Weiss’s Culturally Responsive Strategies(3)

High Familiarity


Embrace the Other Negotiator’s Approach (Unilateral Strategy)


This strategy involves completely adopting the approach of the other negotiator. To be used successfully, the negotiator needs to be completely bilingual and bicultural. In essence, the negotiator using this strategy doesn’t act like a Roman; he or she is a Roman. This strategy is costly in preparation time and expense, and it places the negotiator using it under considerable stress because it is difficult to switch back and forth rapidly between cultures. However, there is much to gain by using this strategy because the other negotiator can be approached and understood completely on his or her own terms.


Improvise an Approach (Joint Strategy)


This strategy involves crafting an approach that is specifically tailored to the negotiation situation, other negotiator, and circumstances. To use this approach, both parties to the negotiation need to have high familiarity with the other party’s culture and a strong understanding of the individual characteristics of the other negotiator. The negotiation that emerges with this approach can be crafted by adopting aspects from both cultures when they will be useful. This approach is the most flexible of the eight strategies, which is both its strength and weakness. Flexibility is a strength because it allows the approach to be crafted to the circumstances at hand, but it is a weakness because there are few general prescriptive statements that can be made about how to use this strategy.


Effect Symphony (Joint Strategy)


This strategy allows negotiators to create a new approach that may include aspects of either home culture or adopt practices from a third culture. Professional diplomats use such an approach when the customs, norms, and language they use transcend national borders and form their own culture (diplomacy). Use of this strategy is complex and involves a great deal of time and effort. It works best when the parties are familiar with each other and with both home cultures and have a common structure (like that of professional diplomats) for the negotiation. Risks of using this strategy include costs due to confusion, lost time, and the overall effort required to make it work.