Negotiating in Life October 23, 2009

Language Skills

If you are native English speaker you’ve probably never given it much thought. You’ve been able to conduct your business negotiations without the additional burden of trying to figure out idioms and usage. For those who speak English as a second language, it’s probably much more difficult.

More and more, English is the universal language of business. For instance, deals between Japan and the United States are conducted in English. But does that put the Japanese at a disadvantage?

Language is more than just knowing the words. To be fully conversant in another language, you have to understand idioms, expressions, nuance, and alternative uses for words. For instance, in English we often say sarcastically, “yeah, right!” If you just listen to the words and don’t understand the sarcasm, this could mean that everything is OK.

In business negotiations, everything that is said at the negotiating table matters. Everyone must understand what is going on and what is being said. It is essential to master the language that is being spoken. That does not mean that you cannot participate if English is not your primary language, but perhaps it will depend more on your skill level.

For people who are learning English as a second language, specifically for business, there are many resources out there. We found this website that gives an overview of useful business expressions:

http://www.eslgold.com/business/useful_expressions.html

Native English speakers also have to be aware of their language during a negotiation. In this case, it is not simply about understanding the words, but understanding the other side. For instance, are you dealing with people whose culture is more polite? Then you would do well to be more polite in your language. Are you using too much jargon? Are you being grammatically correct? In short, are you making yourself understood? Here’s a helpful guide on “How to Use Appropriate Business Language.” http://www.ehow.com/how_17589_appropriate-business-language.html

Have you encountered a negotiation where language was a barrier? How did you manage to overcome the situation?

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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