Intercultural Workshop - "Negotiating - Deal Making"

On Wednesday 14th of March, The French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce organised a new session of the committee dedicated to the topic France-Norway: Doing business beyond cultural differences. The sessions are held in cooperation with Mrs Kéa OSTOVANY, Senior Consultant and Executive Coach at Implement Consulting Group.

This new workshop focused on “Negotiating-Deal making” with the expertise of two CCFN members.

The first speaker was Mr Christian Romer Vingtoft, Partner at Implement Consulting Group. In his current position, he has been leading negotiations for the last 8 years and notably worked for the EU and the UN. With 25 years of experience negotiating in more than 40 countries, Christian shared his key success factors to undertake commercial negotiations in an intercultural context. Christian introduced this new workshop by highlighting the fact that stereotypes and the way we look at each other influence the way we negotiate.

Mrs Annie PIN, the second speaker and CEO at ALD Automotive AS, European leader in mobility services, wanted to take this intercultural workshop as an opportunity to share her good and bad experiences on how to negotiate as a foreigner in a new country (France, Norway, Denmark, China, and so on) with the participants. She insisted on the fact that cultural differences in negotiations are very important as well as gender differences in a man’s world.

Most of the CCFN companies’ members face the same problem: how do we build a company with different cultures and negotiate internationally?

Christian insisted on how difficult it can be to activate the “slow mode” of the brain in order to think, build and prepare a good negotiation. Several ways of doing this exist. Building a preparation game internally or discussing the negotiation to come with our colleagues could be one of those.

Based on how the human brain works, the negotiators tend to focus more about stereotypes than the people in front of them. Christian encourages to “not culturally stereotype and think of the person first”. Finding what really matters to the interlocutors and what people value the most is one of the keys for succeeding in negotiations. Annie pointed out the difficulty in Business to find “win-win” situations and how she has worked to understand what is new in order to develop business opportunities (for example through online training). To know more about this, Christian referred to the book “Give and take” by Adam Grant.

Finally, Christian illustrated how Negotiating – Deal Making between Norwegian and French people can be even more complicated when we refer to the Lewis Model about cultural types.

French people are considered to be “linear” and jumping into final conclusions whilst Norwegians will most likely communicate in a “multi-active” way, trying to find explorative ways.

The CCFN would like to thank all the participants, the two speakers and, most particularly, Implement Consulting Group for this successful event.




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