In the last few decades International Business has rapidly increased making Intercultural communication critical to effective, profitable business management. It has not always been fully understood that international business relationships upon the trust and goodwill of those who conduct the business or that there are many intercultural differences between countries and, indeed locations within a country relating to communication style. It is not enough to learn by trial and error concerning Intercultural styles, as to get it wrong can mean a negative impact upon business.
The following tips can aid effective International business communication and positive intercultural relations: –
a) Tip – Conversation Interaction – it is crucial to understand intercultural concepts of relationships between parties and the manner in which business is connected. It is important to know when to intervene in a conversation and when to listen. To interject into a conversation can be an unfortunate intercultural mistake affecting business negatively.
b) Tip – Beginning and ending a discussion – Again, there are diverse International cultural differences which need to be observed, greetings, the level of respect shown regarding social position, gender and age. There is often an accepted behavior and it is essential in business to fully understand the intercultural aspects unique to each country.
c) Tip – In some Cultures it is considered as offensive to interrupt a conversation. In another Cultural area however, it may be seen as a failure among equals, especially men, if they do not interject. In more Western societies culture often dictates that to interrupt is to be argumentative.
d) Tip-In some countries humor may not be a cultural means by which to relax any tension in new business relationships and can be viewed as disrespectful.
e) Tip – For some, the intercultural process of business conversation foci around response. It is not acceptable in some areas to pause before responding and can be seen as rude, whereas, in other areas it is seen as respectful in business discussion.
The above are tips to consider before embarking on International business ventures. Remember, business and commerce on an international level requires a full knowledge of the intercultural aspects unique to the country in which you conduct your business