Reason and emotion are part of all human communication. When expressing ourselves, we look to others for confirmation of our ideas and feelings.
If our approach is highly emotional, we are seeking a direct emotional response: "I feel the same way. It's easy for people from neutral cultures to sympathize with the Dutch manager and his frustration over trying to reason with "that excitable Italian. That just makes sense—doesn't it? Well, not necessarily to the Italian who felt the issue was deeply personal and who viewed any "rational argument" as totally irrelevant! When it comes to communication, what's proper and correct in one culture may be ineffective or even offensive in another. In reality, no culture is right or wrong, better or worse—just different.
In today's global business community, there is no single best approach to communicating with one another. The key to cross-cultural success is to develop an understanding of, and a deep respect for, the differences. This article is reprinted from the website of the American Management Association at www. ASME Membership 1 year has been added to your cart. The price of yearly membership depends on a number of factors, so final price will be calculated during checkout. High-Context vs.
Dressing for International Success
Low-Context All international communication is influenced by cultural differences. While France is a culturally aware nation, the French also have high expectations when it comes to understanding their culture — so preparation is a must if you are to create a positive image from the beginning. The following section will provide you with information on both verbal and non-verbal communication in France. A focus on the initial stage of contact is followed by the application of communication skills in French business practice.
First impressions are very important to the French, and may have a strong impact on the outcome of your business relationship. There are a number of verbal and non-verbal communication issues you should consider when doing business in France:.
Cultural Differences and Communication Problems With International Business
Communicating across cultures takes sensitivity and awareness. By studying other cultures, we become more aware and are able to adapt in our efforts to communicate. When these attempts are accompanied by a genuine interest to learn and a considerable amount of humility, a foreign business counterpart will impress his French hosts as a considerate individual. French is the only official language in France. However, there are also several regional languages spoken, mostly by elderly residents.
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Consequently, in France most of your counterparts will be able to understand you if you speak English, especially if they are of the younger generation. As political and economic issues become increasingly international in scope, there is a growing need for Europeans to be competent in foreign languages. A command of French can be an asset to a career in business or international affairs. The business person who can do business with a foreign customer in his or her own language will have an edge.
Large and small companies are recognising this as the global market becomes more competitive. A basic competence in French, combined with training in business may open opportunities in France to a variety of small to medium sized enterprises that are active in the European Union. Despite their knowledge of and competence in the English language, the French consider their use of French as a sign of respect for their culture. Therefore, to make your business negotiations easier you should at least try to use some French when dealing with French counterparts. It is helpful at your first meeting with a French-speaking individual, to apologise if you cannot speak French fluently.
This creates respect for the French culture and reduces any stigma about potential ignorance. Many French speakers consider themselves and their language as being under attack by the wide use of international English, therefore if you are able to show willing, it is more important than being a fluent speaker.
This introduction is likely to break the ice and help you to get a response. Do not see it as offensive if people help you by correcting your language — they are being courteous. There exists a strong, vertical hierarchy in French business culture. He says Americans need to understand the importance of building so-called guanxi pronounced GWAN-she.
The word means relationships, but has implications beyond the obligatory happy hour, occasional lunches with the boss or networking. Alterman said. The Chinese now rising in the work force were raised and educated in a system that tended to prize obedience and rote learning. Their American counterparts may have had more leeway to question authority and speak their minds.
This can affect workplace communication. When Corinne Dillon, 25, was working at a multinational company in Beijing, she noticed that her Chinese colleagues were sometimes hesitant about expressing their opinions, which she thought was rooted in views about hierarchy.
7 Cultural Differences in Nonverbal Communication
The difference cuts both ways. Zhao, of Blue Oak Capital, recalled her first experience working for an American at an American-run agency in Beijing. What her American boss perceived as directness left her feeling humiliated, she said. Communication styles, Professor Taras said, can create workplace challenges. What is similar, though, is that both the Americans and the Chinese perceive a glass ceiling. Despite the tension, the Chinese-American pairing holds many economic and political benefits for both countries.
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