1. In the professional work setting, the Western individual (from a primarily Socratic-based culture) views a negotiation setting as relatively flat and horizontal. Although some hierarchy and reporting lines exist on paper, in effect, each employee is expected to be proactive, which includes the acceptance of suggestions to question and improve existing structures and methods.
2. When the Socratic-based negotiator is given a task by another team member, asking “why?” is not a bad thing. In fact, not asking “why?” may be viewed as inappropriate inaction. In other words, from the outset, Socratic-based negotiators see most (but not all) things as potentially negotiable, in stark contrast to collective-based negotiators.
3. In many Confucian (collectivist) negotiation settings, however, such rationale and negotiation approach is at times seen as a cold, impersonal and detached process, counter to the Confucian bargainer’s basic instincts and training.
4. In stark contrast, the typical Confucian, collective-based individual is and has been brought up in a relatively more strict and vertically based social structure (which can also be viewed as one’s “operating system,” “thinking process,” and “cultural standards”), in which dominant authority figures effectively lay down the “law” in a particular working environment.
5. The Confucian, collective-based future negotiator, is in many instances told (in a “command and control” method), not asked, what to do or execute in a business setting, rather than being asked for “creative feedback” as to particular task or negotiation issue (although this will vary from organization to organization).