Going global is essential in today’s workplace. The Internet has shrunk the size of the world considerably and while this opens up a whole new world of possibilities for your business that you never thought possible, it also poses some challenges for those managers who aren’t used to dealing with global exchanges.
While it may seem like an overwhelming task to get yourself in a position to do business globally, it is more about appearances than about your knowledge of foreign markets or languages. In fact, you can go global even if no one in your office speaks any language except English. The key to going global today is to simply start looking and thinking globally. Here are a few tips:
1) Always talk to them with their time zone in mind. If you set up a meeting with them at 1pm, make sure it’s 1pm their time, whatever that may be. By always talking in their time zone you remove any confusion from your business dealings.
2) Accommodate their schedule as best as you can and it will show that you are reliable if they can get in touch with you when they are doing business, which won’t necessarily be the same as when you usually do business. The same goes for connecting with your own team if they are telecommuting. Just because it’s convenient for you doesn’t mean it is for them. Act globally and work around their schedules.
3) Do your research. While it’s not possible to learn all of the cultural things about a place before you do business there, it’s important to research major customs and holidays to ensure that you aren’t trying to schedule meetings on their national holidays or other major events related to their geography or culture. These small things will show that you are committed and knowledgeable to the people you are working with.
These simple tips can make it look like you are a manager who thinks and acts globally, even if you don’t speak three languages and aren’t jet setting every other week around the world. People appreciate the small things that remove barriers to communication and with a little research you can be sensitive to those barriers and remove them before the client or team even has to ask you about it.
If you are able to master these few items, it’s likely that people will take notice and perhaps your company will want you to work for one of their international offices or a client may even ask you to join them in their country to do some contract work. Either way, you and your team will benefit greatly from your efforts to maintain a global way of thinking.