Global Business Culture: Should Our 'Yes' Mean 'Maybe?"

The opening paragraph of an article written by Susannah Palk; based on an interview she did with Dean Foster on the Nigerian business culture states:

“In a business culture where negotiations are fluid and what's agreed on Monday might not necessarily mean the same thing on Tuesday, how do you get the job done?It's a challenge some foreigners encounter when doing business in Nigeria.”

Dean Foster further tells CNN that;

“"The bottom line is that you cannot expect to go into Nigeria, make the deal, turn around, walk out and expect things to go as planned."

My personal opinion is that we often make promises under pressure without any idea of how we will fulfil those promises. People borrow money that they have no idea how they will payback.

People say ‘yes’ to things so that they can get something in the short term and then renege on their ‘yes’ when it is not convenient for them to keep their word. Keeping your word only when it is very convenient means that you do not honour what you say. Integrity includes being able to honour your word.

Two tips on improving your trust meter with others:1.

1. Don’t make promises under pressure

2. Know that promises are meant to be kept so only make promises that you are clear on how you intend to keep the promise.

We have cultivated a culture where ‘yes’ does often mean ‘maybe’ and it is not adding any value to our ease of doing business in Nigeria.

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