Have you been living in a cross-cultural environment? If yes, then you must have known why cross-cultural communication is important. If not, these tips will be useful for you to start.
Cross-cultural communication is invaluable in business. It is required for successful business negotiations, building relationships with global business partners and collaboration within and outside your team.
Cross-cultural communication is not just about verbal communication either. It helps to be able to read body language and eye contact and communicate using other 𝗻𝗼𝗻-𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗯𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝘂𝗲𝘀. These nuances are unique to cultures and are very important to effective communication.
6 Tips for Improving Cross-Cultural Business Communication
✅ 1. Develop Cultural Awareness
– Understanding the differences between one’s own culture and the culture of others is called cultural awareness. Developing this 𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 and striving to understand more is an essential step in cross-cultural communication.
You can gain this awareness by 𝗮𝘀𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 questions, 𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 to people with different cultural backgrounds, 𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 cultural museums or institutions, 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 books, or 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 classes.
✅ 2. Learn a New Language
– Learning a new language can be hugely beneficial for cross-cultural communication in business.
Learning a new language helps us 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗰𝘁 with others and gives us 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 into the culture.
✅ 3. Choose Face-to-Face Communication
– A lot of communication happens in our mannerisms and body language. As much as possible, try to communicate with people 𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝗻 𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗼. This helps to develop relationships and reduces miscommunication, a common problem in international business.
✅ 4. Open Your Mind
– When you’re part of a large global enterprise, you have colleagues from other cultures with a wide spectrum of perspectives, experiences and skills, which often differ from those that may be common in your own culture.
With an open mind, you’re more willing to 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿 new 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀 and 𝘁𝗿𝘆 new 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗮𝘀, both of which foster 𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻.
✅ 5. Be Flexible
– This is where we really embrace and practice trying new ideas. When we stay flexible, we are more open to improvement and opportunities – both of which are critical for professional and personal development. Try stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something a new way.
✅ 6. Maintain Proper Etiquette
– When meeting with a new client or business associate, having proper etiquette is important.
For example, if you’re meeting someone from China, it would be helpful to know that a proper greeting is a nod, a bow or a handshake. 😉
Each culture has different rules of etiquette and formalities. Using poor etiquette communicates a lack of knowledge or care and could make the difference in business activities. When in doubt, do your research and observe.
Cross-cultural communication is a necessary capability as our world becomes increasingly globalised and interconnected. Especially in business, being able to communicate across cultures is crucial to success.
We help professionals to learn cross-cultural ( especially cross west-east ) business skills for a global career / business that can take them anywhere.
👉 Which tip do you like most?