Discussing Cross Cultural Negotiations (Adv)


Students will discuss some of the differences between cultures that may influence negotiation strategies.
Student Level: 
Unit Group: 
General Business - Negotiating

Warm Up (5 mins)

Do you think there is a stereotype for the way Japanese people conduct business?

Do you think it is accurate? Why or why not?

Listening (5 mins)

Watch the following video.

1. According to the speaker, what cultural differences do negotiators need to consider when communicating with Chinese counterparts?

Reading Comprehension (10 mins)

Read the following article.

1. How does your own personal negotiating style fit these categories of cultural difference?

e.g. are you usually formal or informal when you negotiate or discuss business?

Conversation Skill (10 mins)


Conversation Skill Point: 

It is important to know a variety of ways to greet other people.

The phrases you choose will depend on:

  • Formality - polite situation / casual situation
  • Greeting one person / greeting a group
  • First meeting / not first meeting




Greeting one person - first meeting

Hi ! How's it going?

Nice to meet you.

Greeting a group - first meeting

Hey everybody.

Good (morning / afternoon / evening) everyone.

Greeting one person - NOT first meeting

Hi. Great to see you again.

It's a pleasure to meet you again.

Greeting a group - NOT first meeting

Hey guys. Great to see you all again.

Hello everyone. It's a pleasure to meet all of you again.

In the table below, match the situation on the left with the appropriate expression on the right.

Meeting an old client you know very well Hi Jeff. Thanks for stopping by.
Meeting a new client for the first time Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Giving a weekly presentation to your small team of co-workers Hello Mr Kobayashi. It's great to see you again!
Starting a meeting with your immediate subordinate It's a pleasure to meet you Ms Deluca.
Giving a presentation to a large group of investors Morning folks. How's everybody doing today?

Do you think your answers might be different, depending on the culture you are operating in?

Can you think of any examples to support your opinion?

Vocabulary (5 mins)

Word or expressionExample sentence

Role Play (15 mins)


Case Study (15 mins)

Imagine you work for Nippon Communication Training (NCT) a medium sized company that sells Japanese language training courses to foreign companies.

Your company has 3 different products:

  • Self study web based training packages - $600 per student.
  • Online group training packages - $1200 per student (up to 4 students in an online classroom with an instructor).
  • Man-to-man online training packages - $3600 per per student (1 student in an online classroom with an instructor).

All courses are designed to be completed in 3 months.

You are now visiting Lima, Peru, where you will have a meeting with the Human Resources Director of Andes Clothing Exports Company (ACE).

The manager of ACE wants to train some of their customer service staff in how to deal with Japanese customers.

The staff already have a basic knowledge of Japanese but they need to learn about polite expressions, common email and telephone phrases etc.

Your goal is to negotiate an agreement to sell a language training course.

Keep in mind the following:

  • Do you need to get the agreement in a written contract or is a verbal agreement sufficient?
  • Should you try to close the deal quickly or will you need to make many return visits to the company in Lima?
  • Should you propose an ambitious and expensive training package or aim for a simple and low budget plan to build trust with the customer?
  • Is there much potential for a long term relationship with the customer or is likely to be a "one off" arrangement?

You want to get the best deal possible for your company but you don't want to return to Japan "empty handed".

Lead the negotiation with your counterpart.


Extension Activity

Do you think each organization has it's own unique "culture"?

Give examples to support your opinion.

Review and Quiz (5 mins)

Do you have any questions about this lesson?

What did you learn today?

Did you learn any new vocabulary or expressions?

Ask your instructor for tips on how you can improve your English.

Finally, don't forget to take the quiz after all your lessons are finished today.

Thank you !