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Impact of Geography and History Singapore is a small island open economy Dependent on services and hi-tech industries This influences the culture of Singaporeans Makes them less risk averse and conservative More disciplined and hard working Influences their biz style and negotiation styles
Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension Legend: PDI- Power Distance IDV-Individualism MAS-Masculinity UAI- Uncertainty Avoidance LTO- Long Term Orientation Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/singapore.html
Relationship and Respect Group-oriented Business relationships mostly exist between individuals rather than companies “Saving face” Values include humility, experience and team spirit
Communication-1 Speak in quiet, gentle tones Silence during conversations does not have a negative meaning Be indirect Being direct is considered rude or pushy What does “yes” or “no” mean? “Yes” does not mean they agree with you, only that they heard you “No” means they are not interested
Communication-2 Negative messages can be delivered through a third party (“saving face”) Non-verbal communication is important Avoid physical contact except for handshake Do not touch their head! Point with the hand, not with a finger Sucking in air means there’s a problem Too much eye contact is considered rude and intrusive Avoid facial expressions that express disagreement Laughter may be used to hide embarrassment, shyness, disapproval, and distress
Initial Contact & Meetings Better to conduct negotiations with a team signals importance, facilitates stronger relationship, speeds up process Be well aligned in team; clear role assigned to each member They are good at exploiting disagreements in opposite team Provide details on titles, positions, responsibilities well in advance Singaporeans want to know whom they will be meeting Do not try to hurry along with your agenda It is unrealistic to expect initial meetings to lead to straight decisions
At the Negotiation Table Talk to the person at the right level Decision making can be slow or impossible Coming with unorthodox new ideas will take some convincing Uncharted territories need one or the other govt. approvalsSome important tips: - Ask where you should sit or wait to be seated - Carefully try to establish who makes the decisions - Be well prepared and establish expectations level at the start
Negotiation Styles Attitudes and Styles Relationships can be used as a leverage Value long term relationships than short term gains Respect hard bargainers as long as they avoid creating direct conflict Pace of Negotiation Relationship building, information gathering, bargaining, and decision making can take considerable time be patient, control your emotions, and accept that delays occur Bargaining Style Love bargaining and haggling May use a wide array of negotiation techniques quite competently