So you’ve got some upcoming deals down under? This is your guide to the best negotiated outcomes with Australians.
From politics to footy to the boardroom, Australians tend to value certain characteristics and negotiating styles. Every individual is different, and you should certainly always be on the lookout for the vast numbers of people who don’t conform to their cultural stereotype, but that doesn’t erase the fact that cultural norms do exist… meaning you can use those traits to your advantage. Here are our top five Aussie values, and how to play to them in your negotiation:
- ‘Larrikin-ness‘: Australians use humour to lighten formal settings, to establish rapport with acquaintances and friends, and as a general conversational style. We are often skeptical of all-business types, and will typically be less generous in information sharing accordingly. Try not to jump into serious business talk too soon in your meeting, and keep your conversational style respectful but casual.
- ‘Struth-ness’: Australians will shoot straight from the hip with business proposals. We respect a no frills, clear-cut communication style. Try to be clear about your intentions, and support them with strong data over strong emotion.
- ‘Under-Dog-ness’: Bragging about status and title is a no go for Aussies. We will rarely be intimidated by statements alluding to rank, and are generally distrustful of authority. Likewise, it is common for all members of our negotiation team, regardless of rank, to speak up in business settings about our ideas. While personal achievements may be respected, try to avoid falling back on your title and focus more on the value of your proposal.
- ‘Beers-All-Round-ness’: Aussies love a fair go for all (just ask any politician!). We are a typically cooperative people who are open to compromise if it is seen as helpful for all to move forward in a negotiation. Our preference is for a win-win outcome. Try to demonstrate an appreciation of this value with reciprocated acts of trust. This will also assist in maintaining long-term business relationships.
- ‘Mateship’: This is one of the most identifiable Aussie characteristics. Often associated with the diggers in WWI, the word evokes the idea of an authentic friend, men and women alike. To be called a mate is a term of endearment, and should be taken as a positive sign if you are called one. Try to avoid using it in any forced or unnatural manner.
Follow that advice and you’ll be stoked with your negotiation outcome with any Aussie!