Abstract Along with the development of economic globalization

Abstract

Along with the development of economic globalization, trade between
China and the United States has increased immensely, and business
negotiation plays an essential role in this trade. Traditional Sino-US
business negotiation emphasizes verbal communication potentially
overlooking valuable information expressed through nonverbal
communication. Failing to notice these valuable cues and cultural
differences in nonverbal communication cause misunderstanding and
conflict in Sino-US business negotiations. This thesis talks about the
importance of universal and culture-specific nonverbal communication in
Sino-US business negotiations through the method of analysis and
comparison, resulting in the observation of two significant points:
understanding nonverbal communication helps to reveal the opposing
negotiator’s real intentions; and cultural differences result in
variability within nonverbal communication, both in manner and meaning.
Business negotiators should better understand these two important points
in order to improve the success rate of Sino-US business negotiations.

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1?Introduction 1.1 An introduction to the study When communicating,
what we say with our spoken words might not match the message shown by
our body movements. All types of communication expressed without words
are defined as nonverbal communication. Communication that doesn’t use
words happens all the time, especially in high-stress situations such as
business negotiations. To have a successful negotiation, the
negotiators must master the language skills of negotiation and
bargaining, but that is not good enough. In fact, because most
nonverbal messages are not consciously controlled, many negotiators are
not even aware that they are doing so. Most voluntary nonverbal
communication is in the form of gestures which may have culturally
sensitive differences in meaning. A successful negotiator needs to be
aware of nonverbal communication, both in terms of controlling their own
to the extent possible, as well as noticing that of the opposing
negotiators’ in order to catch deception and avoid cultural
misunderstandings.

1.1 The objective of the study With the rapid development of China’s
economy, careful attention should be paid to business negotiations
between China and the United States because Sino-US economic and trade
cooperation has become an important force to promote the process of
global integration. At present, the study of business negotiation in
China and the west mainly focuses on strategies within verbal
communication, with a lack of attention to nonverbal communication. In
fact nonverbal communication sometimes plays a more important role in
business negotiation than verbal communication. If we ignore the role of
nonverbal communication, it will cause misunderstanding and conflict,
which may even lead to the failure of business negotiation. This
thesis mainly states the importance and variability of nonverbal
communication in business negotiations, then explores how to use and
understand body language in negotiations. This paper further explores
the role and influence of nonverbal communication in Sino-US business
negotiations with the aim of increasing attention to nonverbal
communication in Sino-US business negotiations.

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1.2 The methodology of the study

Through a search of authoritative literature at home and abroad, an
analysis and comparison of nonverbal communication, both universal and
culture-specific, with examples, this thesis aims to prove that
understanding both universal and culture-specific nonverbal
communication in Sino-US business negotiations plays a crucial role in
success.

1.3 The structure of the study

The thesis has been divided into five chapters. A brief Introduction is
in the first chapter of the thesis, including the objective, research
method, structure and the significance of the study. Chapter two reviews
past studies of nonverbal communication in business negotiation at home
and abroad. The main parts of this thesis are in the third and fourth
chapters. The third chapter mainly talks about the definition, function
and classification of universal nonverbal communication with specific
regard to its applications and implications in Sino-US Business
Negotiation. The fourth chapter intends to reveal how nonverbal
communication is influenced by culture and lists the classification and
application of culture-specific nonverbal communication relevant to the
context of business negotiations. The last chapter is the conclusion,
which indicates the limitation of my study and gives some suggestions to
business English negotiators.

1.4 The significance of the study

Negotiators can use nonverbal behavioral patterns to more easily detect
truth and lies, project a more confident and powerful presence,
persuade, influence, and sell better, put opponents at ease, create a
sense of trust, and foster a more friendly interaction within business
negotiations. Nonverbal communication is also deeply affected by
different cultural backgrounds, which result in different modes of
thinking and codes of conduct, so international business negotiators
must seriously study their opponent’s cultural background with regard to
its impact on nonverbal communication in order to make timely and
correct judgments and respond appropriately to given nonverbal messages.
Being aware of nonverbal messages will provide an important advantage at
the negotiating table.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Studies on Nonverbal Communication in Business Negotiation Abroad

Human communication is divided into verbal communication and nonverbal
communication. In the early twentieth Century, the most influential work
on nonverbal communication was “The Expression of the Emotions in Man
and Animals” (Darwin C., R. 1872). This work started the modernization
of the human study of facial expressions. Circa 1950, the introduction
of body language by American psychologist Birdwhistell and the American
scholar Edward Hall were two milestones in nonverbal communication. “The
Silent Language” (E.T. Hall, 1959) first put forward the subject of
proxemics, the four factors that influence communication distance
(gender, age, relationship, and culture). Hall shows that culture plays
a crucial role in proxemics. The book “What Every Body is Saying” (Joe
Navarro, 2008) focuses on how to read body language and recognize areas
of stress and discomfort in the speaker when discussing sensitive
topics.

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