Three tips for Multicultural Success
We are a globally connected economy. More interactions, trades and deals are unfolding across multiple cultures and languages on a daily basis than ever before. Interacting with companies in other regions has become standard business practice and learning how to connect is crucial to success. In this article, you will learn three tips to help ensure success when dealing with cultural and linguistic barriers.
Organizations find that doing business in multicultural markets is an inevitable part of doing business today. Whether marketing domestically or internationally, developing markets have their own trends and the customers within them have their own cultural and personal preferences. When you do business in a diverse community or multicultural context, you have to connect and communicate effectively to get your message across. We have compiled some of the aspects that you need to follow for success in multicultural markets.
Europeans, particularly the Flemish and the Swiss, like and appreciate punctuality. The Chinese, on the other hand, are known for showing up early to events, whereas the Spanish and the Portuguese are much more lax regarding time. Rules and guidelines on scheduled meetings can vary. Be mindful of this and turn up at the right time based upon the culture of your target market.
Some cultures indicate the start and the end of events with ceremonial rituals. Many include the exchange of business cards or thanking ceremonies such as in Chinese and Arabic culture. If you are unsure when working with different target cultures ask your interpreter(s) or the project manager/translator(s) you are working with to provide insight. These individuals can be your best resource to receive the most accurate information.
If you’re doing business or trading in a multicultural environment, becoming proficient in a variety of languages is an asset. But acknowledging other aspects – such as cultural norms regarding etiquette and business operations – is just as vital as language skills. If your clients or customers are Cantonese or Mandarin, hire a Cantonese or Mandarin translator or interpreter to avoid potential language barriers.
Avoid taking communication for granted. Your customers, associates and coworkers may not share your perspective or cultural understanding of things like timing and body posture, but they will always be appreciative of your making the effort.