Managing a cross-cultural negotiation is tricky and complicated affair at the best of times. When these negotiations occur in a foreign language environment it can be even more so, particularly if you allow yourself to become lost in the discussion. It is easy to feel left out of the loop when those around you are in discussion in a language you don't understand. You can feel distanced and become distracted, and it can impact on your natural communicative flow. Many challenges arise from the use of translators in business and it is how you manage these challenges that may well determine the ultimate success of your business negotiations.
There is a lot of discussion amongst the media, business and government about the need to “go to Asia”, however it is often difficult for business owners and executives to know what is realistic and achievable when exploring Asian markets, and even more difficult to know which market to focus your attention, time and financial resources. Every day there are articles in the news media about the importance of Asia to the Australian economy, and regularly stories of the huge potential for Australian products in Asia. All of this is very true, however, its important to ask the question: Where is the best market opportunity for my company, my product/service mix, and what is a reasonable timeline for achieving results?