20 Tips on negotiating in the Far East

  1. Be warned: ‘Shaming’ is a well used tactic. If they catch you saying something which conflicts with something you said earlier in the discussion, they will ‘shame’ you with that.
  2. They may suggest you have broken the bonds of friendship if you do not agree to the final contract.
  3. They are meticulous note takers; recordings are often made.
  4. Often they start with a no-compromise approach initially, flexibility emerges.
  5. Decision-making is consensus.
  6. Impatience on your part will be met with delays.
  7. Respect and trust must be earned before you can begin to negotiate.
  8. Avoid embarrassing your counterpart; don’t ask direct questions.
  9. Harmony is the basis for negotiations
  10. They will find indirect ways to resist proposals, but never say so outright.
  11. They will seek specific terms and conditions but might not be as willing to give them.
  12. Take care not to interrupt during a conversation, this is disrespectful.
  13. Give silence and space for thought before replying; shows respect.
  14. Customary to repeat questions several times in China and repeat answers several times in Korea; so they can make right decision.
  15. Extensive preparation and documentation required in Far East.
  16. Far Eastern delegates need to leave room for informal discussions. These informal discussions following formal sessions are very important.
  17. There is often someone behind the scenes with the power.
  18. A smile can denote discomfort.
  19. Be careful about humour. Its use can show you are not taking things seriously.
  20. It can take years to build a relationship strong enough to ‘do a deal’.

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