Cultural differences in business – are you aware of them?

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Cultural differences in business – are you aware of them?

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A key to being successful in business internationally is to understand the role of culture in international business. Whatever sector you are operating in, cultural differences will have a direct impact on your profitability. Improving your level of knowledge of international cultural difference in business can aid in building international competencies as well as enabling you to gain a competitive advantage.
However, on the one hand where it is important to be aware of cultural differences of different countries, on the other, it is also hard to be aware of every single aspect of each country’s organisational culture. Therefore, you should be aware of the key factors that have a direct impact on business. These are:
1
Communication is the key to success for any business, whether you are operating nationally or internationally, but when operating internationally it becomes even more important due to language barriers. Passport to Trade 2.0 project aims to remove this barrier by providing training materials in the languages of the country you are operating.
2
Being aware of basic customer needs is an important aspect as this will give the advantage of conveying your message. In simple terms, if you are aware of the customer’s cultural background, then you will be able to adopt better and more suitable advertising methods.
3
Body language is another key factor in cultural difference. As different countries have different ways to convey or share their message, for instance in Germany people tend to speak loudly when sharing ideas, whereas in Japan people speak softly, it very important to know what your body language should be doing when interacting with people whether it’s your business partner or an interviewer.
4
Before launching a marketing campaign, always conduct research to become aware of your target audience since customer demand, decision making, gender views and ideologies greatly vary in cultures.
Why is it important to study Business English?
I make a distinction between manners and etiquette - manners as the principles, which are eternal and universal, etiquette as the particular rules which are arbitrary and different in different times, different situations, different cultures.

Judith Martin

In order to meet the demands of modern employers, everyone from university graduates to senior managers must be able use English for work. Effective internal and external communication is essential to the success of any business, but professionals who need to communicate with each other as non-native English speakers can greatly benefit from learning Business English.
Both Business and General English require the development of core skills in fluency, reading, writing and listening, the application of linguistic principles and, of course, plenty of hard work. It is important to have a good basis of General English to be able to communicate effectively. However, Business English courses focus on particular vocabulary, topics and skills that are applicable to the workplace and enable you to communicate accurately.
And, of course, we have the importance of Cultural awareness. Cultural awareness is so important because it has a huge impact on communications and negotiations, especially within a business environment. When it is addressed properly it can actively build great cross cultural business relations. However when ignored or not thought of as anything important the lack of cultural awareness can lead to breakdowns in communication and business relationships.