Intercultural Business Communication

The global neighborhood is a major factor in today’s business world, and so Intercultural business communication skills have become a must for teams at all levels of an organization to comfortably interact with cultures other than their own. At its most basic definition, culture refers to a group, or community, whose members share similar experiences, worldviews, and values. Up until a few generations ago, most Americans worked solely with local counterparts who shared similar backgrounds. Today, thanks to the pace of technology solutions and globalization strategies, it is probable that your typical workday includes interactions with remote team members, clients or vendors working from different parts of the globe.

As the pace of business transactions quickens, the ability to communicate with and manage people from other cultures is not just a necessity; it is a requirement for building effective teams and working across time zones. Confronted by language barriers, different worldviews and experiences, intercultural business communication can pose a great challenge. However, not meeting these context culture team challenges can be costly, setting a project back days, weeks or even months. Communicating Through a Global Lens effectively greatly augments your success when working and negotiating with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

In 1993, Dr. Farid Elashmawi, the late expert on multicultural management practices and Context culture reengineering, noted that “…the new world market will not only be international, but (also) intensely intercultural. The country or company whose citizens have the greatest competency [at relating to other cultures], all else being equal, will gain this competitive advantage.” (Multicultural Management, New Skills for Global Success, 1993). More than two decades later these words continue to resonate, as organizations are forced to align effective business practices in a tough competitive environment.

To dig deeper, by culture, we mean the shared mental programs that conditions individuals’ responses to their environment. It is based on common experiences shared with a particular group of our fellow human beings. Further, it is both learned and enduring- some aspects of culture are built into institutions, while others are passed on through generations. Lastly, culture is a filter that influences behavior; often the mental programming that creates this filter is unconscious, and therefore even more powerful. Even when we interact with others with whom we share core values misunderstanding often occurs. Imagine, then, how many more communication obstacles we face when dealing with others interculturally.

This blog section provides strategies, tips, and solutions to solve problems leading to building effective intercultural business communication or as we refer to it, cross cultural communication, or CCC. With an open mind, anyone can master the intricacies and practices of effective CCC interactions and meet the growing demands of conducting business in our global neighborhood!

Part II: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Being a Virtual Member

For those of you who liked and were interested in our recent blog about the challenges of being a Virtual Team member – while in Israel, here is the continuation. Internationally known, New York City based virtual teams expert and

Posted in Intercultural Business Communication

Part I: Virtual Team Expert Becomes the Virtual Team Member

Internationally known, New York City based virtual teams expert and author of ‘A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams,’ Yael Zofi, recently traveled to Israel to investigate the business climate and see how virtual teams were being run in the Middle

Posted in Intercultural Business Communication

The Indian Curry to Cross Cultural Communication

Have you ever found yourself puzzled by cross cultural communication issues with customers, vendors, acquaintances, and colleagues in India or of Indian descent? Yes, there is widespread English fluency in India. But is that enough, especially if your interactions are

Posted in Intercultural Business Communication

5 Strategies to Help You LEARN About Cross Cultural Communication

Tips for Effective Cross Cultural Communication “Whether you interact with local or global colleagues, you are using cross cultural communication.  And your biggest challenge on virtual teams is the cross cultural one, a whole other layer on top of the

Posted in Intercultural Business Communication

Cross Cultural Solutions: Practice No Judgment When Working Across Cultures

More Cross Cultural Solutions from Yael Zofi This week we provide you with more cross cultural solutions with the completion of the LEARN acronym. Many of you have asked for cross cultural etiquette and manners strategies to more effectively work with and

Posted in Intercultural Business Communication

Cross Cultural Solutions: N=No Judgment

Discover More Cross Cultural Solutions From Expert Yael Zofi Virtual team managers need cross cultural solutions to effectively communicate across cultures.  They must LEARN proper cross cultural etiquette and manners to avoid miscommunication or possibly offending a virtual team member.  To

Posted in Intercultural Business Communication

Practice Active Communication in the Virtual Environment– LEARN Strategy #4: R= Respect Cross Cultural Differences

To LEARN how to effectively communicate despite cross cultural differences and enable the R of L E A R N., we must first practice using Active Communication to help respect cross cultural differences. Five Steps to Managing Cross Cultural Differences Look at these situations, some

Posted in Intercultural Business Communication