Saturday, July 5, 2008

My Japanese Odyssey

The art of Negotiation is vastly different in a japanese perspective to what we consider the conventional perspective or what we are normally used to . Very often the impression/mindset we have is being articulative , forceful communicator , who wins the argument with Logic as the ideal way of going about the art of Negotiation . In Japan this might not work in most cases, a person with the above skills might be mostly regarded as rude , aggressive and at times even vulgar. 
Another aspect being in general you will not come across Japanese as self centered or being irrational , if you do come across then it is more of an exception. The trait of showing economic value to a buyer and being passionate about the company or its product in a non Japanese environment is a huge positive . But in Japan context unless it is tempered with a liberal dose of being sympathetic to the personal issues / organization will not yield the best results for you.  The truth is that the Japanese do not like negotiation . The instinct is for agreements worked back stage with give and take , harmony and long term interest. But it is still commonly accepted that if two parties trust each other , money and other details need not be discussed. Thus to this date in most industries in japan neither contracts nor invoices nor product catalogues are used . To read the fine print of the contract is sacrilege and to do so would imply a lack of trust. 

The fact that one can also meet Japanese businessmen who are manifestly self centered and cold "economic animals" is in my view, only to encounter exceptions to a still valid generalization. 
The odyssey continues......

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