Using Strategy Three – ‘Murder with a borrowed knife’ in a Chinese business environment which means “to conserve energy by using another person’s strength”

To function successfully in the Greater China Region, and therefore maximise your business success, knowledge of the Chinese negotiating culture, which means how the 36 Chinese Strategies are used, is your greatest asset.

To give yourself an advantage in the Chinese business environment, learn how you can use these clever strategies so you can play the game of negotiation with your Chinese counterparts with confidence.  One of the 36 Chinese Strategies you can use is Strategy Three – ‘Murder with a borrowed knife’ 借刀杀人 which means “to conserve energy by using another person’s strength”

For you to use Strategy Three when you are dealing with Chinese people, the most crucial element is having a hierarchy that is clear to all members of your team. This hierarchical structure will give you the opportunity to have questions directed to a person of lower status than the leader, which means your leader gets to preserve their strength. To do this you need to decide on this hierarchy before you meet with your Chinese contacts. Remember your team is unlikely to be familiar with such a hierarchical way of working, as most Western businesses operate with much flatter structures, with little distance or difference in power between the top and lower levels. Working out the hierarchy in advance will help your team understand what is expected of them.

You establish this hierarchy by introducing your team in order, from the most important to the least important person. You can also reinforce this hierarchy with seating, where the most important person sits in the middle and the next most important person sits on either side of them and so on, with the least important person at the most inconvenient end of the table.

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