By: Jonathon Hardcastle
According to Peter Drucker in his article “The Transnational Economy” written back in 1987, “To maintain a leadership position in any one developed country, a business-whether large or small-increasingly has to attain and hold leadership positions in all developed markets worldwide. It has to be able to do research, to design, to develop, to engineer and to manufacture in any part of the developed world, and to export from any developed country to any other. It has to go transnational.” But is going international as simple as it sounds in this passage, or business leaders and executives need to consider another usually unforeseen barrier commonly referred to as “the effective communication principle?”
Companies in developed countries such as the United States must engage in international business transactions or lose an important competitive advantage. Such firms have not only found tremendous commercial opportunities a thousand or ten thousand miles from their plants, but they have also found cooperative partnerships because of a community of interest. Community of interest is in fact the common ground upon which a business relationship can be based and later flourish. If a firm in Japan, for example, finds an American company with expertise in marketing and handling its products in foreign markets, then a community of interest has been found and remains to be exploited to the advantage of both. But how is that possible and on which factors does it depend upon?
Although the answer is rather complex, undoubtedly one factor is that the worldwide level of technology has greatly advanced easing the process of communicating among people located in different countries. Their ability to share information almost instantly has turned the globe to resemble a village, and as a village its citizens can communicate with one another quickly and easily with the use of various technology-based methods. But then again how come and the message is not received in the manner intended when sent by the messenger? The answer is simple: worldwide we share the much of the same information and technology, but no the same culture. Our family, recreational, financial and other values are different, as these values spring from diverse experiences, expectations and habits. Even if the language used to communicate is the same, the cultural differences between states are evident and a message can be distorted or at least not understood as one intended.
Technological advances in the last 100 to 200 years have spread and been adopted and refined worldwide. But cultures based on thousands of years of development are slow to change. For many, they should not change, as these cultural differences among societies and nations give individual identity to each group. In fact, this persistence diversity in the thinking of human beings has made this world an exciting place to be in. But at the same time it has also created barriers that constitute a major challenge for communicators. Even with the advancement in the transition of information, when words and actions are not understood in the same way because of differences, communication can suffer. This is a key factor for people to remember when dealing with different cultures or employed in different countries from that of their origin. Verbal or nonverbal communication can have different meanings to different people and thus careful consideration and examination of the others’ environment can ensure a better delivery of a message and overall a much more successful communication process.
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In these days when the workplace may contain people from many other countries and cultures, cross cultural training will provide many benefits. When people from different cultures have to interact and make decisions that are mutually satisfying, effective communication can be impeded by their cultural differences.
It is difficult to work out differences when you don’t know what mind-set another person has; nor do they know exactly where you are coming from. Each person comes to the workplace with certain preconceptions and beliefs about others that they may not even be aware of. We cannot help being influenced by our own culture, even if we are not aware of that influence.
Intercultural training helps us to know things about our own culture as well as the cultures of other nationalities that we may not have been aware of. Learning about how each other thinks gives us more confidence in dealing with divisive issues that may surface.
Once we can understand how another person thinks it removes barriers and allows for more open communication, which in turn builds trust. Once trust is established people can work together to make the workplace much more productive. You can use intercultural training as a means of self-analysis to see which areas of your intercommunication with others need to be improved.
An intercultural consultant can be employed to facilitate the process of working together with peoples of all nationalities. Learning about the hidden influences of other cultures gives you a greater understanding of what makes people behave the way they do.
A good intercultural consultant will also help you to develop listening skills and to understand what they hear within the broader framework of nationality. Instead of focussing on negative differences between nationalities it helps you to find common ground with which to overcome sometimes challenging cultural differences.
Author: Training Consultant
Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1549589_15.html
Rapport building is the art of helping another person minimize their perceived difference between themself and yourself. This can be achieved by tactfully allowing the other party to see the common ground in your personality or point of view. Rapport happens at the subconscious level but here are a few ways that you can consciously help the process along.
1. Rapport Starts At The Beginning
The best time to start building rapport is when you interact with a person for the first time. Then each subsequent time that you meet ensure that you start by re-establishing rapport.
2. Give Appreciation and Importance To Others
Accept that the most important person in the world in the eyes of most people is themself.
When interacting with someone else allow them to feel important. The easiest way to do this is to learn their name and use it often during your conversations.
If you are involved in some task with others, you can help them feel important by trusting them with appropriate responsibility and showing appreciation for their contribution. In fact, why not make a habit of showing genuine appreciation for things well done in all interactions with others.
3. The Skill Of Asking Questions
Remember that the person asking the questions is leading the direction of the conversation. Ask interesting questions that allow the other person to talk about themself or their interests and then listen attentively to what they are saying.
4. Active Listening
Listening is a skill and it’s easiest learned if you develop the habit of being genuinely interested in other people.
Allow the other person to do most of the talking unless they are specifically asking for your contribution or opinion.
Give them positive feedback followed by non-threatening questions that allow them to expand on what they are saying.
5. Keep Your Ego Under Control
Ego has been responsible for breaking rapport on more occasions that any other behaviour. Ego is a sign of low self worth. If you develop a strong feeling of self worth then you will not have the need to allow your ego to get in your way.
Be willing to admit you are wrong when you are. Do so quickly and happily and gratefully acknowledge the other person’s role in helping you see your error.
Be willing to allow others to take credit for your good ideas if it helps you achieve your desired end goal.
Rather than argue for your point of view every time you are challenged, encourage the other person to express their point of view. If you do have to state an opposing point of view, acknowledge the value of their point of view first and then tactfully promote the additional benefits of your ideas. Gently lead them to your desired outcome by concentrating on the ways in which they would receive benefits, that they really want, from adopting the point of view that you are promoting.
Nothing breeds friendliness like friendliness.
Develop a friendly nature and establish a habit of smiling often. A friend is generally much more valuable than an enemy and your life will travel a lot smoother if people like you.
Rapport building is an easy skill to learn and it is extremely valuable in both your personal and your business life. People like to help people that they like and people like to do business with people that they like. It all starts with building rapport.
Author : bollrakanth
Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1044778_24.html