My boyfriend was not a selfish, treacherous bastard… he was just Japanese

Most people think that resolving cross-cultural conflict is about spotting and dealing with differences. I think this is wrong because cultural differences are easier to handle. Differences invite us to be careful with our judgments and to enquire on our counterpart’s intentions and motivations; in contrast, cultural similarities temp us to make hasty judgments, and assume that we already know the intentions and motivations of our counterpart.

Advertisements

Most of us think that resolving cross-cultural conflict is about spotting and dealing with differences. Thus, we pay attention to the behaviours and customs we find odd and strange. I think this is wrong because cultural differences invite us to be careful with our judgments and to enquire on our counterpart’s intentions and motivations. In contrast, cultural similarities tempt us to assume that we already know the intentions and motivations of our counterpart. As in the following anecdote, this could be the mother of all cross-cultural mistakes.

Continue reading “My boyfriend was not a selfish, treacherous bastard… he was just Japanese”

Rational negotiations have feelings too

A dispute between TransLink—the region’s public transit authority—and some post-secondary students made the cover of the Vancouver Sun on Monday last week. Although the students rightfully claim to be unfairly treated, negotiation and decision analysis shows that they made irrational choices in the past. On the other hand, TransLink could have handled more effectively the emotions involved in these negotiations.

A dispute between TransLink—the public transit authority in Vancouver, BC—and some post-secondary students made the cover of the Vancouver Sun on Monday last week. Although the students rightfully claim to be unfairly treated, negotiation and decision analysis shows that they made irrational choices in the past. On the other hand, TransLink could have handled more effectively the emotions involved in these negotiations.

Continue reading “Rational negotiations have feelings too”