Khoo Ling In
Negotiation is what we likely to do when we trying to get someone or a group of people to say yes to us. According to Corvette B.A.B (2007), negotiation is a process where people interact to reach a desired goal. Negotiation happens in everyday life. No matter which profession we are in or in our personal daily life, we use negotiation very often whether we realise or not. Knowing about yourself is necessary in getting to know others. When this step is successful, then we can identify the styles of negotiation to reach a mutual goal. However, one’s culture can affect how a person is and how they react to circumstances. Also, culture could act upon gender differences whereby men and women have different ways in negotiation and communication (Bohnet & Bolwes, 2008).
Emotional intelligence (EI) should be possessed by leaders and is important when facing different challenges as well as trying to cope with ever changing settings. Studies found support that there were significance in changing behaviour to different context (Secord & Beckman 1969; Piderit, 2000 as cited in Hudani, Redzuan & Hamsan, 2012). Moreover, personality as well as EI had importance in achieving goals and coping in changing settings (Eby, Adam, Russel & Gaby, 2000 as cited in Hudani, Redzuan & Hamsan, 2012). George and Jones (2001) highlight that emotional intelligent workers have the tendency to adapt to different emotional settings when there are needs for the change because they understand the feelings and emotion they are currently experiencing (as cited in Vakola, Tsaousis & Nikolaou, 2004). Furthermore, McCrae (2000); Caruso et al (2002), Zadal (2004); Vakola et al (2004) and Shulman et al. (2006) found that EI acts as an independent variable on personality (as cited in Hudani et al, 2012). Empathy is one of the components in EI which contributes in allowing managers to sense the feelings of others and connect with employees using communication. Moghadam, Tehrani & Amin (2011) found managers with high EI have intuiting style of deciding. Adding to that, Higgs (2001) found positive relationship between EI and intuition function on MBTI (as cited in Hudani et al, 2012; Thomson, 2006). People with ENTJ score high for EI (Thomson, 2006). Nevertheless, Big Five personality factors also dominate in organizational context and are widely pre-exposed across cultures (Vakola, Tsaousis & Nikolaou, 2004). The five models are usually categories as openness to experience (experience seekers), conscientiousness (achievement strikers), extraversion (excitement seekers), agreeableness (trustworthy and modesty) and lastly neuroticism (self-conscious and vulnerability). Study indicates that there are positive relationship between openness to experience, conscientiousness and agreeableness while neuroticism is negatively related with EI (Vakola et al, 2004; Mayer, Salovey & Caruso, 2008). However, the study also showed there were no relation between extraversion and EI. Though there were no relation in Vakola’s study, they found that extraversion do show linkage to emotional intelligence through happiness (Furhnam & Christoforou, 2007). However in Thomson study, extraversion is found to be one of the traits in Jungian preference that relates to EI. Furthermore, Van der Zee and Van Oudenhoven (2000) imply that empathy in culture is linked strongly with Agreeableness (as cited in Ahmadi, Shahmohamadi & Araghi, 2011) because individuals reciprocate to maintain their positions in society.
Each culture has its own norm of behaviour (personality) and each person being in different culture has different acceptable roles in society by gender (Lieh, 2006; Corvette, 2007). Different culture has different emphasis on negotiation methods by means the way each gender communicate or behave. For example in masculine culture, they are more confidence, independency and goal oriented while in feminine culture, they are more likely to be modest, cooperate and relationship focused (Rogoveanu, 2010). Men and women both have different roles in society, how they think and feel differ in cultural settings (Weisberg, DeYoung & Hirsh, 2011). Many researchers studied on gender as a personality itself or generally a context in communication and negotiation and results shown that men and women fit the gender stereotypical idea of men are more competitive in bargaining and would ask for more compare to women, however as the study continues, it showed gender does not affect how a person negotiate but one acts on saliency to situation (Bohnet & Bolwes, 2008). Weisberg et al (2011) found that women are more agreeable compared to men because they are more of caring and altruistic. As supported in Corvette (2007), women communicate using understanding while men focus on status. Cuddy, Crotty, Chong and Norton (2010) indicate than Asian people (Koreans) are more interrelationship than Westerners (Americans), also within each culture, Korean men are more relationship oriented compared to Korean women and American men are more independent than American women. Men are seen as self -reliant when individualism are being emphasised because they are said to have less social network among friends while interdependent when relationship are seen as an importance in the culture because they have close contact with friends (Cuddy et al, 2010). Corporation with tremendous social identity culture, in an all women group, their cooperation and productive skills increase while men’s decrease because women nurture collaboration, even when negotiating with strangers but men emphasis on challenge (Croson, Marks & Snyder, 2008). In Western culture, women scored higher in emotional stability, agreeableness and openness to emotions while men show more in self-confidence and ideas oriented, also the study reported that gender differences vary in different cultures but show significant high score in Europe and America people (Guimond et al, 2007; Schmitt et al, 2008). Asians are more cooperative when working in groups and most likely to mask their emotions when facing conflict whereas American reported otherwise (Morris et al, 1998 as cited in Azad & Adair, 2011). Likewise those living in individualistic culture, prefer independence and self-autonomy while collectivistic people favour harmony and relationships. Azad & Adair (2011) found that men show more aggression in nonverbal cue compare to women and Chinese negotiators show high result compared to Canadian’s.
Men and women have different styles of communication when they are doing negotiating. Until today men are seen to be more hardworking and task oriented while women are still relationship focus (Merchant, 2012). Australian statistics reported that about 46% of women contribute to workforce but only 3.5% took up CEO roles (Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2013). Even though they are successful in their career but they are still counted as poor negotiators because they ask for less and sometimes they will go for initial offers for example salary (Babcock & Laschever 2007 as cited in Bowles & McGinn, 2008). This is because women do not want to complicate the situation so they ask for less to maintain relationship between both parties. There are still men who underestimate women such as those who live in America and Africa. These women are gender stereotypes as a person who is nice, warmth yet they somehow being perceived as simple and easily being cheated (Moghadam, 2007; Kray, 2011). However, I think this phenomenon has changed over time. For example in Beijing. Statistic shown that women have higher percentage working in media profession compared to men (Lindh, 2006). More women are willing to step out of their box to the working realm and compete with men for jobs. Anyhow, based on Corvette (2007), men converse for status while women converse for connection. I personally think that countries like American and Japanese fit the phenomenon until today. American men use dominancy when communication to attract audience, bring up new ideas and are very competitive whereas American women will ask questions and present clear cut attitudes (Ueno, 2004). American women tend to use more ’we and you’ in their conversation in order to involve others in it. Ide (1994) states that Japanese men end their sentences with commanding final particles while women use more calm and relax endings (Ueno, 2004). In conclusion, communication styles differ in each culture and within each culture, men and women communicate and negotiate differently based on their personality and style.