Business Negotiation October 7, 2013

Some Time and Work Differences Around the World: How it Affects Negotiations

There are twenty-four time zones in the world, four of which fall in the continental United States. Anyone who has lived in Los Angeles and played phone tag with businesses in New York knows how difficult it is to deal with just four time zones.

Most of us office types work from nine to five. By the time we in California get to work at nine, our counterparts in New York are going to lunch. When they go home at five, it’s only two in Los Angeles. Our communication window is only two hours. Less if they take breaks during the day.

We live in a global economy. Americans do business with people in China, Pakistan, Greece and Great Britain. Germans do business with Russians across six time zones. Italian cloth is sold in Singapore and Beverly Hills. Can you imagine all of the telephone tag that’s going on as people negotiate with each other over 24 time zones?

It’s even worse than that. Lunch starts in Spain at three, in Germany at one and in Norway at eleven. The Norwegians start work at eight, the Swiss at seven, the British and Turks at nine thirty, the French at seven or eight. The Germans go home at four, the British at five thirty and the Italians at two-but they work on Saturday.

When we add cultural work day differences to the different time zones, we have the makings of a communications nightmare. New technology will help, but not enough.

What can be done? We can incorporate email, Internet and videophone systems into our work stations. We train our people to waste less time. We can go on the metric system and promote international work standards. We can try to develop an international commercial code to settle disputes.

None of these improvements will be easy. For a long time we will have to continue to do business as we are already doing it. The likelihood of mistakes, omissions, misunderstandings and misinterpretations in international bargaining will surely increase until we get a better handle on time and work differences.

Time is money. Few people are more aware of this than Americans. They rush from here to there making the most of the time they have. But there is a problem. In negotiation the expression “time is money” means something else. It means that the more time you give to a negotiation, the better both parties are likely to do, and the better you will do.

When Americans go into a bargaining situation, they want quick results. Other cultures take lots more time. They seem to know better than we do what “time is money” really means as it relates to the negotiating process. They know it means taking the time to get the story and making a both-win deal.

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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