The Wisdom of Training Manuals

Since training manuals actually have a practical purpose, they tend to be a whole lot more honest than official speak.

Take for instance a Canadian training manual for their diplomats:

A training manual for Canadian diplomats lists the United States as a country where prisoners risk torture and abuse, citing interrogation techniques such as stripping prisoners, blindfolding and sleep deprivation.

It also names Israel, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Syria as places where inmates could face torture.

Or how about this Arab Cultural Awareness training manual produced by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence for the U.S. Army. Too bad the Bush Administration didn’t read it since they were telling us that the Iraqis would greet us with arms wide open.

Successful Negotiation Suggestions

  • Use Policies of Inclusion: Consult and involve in negotiations all the power brokers that have the ability to affect your project.
  • Xenophobia: Be prepared for some distrust of foreigners.
  • Historically, Middle Easterners perceive foreigners in the
    Middle East as invaders or exploiters.
  • Bartering: Expect Bartering- Expect an Arab to ask for what
    he wants rather than merely what he needs. Work towards a
    satisfactory medium.
  • Personal Provisions: Some Arabs may ask for provisions
    that appear self-serving. Personal rewards are a normal part
    of negotiation in the Arab world.
  • Commitment: Do not put your guests / hosts in a position to
    commit to a firm ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in front of other Arabs. Social
    pressure could compel your guest/host to agree to a commitment he has no intention of keeping.
  • Long Range Planning: Never accept a firm commitment
    farther than a week out at face value. Arab culture and the
    concept of fatalism are not conducive to long range planning
    and require at least a confirmation in the week prior to the
    planned event.
  • Compliance: To compel an Arab to keep a commitment in
    which he appears not to be keeping, attempt an indirect
    approach first before direct confrontation. Having a peer
    gently remind him of his commitment, could prevent him from
    feeling an affront to his honor. Keep verbal commitments or
    risk reinforcing the perception that “America never keeps its

Cross posted on The Implied Observer.


    ~ by daranee on January 19, 2008.

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