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Cross-Cultural Negotiations

Bridges Between Cultures


Negotiations between cultures, whether these be regional or global, are peppered with different traditions, perceptions and values. Misunderstandings are on the daily agenda and can have costly as well as strategically risky consequences.

So as to be able to negotiate successfully and effectively on an international level, a profound understanding of the corresponding cultural influential factors is required. A checklist of „do’s and don’t’s“, even if they are detailed, is by far not enough to be able to manage complex negotiations at a high level.

INCS is represented on all important markets, recognises the opportunities and risks of global collaborative work and guarantees with proven negotiating experts, that you will reach your targets with regards to expansions, cross country negotiations or international conflicts.

INCS Operations Center takes over for you the coordination and bringing together of all necessary intercultural expertise. You receive first class support, guidance and accompaniment from a single source, making you invincible on an international level, when it comes to performance and negotiating strengths.



Good to know

International challenge
Studies have shown that 85% of all expansion strategies do not go according to plan. More than 60% of them fail, the rest are implemented at enormous additional costs and great time loss. The key problems are over optimism and ignoring of cultural complexity when negotiating with partners, customers, suppliers and authorities. Many first look for advice following land damag. It would have been much more cost effective and efficient to call in negotiating expertise from the beginning.

Culturally overlapping negotiations are much more challenging in their preparation. The cultural background of all parties involved must be raised and analysed for overlaps or conflicts. A difficult but indispensible task is really understanding the negotiating partner in their way and personality. Without preparation, cultural discussions, understanding, evaluation, and appreciation this is not possible.

„It’s a people’s business“: People negotiate with people, this is the same everywhere. Depending on the region, the relationship between individuals has a greater importance. If for example, a culture prefers collectivity over individuality, the decision must be taken to invest more time, money and lifeblood into building the relationship than if individuality were the maxim.

Effective communication
Even in an own familiar cultural environment some communication is ineffective. Understanding both sides, means much more than only hearing the words spoken. Body language, the course of discussions, the flow of discussions, pitch, pauses, direct or indirect expressions, discussion topics and the question of whether the focus of the discussion should lie on business and/or private themes are several examples of what must be considered as being effective behaviour in the environment of cross cultural negotiations.

Initiating contact, meeting
Who should initiate contact with who? Should the contact take place directly or indirectly? Where and to what extent and with what team composition should the first or further meetings take place? Depending on social norms, values and expectations, the answers to these questions are very varied. A mistake in this minefield can cause negotiations to fail from the very beginning.

Negotiating rounds, exchange of information
In rationally grown, or rather soberly thinking cultures with a strong sense of individuality it is expected at a meeting that the topic will be dealt with and completed within a short period of time. In other countries however, this is unconceivable. The exchange of information and thoughts is generally accepted very differently, as whatever is true or not true, is often only just a question of personal or cultural perspective.

Agreement, closure
Not all cultures have the understanding required to accept a hundred page agreement and governance does not have the same importance across the world. Some are of the opinion that with the contract the negotiations are finished, for others signing on the dotted line represents just a suspension of boxing until the next day when negotiations are started anew. Whoever knows these different procedures, can save themselves trouble.

Implementation, safeguarding
Professional, legal support is indispensible. Whoever believes to have everything in the bag and under control with a supposedly watertight contract, will more often than not be mistaken. Being right does not mean being given rights. If a partner refuses to fulfil the contract based on intercultural conflicts, litigation is sometimes neither sensible nor possible. Interculturally effective behaviour means that these risks have to otherwise be taken into account.


Contact us now!

We look forward to your contact. We will be happy to answer any questions you have or give information you need.

Click on "contact" to send us an email or call our negotiators under +41 44 201 19 19 



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