Profiting From Cross-Cultural Communication – The Key to Successful Global Business

Regardless if you’re an employee working for a multi-national company or an entrepreneur starting your own business, you’ll find that in order to bring a business to the next level understanding the dynamics of cross-cultural communication is of utmost importance.

Have you ever encountered a situation where your foreign associate was inclined to go near to you during a conversation? Occasionally, he might even whisper to you when no one was around!

Or have you experienced the waiting game in an appointment? Yes, both you and I know how frustrating it can be to wait for an important client who doesn’t attend meeting on time!

Space and time are just two examples that vary from culture to culture. The culture of each country determines how the people treasure and value their own space and time.

Never fight against culture nor confront it. We have to accept that there is cultural diversity in this world. To successfully deal with a new culture, you must make an effort to identify cultural values, inherent priorities and the differences with your own.

With the formation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the breaking down of trade barriers, there is no future for parochialism and ethnocentrism. We are heading towards a global marketplace, a place where there is no border for trade.

China, a giant in terms of population and potential users of goods and services, has officially joined the WTO. Now a nation of 1.36 billion people is ready to give you a golden opportunity for businesses. But the question is, “Are you ready for that?”

We are living in a world of complexity and cultural diversity. There are not many studies and books published about the cultures and management styles of different countries. Until recently, much of the published works came from the American experience.

Text books on organizational behaviors were written by Americans and read by the people of the world. The models and theories were based on their assumptions and they implicitly assumed that what was true for Americans in the United States was also true for the peoples of other countries. Of course, they are wrong. The greatest threats to success in the global market of today are parochialism and ethnocentrism.

Parochialism is viewing the world solely through one’s own eyes and perspective. A person with parochial perspective does not recognize other’s different ways of living and working. By nature, we are all parochial to a certain extent. But we must shed away the parochialism in us and see the world in the global perspective.

Ethnocentrism is to show superiority over other nations. We believe that “our way is the best way”. Of course, it is not true, another culture’s customs may seem silly, bizarre or absurd. There is no absolute universal code for us to judge what is right, wrong or bad about the culture, traditions and livelihood of our neighboring countries or our global neighbors.

As the world economy becomes increasingly integrated, we have to prepare to understand people through their cultures. There is no international or global business culture that all of us can follow. To avoid faux pas, a global player has to be culturally aware and develop cultural empathy.

How to Achieve Effective and Profitable Cross-Cultural Communication?

Communication is the exchange of meaning: if I do not know how to express what I mean, then I am not communicating. Communication includes any behavior that another person perceives and interprets: it is your understanding of what I mean.

Communication includes verbal and non-verbal messages. Verbal messages are spoken words and non-verbal messages are tone of voice, facial expression, body language and physical environment.

Every communication has a message sender and a message receiver. Each sender and each receiver has been shaped in his thinking, feelings and behavior. His behavior is influenced by his:

  • upbringing, family life,
  • religion,
  • culture and
  • socio-economic conditions.

These are the layers of filters that stand in between the sender and receiver. So powerful are these different filters that in certain cross-cultural situations, where people are being guided by different values and different language.

Therefore, effective communication is almost impossible unless both the sender and the receiver are able to interpret the messages in the light of the other’s cultural background.

To end this article, let’s take a look at an example why learning effective cross-cultural communication is important in today globalised world!

A Japanese businessman wishes to inform his American seller that he is not interested to purchase. To be polite, he says, “It is difficult and there is a slight problem.” To the American, it means there are some unresolved matters to be settled. The American responds by sending more materials, technical details and counter proposal to the Japanese. The Japanese believes that he has sent the message across that there is no sale. The American is completely astonished.

How Global Business Strategy Consulting Can Help Your Business

Since you launched your small company last year, you have been faced with stressful days, sleepless nights, and multiple challenges everyday. Your business is surviving the tough and unstable economy, yet you wish for it to thrive and prosper even more. You turn to books and magazines for help. You talk to other business owners for advice, guidance, and support. You welcome every opportunity that could help enhance your business. Yet, you have failed to seriously consider looking into international management consulting. You think that this type of investment is only apt for businesses on a larger scale than yours. However, you must know that such an investment can significantly affect yours as well. These consulting firm tap on marketing, sales, and management tactics as part of their global business strategy consulting strategies. This kind of support can prove to be extremely beneficial for your company’s success.

When a business owner decides to invest in a global business strategy consulting firm, you make available to you the relevant intervention of a third party who is able to see the bigger picture, thus being able to better advise you on various aspects relating to your company. International management consulting can help you in setting short and long term goals for your company, formulating strategies, and employing smart and efficient tactics to ensure the achievement of your goals.

As mentioned above, investing in international management consulting firms will make available to you much sound advise about various marketing strategies that can be employed in order to most effectively tap your business’ target market. Consulting firms are knowledgeable about various market trends, business approaches, plans, and tactics that could help you in attaining your goals as efficiently as possible. Global business strategy consulting firms will put much effort into ensuring that your company will become an active and aggressive market player in no time. Hand in hand, you can work towards success, longevity, progress, and growth.

International management consulting firms can also be depended on to formulate admirable plans and schemes that will address one of the most important factors in your business – the workforce. At the forefront of your business are your staff and employees. Thus, apt care and attention is due them, especially if you are keen on employing and maintaining the most dynamic, dependable, and skilled people. Global business strategy consulting firms can keep you abreast with the latest trends and practices in recruitment, compensations, benefits, perks, and other related information. Acquiring this kind of know-how will give you better chances of attracting a commendable and loyal work force.

Business owners now have competent, dependable, and efficient business partner in the form of international management consulting. This type of investment will surely reap you benefits which you otherwise would not be able to enjoy. Your global business strategy consulting partner can be depended on to keep your business’ interests at heart. Together, you can work towards a brighter, more stable future for your company.

Global Business – Raising the Bar

The writing is on the wall. If corporations plan to maintain a leadership role internationally, employees have to acquire a global perspective. For years, executives have questioned the return on investment for soft skill education and in particular, scoffed at the idea of cross-cultural trainings. However, as our business world becomes increasingly interactive and internationally focused, culturally sensitive approaches are essential for professional and respectful communication.

Beyond raising corporate reputations to a more sophisticated level, cross-cultural education maintains profitable relationships. As many in global entities already know, one inappropriate email, comment or interaction can easily damage or even ruin an international relationship. Basic cultural education, such as the significance of color selection when sending a package to Tokyo, understanding email verbiage from Mumbai, how to properly return a banquet toast in Shanghai or how to better understand business norms in Cairo not only cultivates and strengthens relationships, but eliminates costly misunderstandings.

Strengthen your Market Position and Prepare your Company for the Future.

As global mergers, alliances and agreements become common practice, the need for cross-cultural knowledge will become increasingly important at all levels. But the clock is ticking and the likelihood that executives may have to learn cross-cultural awareness under extenuating circumstances is a growing concern.

For example, stories abound regarding Detroit-based Chrysler executives who struggled in Daimler’s corporate culture. Not only were seasoned American executives surrounded by another language, leaders were stunned by German corporate norms and many floundered in the new environment. It’s hard enough to adjust to a new corporate culture during a domestic merger, but when a partner is from another country, an entire new set of obstacles quickly becomes evident. It takes training and education for individuals, departments and organizations to progress down the cultural learning curve.

Global Education Increases Service Levels, Builds Stronger Teams and Maximizes Revenue Potential.

Companies who set aside ethnocentric tendencies and better connect with international partners and foreign investors will flourish and succeed. Managers who fully understand a range of cultural behaviors- from Japanese negotiation techniques and Chinese superstitions to Middle Eastern norms and South American communication styles – will become the visionary leaders of tomorrow. Additionally, future leaders will get a leg up on their competition by including outsourced workers (who typically provide customer service and reservations functions) into cultural trainings and global networks. Certainly all organizations can benefit from higher service levels, stronger teams, increased revenues and a unified corporate culture.

Standardizing Best Practices across Corporate Divisions will Improve Quality Control, Streamline Operations, Enhance Customer Service and Create a Unified Corporate Culture.

Another key to global success: Organizations with international sites should solicit and value input from all employees in all divisions. Although creating and facilitating international focus groups sounds like a simple task, the endeavor contains inherent challenges, including conflicting cross-cultural communication styles, differing cultural attitudes towards hierarchies, navigating levels of fluency and methods to overcome cultural norms that inhibit communication.

The best way to maximize quality input from a diverse cohort is to hire focus group facilitators based on their individual understanding of cultural dynamics. Or better yet, as recommended in the Harvard Business Review (11/06), contract the endeavor to an outside consultant (when dealing with multicultural teams, outside consultants do not represent a hierarchical threat and thus, focus group participation increases).

The time is now to raise the bar for global business. The formula for success is simple- quality cultural education and cross-cultural focus groups. Follow the lead of progressive companies like HSBC and Novartis– and get on board. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best investments you can make to position your company as a savvy and sophisticated leader.

Amway Global Business Review

Amway Global business program is one that has been tried and tested by thousands of people around the world. Amway Global is a well known name in the world of online marketing. This is a multi level marketing business that operates through a pyramid scheme. The business opportunity offers independent business owners a chance to earn money by marketing the products of the company. The company offers a huge range of products that are known for their high quality.

Amway Global Business – The Business Plan

Amway works on an MLM business plan. It has a PV or a points value system. Each product with have specific points attached to them. Once you join as an independent business owner, there would be a commission for each point value that you earn by selling the product. No matter what country you operate from and the differences in the prices, the PV would remain the same for the product around the world. The business volume will determine the amount that you sell and you will receive a commission each month for the total amount of volume that you generate.

Amway Global Business – Understand the Levels

One of the most important things that you will have to understand before you join this program is the way that it works. There are various levels that the members are assigned to. You would have to be first sponsored by a member of Amway if you want to join. You will also have to invest in a package and will have to pay a determined fee each month for staying in this business network. There are various pin levels that you will have to go through. You will also have to recruit team members under you so that you can earn commissions for the products that are sold by them. Diamond and platinum levels are the highest in the hierarchy. Once you reach the platinum level, you would be earning enough money to live comfortably doing nothing other than handling your Amway team. The members in the diamond levels earn a six figure income.

Is It Possible to Make Money with Amway?

Amway is a genuine company that has an extensive range of products known for their quality. You would not really have to work hard in order to sell the products. However, there are several other things that you will have to consider. Not everyone would be able to make money selling Amway products, especially if you are new to this industry. A majority of people fail at MLM businesses simply because of the payment structures and because of the fact that you would need to have a lot of experience in the industry in order to succeed.

Compared to some of the newer MLM opportunities today, Amway does have outdated marketing and training methods which don’t always work in the market today. Consider these few drawbacks of Amway Global Business so that you can make an informed decision.