6 Tips for Improving Cross-Cultural Business Communication

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 ๐—ป๐—ผ๐—ป-๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐˜€. These nuances are unique to cultures and are very important to effective communication.

6 Tips for Improving Cross-Cultural Business Communication

โœ… 1. Develop Cultural Awareness

โ€“ Understanding the differences between oneโ€™s own culture and the culture of others is called cultural awareness. Developing this ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด and striving to understand more is an essential step in cross-cultural communication.

You can gain this awareness by ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด questions, ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด to people with different cultural backgrounds, ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด cultural museums or institutions, ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด books, or ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด classes.

โœ… 2. Learn a New Language

โ€“ Learning a new language can be hugely beneficial for cross-cultural communication in business.

Learning a new language helps us ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜ with others and gives us ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ into the culture.

โœ… 3. Choose Face-to-Face Communication

โ€“ A lot of communication happens in our mannerisms and body language. As much as possible, try to communicate with people ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ผ. This helps to develop relationships and reduces miscommunication, a common problem in international business.

โœ… 4. Open Your Mind

โ€“ 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, youโ€™re more willing to ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ new ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€ and ๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜† new ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€, both of which foster ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป.

โœ… 5. Be Flexible

โ€“ This is where we really embrace and practice trying new ideas. When we stay flexible, we are more open to improvement and opportunities โ€“ both of which are critical for professional and personal development. Try stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something a new way.

โœ… 6. Maintain Proper Etiquette

โ€“ When meeting with a new client or business associate, having proper etiquette is important.

For example, if youโ€™re meeting someone from China, it would be helpful to know that a proper greeting is a nod, a bow or a handshake. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Which tip do you like most?