When we work with people from other countries we may experience costly misunderstandings associated with diverse languages and cultures.
Sam Yankelevitch, President
Encourage learning a language and English proficiency. While speaking the language of your foreign colleagues shows respect, English is recognized as the language of business and it is important to ensure that everyone can speak it at a high level. The reason is that in business a shared meaning is key, so that actions can be coordinated effectively.
Don’t assume the other person understood you. People from other cultures may read a different meaning into what you are communicating. This is due to the way each of us have been conditioned and how we perceive things. Even if you hear YES from the other person, ask questions to ensure your meaning is clearly understood.
When it comes to culture, there is no right or wrong. Every culture has its unique history and why its members follow certain customs and traditions. For an effective interaction with someone from another culture, it’s up to each of us to become aware of their values.
Organizations invest lots of time and money in software and technology to improve communication. Considering the changes in our global business environment it’s equally important to ensure that our associates gain valuable cultural and language skills.
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