Thursday, January 17, 2008

Improving communication among cultures in a Global Context

To thrive in a dynamic and often stressful environment, companies must make every effort to build effective communications with those from different cultures. By recognizing and being familiar with global cultural differences, managers can become more sensitive to potential problem areas at the international, national, and business levels. Establishing organization wide communication guidelines for all individuals will go a long way in eliminating unnecessary communication problems. Such guidelines must stress the use of precise and clear language both for in-person meetings and in less personal mediums such as email. The extra time spent by organizations in communications preparation and screening as well as cultural understanding will be repaid immeasurably through improved relations not only with foreign business partners but also with all the individuals from other cultures who comprise an essential and critical part of the global business environment— the international consumer base.

Ten Ways to Improve Communications among cultures.
1. Recognize that cultural differences exist between communicating parties.
2. Become familiar with cultural generalizations, as they may affect communications.
3. Try role reversal as a means to provide clues about cultural behaviors in communications.
4. Gather background data on communicating parties that may modify cultural
5. Communicate using precise and clear statements rather than idioms or acronyms.
6. Consider the implications to non-native speakers when assessing the use of single-
language communications.
7. Recognize that translators limit the ability of communicators to have real-time exchanges.
8. Respect the different cultures as “different voices” that can be used to find common-
ground agreement.
9. Review communications content prior to distribution to assure that information is
presented without cultural or language bias.
10. Confirm the validity of message content at the completion of the communication

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