When thinking about communication and the differences with cultures, this isn't just limited to actual speech and languages. Nonverbal communication also be a problem. When a sender and receiver are not on the save wavelength with these important signals and gestures, problems will arise. Most conversation flows well with effective nonverbal communication. Receiving and sending feedback in the form of body movements, gestures and facial expressions can make or break the success of the conversation. For example, a handshake is considered a friendly greeting in some areas, whereas a bow would replace this in other areas. Using certain fingers can mean different things, some even bad things in conversation. Eye contact can be very respectful in some places, and disrespectful in others. Laughing, smiling, feet and leg placement can also be taken differently within different cultures.
Attitude, views and personality can also cause communication barriers with cross cultural business communication. Some cultures still believe in traditional gender roles, while others don't. There are those that are extremely formal, while others are friendly and informal. While some people like to conduct on a first name basis, others like to conduct business with formal titles and last names only. There are many forms of these cultural differences.
To ensure that successful cross cultural communication is met, one must do some homework, and apply this to normal business communication methods. These means finding out from what cultures are certain things acceptable and not. The way an office is managed can vary from differently cultures and locations. It is best to get familiar with these practices ahead of time. This will help the outsider feel more at home. The more knowledge that is acquired, the easier it is to feel comfortable with the situation at hand There should not be any prejudice when communicating with other cultures. There must be a level of comfortableness in order to achieve the most positive conversations possible. Patience is a great quality, when trying to conduct business communication, as well as determination. When traveling abroad, the same rules should apply as if going to any regular job. Showing up early for important meetings and being reliable is very important aspects of being effective at conducting business, making great first impressions and ongoing impressions in the business world. Remember that different cultures have different views and ethics when it comes down to business. It is very important to learn what these ethics might be and apply them.
Be aware that what might right and wrong in one culture, might not be in another. This holds the same with how wrong or right something might be seen. When someone from another culture does something differently, this doesn't necessarily mean that it's incorrect. There is many different ways to get a job done the correct way. Be accepting of other cultures and their practices. In the cross cultural business environment, being open will provide more means to being more effective and better received.
It is not necessary to learn to speak a different language fluently, or even speak it badly. However, it is a nice gesture to at least learn some basic greetings, courtesy words and how to express a positive and negative reaction. For example worlds like: hello, good bye, good evening, please, thank you, you're welcome, yes and no. These will show that the culture is being looked at from a positive, open person who is making attempts and putting forth the effort to be accepting. Another positive way of enforcing cross cultural communication is by experiencing food and dining practices used within different cultures.
When it comes to communication, in general it is best to keep messages hort and simple. Proper non-flowery English is essential when messaging and speaking to people who speak English from another part of the world, speak English as a second language and those who have very limited English, which might require some translation. Avoid using slang words and colloquial expressions as these people might be confused by these or not even know what these mean. When speaking to someone, use clear pronunciation and try to avoid filler words, like eh, um and you know. It's best to use simple and short sentences to be effective at sending correct communication.
When a translator must be used, it is best if ther can be practice between the two before conducting important meetings and business. This will be a direct link to getting messages effectively across and will work best as a team. All translators are different. Some prefer using short phrases, some would rather do a sentence at a time and then some want to do it as a thought at a time. Remember, the translators second language might be English. So again, avoid the jargon and slang talk. Be sure to only use a translator that is qualified for the job, this is a difficult job and not to be taken lightly. It is essential the translator knows what he or she is doing.
Productive and positive cross cultural communication can be achieved professionally with some knowledge and studying. This can determine the outlook and success of a business or even a future employment.