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Maritime Forum

TOPIC: Handling Conflicts and Negotiating with Your Crew

Handling Conflicts and Negotiating with Your Crew 23 Mar 2015 10:54 #4407

  • madhubanti
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The Filipino is generally friendly, peace-loving and sociable fellow. He has a compromising character and is not inclined to confrontation.

When a Westerner's personal rights are trampled upon, his first reaction is ordinarily to complain and fight back. The Filipino is surprised to see Westerners quarrel over disagreements on personal rights and afterwards become friends as if nothing happened at all. This is because the Filipino has been culturally brought up to value harmony. If a Filipino's rights are trampled upon, he first uses the friendly way. He often makes his feelings known through the indirect or roundabout approach.

For him to directly confront someone will have the lasting wounds which by no means of friendly reconciliation can heal. Only after the friendly means (ppakikisama) are exhausted does he resort to violence (pakikibaka).

The Filipino desire for harmony does not mean the absence of actual conflict. Truly enough, for him violence or a direct confrontation is not the first step. However, if put to shame, the Filipino can turn violent.

Any attempt at casting doubt upon or questioning a Filipino's action, integrity and honour even if it is true can elicit vindictive reaction from him. One who publicly denounces a Filipino may only get worse results because he did not follow the cultural norm of first airing grievances privately and

The average Westerner conducts his personal life and his maintenance of law and order on principles of right or wrong; the average Filipino, on sanctions of shame, dishonour, ridicule, or impropriety. The average Westerner is forced to categorize his conduct in universal impersonal terms. The "law is the law" and "right is right," regardless of other considerations.

The average Filipino takes the law from the concrete and personal angle. He has a shame culture and this factor greatly affects his behaviour. A Filipino feels that saving his honour is more important that the truth.

The Westerner's passion for the truth no matter who is hurt is illustrated in exposing the misdeeds of the departed. But this is not the case for the Filipino. Any superior or official's misdeeds are buried with him; his memory is honoured for he has gone.

Take the case of the concept of justice. Justice for the Filipino is not something abstract Being just is something concrete, visible; someone from whom you can elicit sympathy or pity. Justice is the judge, the officer, the superior. The ethics of justice for the Filipino is based on the value of harmony.

Justice for Filipinos is not individualistic but communitarian. The Filipino's concept of justice is "inner self-worth," not necessarily equality to all.

Negotiating with Filipinos requires a deep sense of respect for elders and for authority. It should be done with care and diplomacy in order not to hurt the "inner self-worth" of the Filipinos. The relationship of the negotiators should be a human relationship and possibly in a family atmosphere. Both negotiators should work together for the good of one another without any selfish motive of trying to outdo one another.

Steps in Filipino Negotiation
Intensive preparation for negotiation is essential since this is viewed as following an orderly logical psychological process.
Step One. "Magtapatan ng Loob" or be sure to prepare truthful facts. Both negotiating parties should tell truthfully what they think and feel.
Step Two: "Magkagaangan ng loob" or develop a trusting relationship and atmosphere. Filipinos are persons who go along with persuasion. For example just by setting the negotiation on his or your birthday can be a propitious occasion for negotiation with a Filipino. A birthday is a venerable occasion in the Philippines. A Filipino is supposed to greet even his enemy on his birthday.
Step Three: "Makuha ang loob ng bawa't isa" or harmonize your objectives and intentions with his objectives and intentions. Negotiating with Filipinos must be a win-win situation; an attempt to grant the greatest satisfaction to both parties within their established value range. It assumes an established range of values that are alternatives to both parties.
Fourth Stage: "Magkapanatagan ng loob" or setting the terms of agreement and concentrating on what they are supposed to do. The essence of a good negotiation is making the best possible deal for both negotiating parties without creating long-running problems or injury to both of them.

The negotiation must aim for a mutually beneficial deal. Each negotiating party must put himself in the other person's shoes. The emphasis must be on the fact that both parties involved are satisfied.
It is in the atmosphere of peace of mind that both parties can analyse issues and established common terms. The emotional climate must be conciliatory, emphatic and directed toward problem-solving. The attitudes and behaviour of the negotiators must be trusting, supportive, relaxed, helpful, reasonable and creative. It is in this kind of atmosphere that a Filipino becomes reasonable, condescending and noble.
Fifth Stage: "Puspusang loob na tinutupad ang pinag-usapan" or both parties wholeheartedly fulfil their obligations and live up to the duties and responsibilities of their agreement. Negotiated accords allow the negotiating parties to be both stable in their own areas and flexible in details.
Negotiating with Filipinos demand a holistic approach. One should be logical and sensitive to emotions at the same time.
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DO'S AND DON'TS WITH FILIPINOS 14 Apr 2015 06:42 #4413

  • madhubanti
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Here are some general statements intended to help Masters and officers sailing with Filipino seamen:

1. Filipino's body language:
•The Filipino frequently nods in the middle of a conversation, which simply means, "I understand what you are saying," but it does not mean "yes."
•The eyebrows are raised in recognition, and to answer "yes."
•Establishing eye contact is a recognition signal. A smile to go with it becomes a friendly "hello" without words.
•The lips are used to point "Sst-Sst" is used to get attention.
•Clucking (like giggling) is used to show sympathy.
•The common signal for OK where the thumb and index finger form a circle means for Filipinos money. The new sign for OK is the thumb-up sign.
•Using one's forefinger or index finger upward to call a Filipino is considered degrading and only used for animals.
•A downward gesture of the hand should be used without making the arch too wide since this will appear too dominating.
•Staring is rude and aggressive. The better part of valour when confronted by a glaring tough looking character is to look briefly and then cast one's gaze away.
•Arms akimbo is considered arrogant, challenging, angry. It is not a posture that will win and influence Filipinos, unless you are a policeman about to issue a traffic ticket.
•It is insulting to beckon someone by crooking your finger.
•Filipinos will point out a direction by shifting their eyes towards the direction indicated.
•A light touch on the elbow is permissible when calling someone's attention.
•Two males holding hands or with arms over each other's shoulders are the accepted norm, free of any overtones of homosexuality.
•Physical contact with opposite sex in public is not on. Ladies greet each other with a kiss on the cheek, but male and female keep respectfully apart. Some women may shake hands with a man, but they have to initiate such gesture.
•A limp handshake is socially acceptable.
•A woman and a man will refrain from being demonstrative in public.
•The average Filipino requires less privacy than the average Westerner. He tends to require less personal space as well.
•Filipinos stand close to one another when walking and talking, and do not find body contact in crowds offensive.
•Filipinos usually don't queue or line up.

2. Filipino's physical and verbal mannerisms:
•Officers, elders and superiors are addressed by "sir" or "ma'am", or by their title or profession.
•When asking a question, an apology is offered first (I'm sorry to bother you, but. . .)
•When inviting a Filipino, do invite him at least three times. Filipinos are taught that it is proper to refuse the first time or two. To them, insistence is a clear sign that the offer or invitation is a sincere one.
•Flowers are associated with death. Give food to a sick Filipino, but not flowers,
•"Pasalubong" is a gift given as a souvenir after a trip. A superior bringing "pasalubong" when returning from a trip shows to his people that he thought of them during his absence.
•Consistency is a prime requisite for a smooth relationship for Filipinos.
•The use of a third party or intermediary is a very acceptable norm for asking and for telling. This helps avoid a direct confrontation situation, which may lead to embarrassment.
3. What annoy Filipinos:
•Someone who strongly disagrees with his opinion in a discussion.
•You can disagree with him but not strongly.
•A person who looks down on him.
•Ignorance that foreigners show about his native land.
•Minute attention to small details.
•A person who treats him like a servant.
•Criticism from someone who is not his superior.
•Someone with less experience telling him how to do his job.
•A foreigner who says "that is the way we do it back home."
•Being told to hurry up.
•An air of superiority in a person
•A blunt and overly frank person.
•Rich people who refuse to talk to people of lower social status.
•Foreigners who write about his native land without knowing too much about it.
•People who preach democracy but do not practice it
•People who demand a yes or no answer.
•People who take credit for what is accomplished in joint efforts.
4. Filipino concept of property
•The Filipino concept of property is threefold:
1) What is mine is mine. The Filipinos, have inherited from the Western world the concept of private ownership such as having land titles and documents for things they own.
2) What is yours is mine. The kapitbahay or neighbourliness value requires a Filipino to share some of his properties with his neighbour; vice-versa, this value gives him right to some properties of his neighbours. In the name of neighbourliness, a neighbour can borrow another's car or go and watch TV in another's house.
3) What is public property is mine. The Filipino value of sakop makes public and private properties assume a communal dimension. In the Philippines public property belongs to no one. Rather the user of public property appears to regard it as his own personal property.
•The Filipino uses public space while driving as he would while walking - taking on rights to it as he moves. He considers a particular spot on which he stands or which he moves, his personal property and, therefore, utilizes it as long as necessary in any way he wants.
•The Filipino when elected or appointed to office, tend to use his office, vehicle, telephone, for his private and personal use.
•The sharing of goods in the sakop dimension might actually be "borrowing." The Filipinos, for example, who have a strong sense of sakop property, consider things "borrowed" what Westerners consider "stealing."
5. Do call a Filipino by his name. A Filipino subordinate called by his officer by his name feels very elated because he is proud to know that his superior knows him personally.

6. Always offer a Filipino coffee, tea or something when he visits you. This is a sign that he is welcome to your office.

7. It would always be proper to say "Quiet please" or "kindly tone down" rather than saying "Shut up."

8. Do give a Filipino a way out of a situation so he can save his face and not get embarrassed. Such embarrassment causes "hiya" which is painful for a Filipino to accept.

9. Don't lend money except in very exceptional cases. Repayment may be a problem. To avoid misunderstanding as to whether it is really borrowing or not, make a clear distinction between the three concepts of property of the Filipino. In some cases "borrowing" money may just be a symbolic way of asking for money.

10. Don't expect punctuality or promptness in terms of time if you have not clarified whether it is linear or cyclical time that applies to the situation.
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