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Advice on negotiating with Thai people.

Discussion in 'Residing in Thailand' started by bahn_farang, 17 Jan 2017.

  1. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Afternoon, it was't a good morning and see no reason for it to be a better afternoon.

    Older members may have noticed I have been a little off my game recently, and this is no place to wash my dirty linen in public but safe to say I, in all the time I have been in Thailand, have never been more stressed than now.

    With this in mind...

    I will be having a meeting with some Thai people quite soon (won't say what it's about, not to be cryptic but rather would prefer not to) but it is outside of my employment, it is non school related

    What advice is out there to negotiate with Thais.

    I know I need to keep calm but beyond that there are times when I just have no idea. When I have tried to speak my true feelings, I have been told to keep calm. Any advice would be great
     
  2. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    Yup. Noticed that.

    Not only stay and be calm. Do not show any anger in voice, gesture and expressions.

    In Thai culture we have the 'mai pen rai' thing. Don't go to deep into things that happened in the past and don't try to justify your past actions. However, it's natural, I know.

    Admit if you've have done things wrong. Bend negative things and accusations to positives in a way of 'what if I..........', 'assume I ..........', 'as of today I ...........', 'if we would do this .....', 'what can I do to ......'.

    All the best to you and hope everything works out well for you.
     
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  3. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Stamp
     
  4. Tonyja

    Tonyja Well-Known Member

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    Be firm with your requirements, but smile. Make sure they listen to your story, normally they love to switch off and wait until its their turn to speak, completely ignoring your side.
    1, calm
    2. firm
    3. make sure they get your point
     
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  5. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Thank you tiredtony
     
  6. Hey_ewe

    Hey_ewe Well-Known Member

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    Thai people can be a pain in the arse to deal with when it comes to work or business. It's a totally different dynamic when they are dealing with a foreigner, deliberately so in many cases.

    I would say calm persistence is helpful. If it's a boss or similar high status person I try and find choosing the right time is helpful. Be prepared to explain your case in several different ways. In situations where I have had to stick to my guns or be screwed over, I have resorted to being incredibly stubborn. Always keep smiling and don't lose your cool outwardly even if your blood is boiling underneath, if you lose your shit then its game over and they will never capitulate out of spite.

    Good luck!
     
  7. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Dear BF,

    Yep, I do have noticed that you've changed a bit and I truly hope that you'll get the best possible advice here. I'm now just trying to be in your shoes and no matter what has happened you'll meet some Thais soon to sort something out that might, or might not be difficult.

    2016 was really a wake-up call year for me and I'm thankful that an old member of this forum gave me some great advice and I really started to change many things and finally see everything as it really is, not how I want them to be.

    What you might see as a big problem could easily be something that can be solved without tears, the way how you look at things is very important. Please be aware that too many foreigners who're currently living in Thailand are having bigger problems.

    Some finally gave up and only alcohol helps them to get up day by day.

    As a volunteer for a certain organization helping particular nationals in emergency situations, I've visited foreigners who tried to commit suicide, foreigners who were in life-threatening situations without any money, friends, etc, and those who were out of money because they'd lost all they had, including their house, life savings, friends they thought they'd have..

    The last three months report was quite shocking with people who flew to Thailand to end their lives here. People who have Aids and stopped taking their meds, but were finally brought to attention by some friendly Thais. People who had accidents where they killed innocent people under the influence of alcohol'drugs, people who got caught on long overstays and people who suffer from Alzheimer's and other diseases, not knowing who and where they are. A very sad and endless list of human suffering in the Land of Smiles. And all that in a relatively short period of three months.

    But all had something in common in form of a cheating/dishonest/gambling Thai wife, or gf. A lot of them didn't want to listen to friends who pointed out that they lose all his money in gambling. Some acted like everything would be fine, even after they found out that their house already belonged to a bank and money sharks were waiting for a bigger sum, payable yesterday.

    And I'm talking about the ones who come and first break a knee cap if the payback doesn't work well and if that doesn't help they tell them to better hang themselves otherwise they'd do that for them if they don't pay. A woman not too far from our place did that a couple of years ago.

    The money shark then got killed a few months later by two armed guys on a motorbike when he wanted to eat his Somtham at a restaurant in the middle of the city in bright daylight.

    A few points from my side:

    Take a Thai person ( so higher his/her social status is, so better) with you that could be a friend, a relative, etc...but I wouldn't necessarily take my own wife. The reason for that is that I found out that my wife never tells me when she doesn't get something in English when I speak faster.

    My son pointed that out only a few months ago and it can lead ( and it really did) to plenty of misunderstandings where we had some arguments with each other. And I guess your wife isn't much different, without wanting to hurt you.

    Be well dressed and don't wear shorts and flip flops, in the end, you're a teacher no matter what has happened. If it's something where the cops are already involved, please be aware that the person "wins" who pays more to the officer who's having the case. ( Not wanting to start any speculations here).

    Never lose your temper, whatever somebody will say about you to others, never get loud, no matter how wrong the acquisition(s) of people are. Keep smiling and friendly no matter what somebody's trying to do to you, or to your family.

    If it's something where the coppers are involved, please be aware that the sum of 50 K can, and often will change a "serious police report" in a way that a drunk driver was completely sober and vice versa. Or make the victim to the aggressor. And that's no hearsay now.

    I hope that you'll find the right solution to your problem and see life as it is. It sometimes really sucks, but we usually only have one and it can be very nice.

    “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Albert E. :chinrub
     
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  8. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    thank you Hey_ewe and Sirchai for taking the time to help me.
     
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  9. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Well-Known Member

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    Hi BF, as others have said, and you know this anyway, in Thailand calm, courteous, quiet, firm go a long way.

    As in any negotiation, there must be a variety of positions you, and they, can take. Thinking these through in advance will help.

    If it is something that is fairly low-level, and on the local front, the village presidents are trained to arbitrate. And though their decisions are binding, you can appeal against them.

    But my first question would be - what language is this negotiation in, and is your Thai and/or their English good enough not to need an interpreter?
     
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  10. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome and please think positive. That moves mountains. Cheers, mate.
     
  11. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and present your solution or position in a way that enables them to save face!
     
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  12. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    A real good and very valid point, Don. There's a huge difference if the "discussion" is held in Isaan Thai, or in more or less broken English.

    My Thai gets me a lot of decent conversations in Isan and in Thai, but I'd never ever try to solve a problem with my language skills.

    And wives aren't always that helpful, as some Thais look down at Thai women who married a foreigner.

    Some of our wives do seem to believe that they've made it and are financially better of. But that's not a good way to go. BF, it's a difficult question you threw in.

    I hope that you make sure that all involved keep calm and the problem can be solved easily.

    If it's in the village it's always good to have the Phoojaybaan on your side and with you as a sort of judge.

    These guys are usually there to solve problems that occur in daily lives. Cheers-
     
  13. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if this applies, but here goes:

    Personal appearance is important. You want to appear subharp: get a fresh haircut, wear some nice clothes, not over-dressed, but nothing old and worn. Made sure to get a shave, of course. If it is really bad I would even buy some new clothes, everything.

    I would wai them when I first see them.

    If it is really bad, I would wake up early and feed the monks that morning. As you know, Thai people talk about us, what we do, etc.

    Of course, as Stamp said, you cannot show anger, you know that--even when you are completely in the right. I would be very careful about showing your true feelings. Actually, I would avoid that completely, it just confuses them. I would also smile at the right time, the worst weapon in the Thai inventory and the best defense.

    I have been in a couple nasty situations, and what I said to myself is that I have to out-Thai them: heavy on the deception, don't dare show what you really think, do not take the straight path, smile at the right time. Try to not be angry and whatever else you do, don't lost control of yourself--no matter what!

    Whatever message you have: don't say it, kind of suggest it. Don't make anyone in front of you lose face.


    If you have a gold chain with an amulet, wear it, the chain slightly visible. Also show them you are with the Thai program by acting appropriately, all that stuff above.
     
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  14. Hey_ewe

    Hey_ewe Well-Known Member

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    ^^ That’s a great piece of advice. A tactic often used in Thai workplaces. ^^

    You definitely need to play by the Thai rules BUT don’t be so mild mannered or deferent that you get pushed around- its a fine balancing act. I know of situations where people have been so afraid of offending Thai sensitivities that they’ve ended up backing down. The “Thai culture” and “Falang jai lorn.” cards get pulled out by Thais as a face saving get out of jail free cards to mitigate their poor behaviour. You can stick to your guns just as well whilst smiling like a hindu cow!!

    If the matter is a legal matter or has the potential to go that way, then perhaps some form of legal representation might help. Mainly because they know the system but also because they can explain things in a detached manner, rather than allowing emotions and stress to confuse things. There are a number of foreign law firms, who are run by and for foreigners but staffed with English speaking Thai lawyers. PM me if you want a recommendation for a good firm in the North East. They did a good job for a friend of mine in mediating over a deposit for house.

    I have carried out quite a lot of mediation in neighbour disputes, domestics, fights etc. in my former life and mediation is no cure all but it can make things much smoother and less stressful.

    Get your arguments down on paper, it will help you to visualise what you have to put across. It’s clear that this situation is causing you stress, so just seeing things clearly can help you realise that the problem can be resolved.

    I hope whatever your situation is, that it can be resolved soon. I have had a few seriously stressful situations to deal with over the years as I am sure we all have. On reflection, they’ve often been the spark that has created great opportunities.

    Remember that in Thailand there’s always a way.
     
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  15. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much guys me and the wife have been running to this person and that today asking what we should do. Finally we sat down together and read your posts together. I know that most of those who have posted, I have in the past had disagreements with so the quality advice means all that more to me. Thank you
     
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