decision-making, which means you should stop, think, listen some more, and sleep on it before you react or make an impulsive decision.


"Patience is essential for any cross-cultural engagement. In China, it is important to develop self-awareness, so you know how you are perceived in the context of the negotiations."

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