Want Global Business Success? Beef Up Your Cross-Cultural Communication Skillset

Want Global Business Success? Beef Up Your Cross-Cultural Communication Skillset

Excuse me, what did you say?

Nothing is more frustrating than when you can’t understand someone. Or when they can’t understand you.

And when your business requires a lot of travel, it might become a regular problem. Frustration and good business do not go well together.

Communication is the key to success in any business, even the domestic variety. To take your business around the world, you need to understand cross-cultural communication. Without it, you’ll find yourself in the dark.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few tips to beef up your cross-cultural communication skills.

Listen and Speak Clearly

Listening is a skill that we tend to neglect. But it’s important in all types of communications.

Whether it’s you or your business partner, one of you may speak in a language that’s not their own. Active listening is the key to understanding those who speak different languages.

Active listening happens when you’re engaged with your partner. Look at them while they speak. Comprehend what they say in your own mind.

After they’re done speaking, acknowledge that you heard them. Repeat back what they said to make sure you got it right. And ask questions if you didn’t understand what you heard.

Speak clearly and slow down when you speak. It helps avoid confusion and misunderstandings. And it shows that you care that they understand you in return.

Do Your Research

Know your audience. Do research before you meet up with your business partners. Find out about their culture by doing a few Google searches.

You aren’t required to take a test on it. But it helps to know a few things beforehand. There is useful information all over the internet about any culture you’ll encounter.

Be aware of your own cultural biases. You may be as open-minded as they come, but everyone has some ideas about other cultures. And those ideas may not be based in fact.

Bring Respect With You

It’s important to respect cultural differences. You want respect and your partners feel the same.

Most cultures greet each other in different ways, both on the phone and in person. Learn these greetings and use them when you’re a visitor. If you aren’t sure how to use different greetings, ask your host to explain.

You aren’t required to learn other languages, but using a few key phrases is always helpful. “Please” and “thank you” go a long way toward polite business communication.

Leave judgment at the door. If someone doesn’t say or do something you think they should, give them a pass. They are as foreign to your way of doing things as you are to theirs.

Conquer the World with Cross-Cultural Communication

The more you know about cross-cultural communication, the better off you’ll be in the business world.

Always remember to listen to your business partners. And speak clearly when it’s your turn to speak so that everyone is on the same page.

Do some research before you embark on your business venture. Know who you’re dealing with and examine your own cultural biases. Respect differences and leave judgment at the door.

Are you ready to travel the world for business? If so, check out this article for some tips for travel incentives that really work.

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