Cultural Differences And International Business Communication

In the international scene, knowing and identifying cultural differences can make a big difference between successful business negotiations and mortifying rejections. International business communication plays a major role in this, as knowing how to communicate through their point of view is a great advantage.

Each country has their own way of saying things, what may not be offending to you may be offending to them. International business communication is all about knowing the important thing that lies behind peoples words in the international arena.

International business communication is communicating across cultures and the first thing you must always put in mind is the basic understanding that one size doesnt fit all. Always putting in mind that the cultural practices or habits you have does not mean that everyone else around the globe does. As they say, When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

The most important and worrying variables in the international scene of business are the cultural differences that most international business executives fail to comprehend resulting in most international business slip-ups. The failure to identify and adapt to these differences through effective international business communication can mean the difference between a closed deal and a faceless failure. Assuming cultures affect the way people communicate with each other and language above all else, is the core of culture.

Culture is the different ways in which people behave, act, or think towards themselves, families, and other people in the society. It includes customs connected with social, political, family, and religious values. Different cultures have deviating values for time and its use, for personal space, and for family values and chats. These differences must be identified and recognized to bridge the gaps between cultures and for real communication to take place.

Some of the effective international business communication guidelines that may help you swing that deal are:

Listening with an open mind
Communicating across cultures is all about putting aside personal feelings and listening deeply to the person talking. Develop your listening skills and learn how to hold your tongue. Knowing your own culture and the others culture as well will give you a better chance of bridging the differences. Keeping an open mind and sensitivity to these differences is a key factor for better communication.

Non-verbal and Verbal behavior
Every language had their own linguistic preferences, and these preferences will give clues about those particular cultures behavior, manners, and thinking. The English use modesty and understatement, and are sometimes purposely unclear to avoid confrontation and very polite. Eloquence, expressiveness, and flowery of words are most common among Italians and Spaniards, Germans on the other hand are very logical in manner. Knowing what people mean when they say yes is very important; it may mean yes, I understand but not yes, I agree.

Gestures involves sensitivity and awareness, as gestures that are not offending to you might be very offending to the other, as in the case of beckoning someone to come over, some would hold out their hand with the palm up and then move the fingers gesturing the person to come. In Asian culture however, this gesture is considered rude. To gesture someone to come in Asian culture should be done with the palm facing down and then rolling the fingers.

Ten Forms Of Written Communication In An Organization

Communication is a process of transmitting information between different parts of an organization. It is one of the basic functions of management in any organization. For communication with the outside world, organizations use advertising material, news releases and audio-visual aids. However, for communication within organization and with employees, different forms of communications are used such as in-house magazines, journals, reports and bulletin boards to transmit ideas, thoughts and information.

Forms of communication in an organization:

Employee handbook:
Employee handbook is given to the new employee at the time of induction or orientation program. It provides complete information of the organization with details on nature of the business, its customers, products, policies, benefits and services available to its employees. Some organizations use charts, photographs, and cartoons to make it more interesting for reading.

In-house Magazines & journals:
Organizations publish quarterly or monthly in-house magazines to keep employees updated about the latest development in the business, activities conducted in the company like social or cultural and achievements by the sales team. Management can unite with employees in an informal or direct way through these magazines. It also contains promotions, retirements, honors and awards with pictures of employees receiving award from management.

Financial reports to employees:
Financial reports published for shareholders & general public with all the technical accounting language & its terminologies, do not serve any purpose for the employees. So, some organizations publish financial reports specifically for employees with details on expenses, income, profits and distribution of income, which gives the idea about financial standing of the organization to the employees.

Information racks or display stands:
Information racks or stands are usually placed at places like front lobby, factory gate, cafeteria, shop or at a place which is most frequented by employees. These stands are used to display books dealing with wide range of topics such as help yourself, hobbies, sports, accident prevention etc.

Bulletin boards:
Bulletin boards in attractive colors & types can be used for display of clippings from newspapers, magazines, clippings on retirements, honors, marriages and other events in the lives of employees.

Museums & exhibitions:
Small museum or an exhibition can be used to display quality control ideas, old photographs of the factory, old designs and good quality products. It can create interest among the employees in their own work.

Posters are used to display topics related with health and safety, hygiene, improvement in production process, etc. Along with text matter, it should contain pictorial diagrams, charts, and photographs to explain the topic in a simple way.

Notice Boards:
Notice boards are usually placed at the factory gate or in front lobby. These are used to display notices and circulars issued by the management for administrative purposes, circulars related with hours of work, factories act and any new rules and regulations.

Suggestion system:
Some organizations use suggestion system to provide an opportunity for a working communication with the management. Employees can use this system to give positive proposals for improvement in machines, devices, techniques and procedures or to express their dissatisfaction with existing facilities or particulars.

Memos are business letters but used within an organization and only for employees. Memos are used to give information to employees such as changes in some procedures or rules, policy change or for specific purpose like request to attend a meeting. The format of the memo differs from business letter format.

Business writing softwares can be used while writing any business communication to check and correct English grammar and spellings and for proofreading. Some software programs also enrich your text with adjectives & adverbs, which enhances the simple sentence into more professional and sophisticated one & suggest context related synonym for repeated words.

Ten Business Writing Blunders You Can Easily Avoid

Most of us are too busy worrying about what we’re writing to think much about how we’re writing it. But in business communication, having command of a clear, readable style is essential to getting your point across.

Here are ten types of sentence blunders to avoid if you want your reader to get what you mean and not have to stumble through what you write.

1. Run-On Sentences. You know the ones: they drag on and on, packing a paragraph’s worth of details into a single sentence. Short sentences are easier to understand than long ones; they provide information in bits and pieces instead of a flood. In most business writing, aim for an average sentence length of 20 or fewer words. Note that this is an average, not a ceilingthe best writing contains both long and short sentences to keep it interesting.

2. Pompous Sentences. Many business writers use a phrase or a whole clause when a well-chosen verb would be much clearer. They do so to try to make themselves appear more knowledgeable or articulate than they actually are. Don’t fall prey to this error by using big words or trite expressionskeep your writing at the level of your reader.

3. Overloaded Sentences. Such sentences are bloated with excess words. The passive voice is a common culprit, adding unnecessarily to the word count. Redundancies are also to blameverbose phrases can usually be replaced with one or two words, making your sentences concise and meaningful.

4. Undue Enthusiasm. An occasional intensifier lends emphasis, but using too many can ruin your writing and give the impression that you’re not being genuine. Otherwise, you come across like the literary version of a game-show hostwear that grin too bright for too long, and it will lose its meaning.

5. Crowded-Together Sentences. Many writers tend to try to connect a series of related sentences with conjunctions such as and” instead of ending each with a period. In many cases these sentences can be improved and shortened by using only one subject.

6. Hedging Sentences. It is tempting to insert it seems that” or there appears to be” in your sentences in order to avoid stating a judgment as a fact. But when you have too many such hedges, particularly in the same sentence, you aren’t really saying anything. More often than not, your reader will know what is fact and what is inference.

7. Slow Starters. Starting a sentence with it is” or there are” simply delays getting to your point. Compare: It would be appreciated if you could send the files immediately,” versus Please send the files immediately.”

8. Nonparallel Sentences. Two or more similar (parallel) ideas should be presented in the same pattern, whether within sentences or between sentences. Lack of parallelism creates an awkward style. For example, the clauses in this sentence are not parallel: Mr. Reynolds dictated the letter and next he signed it, and left the office.” Compared that to this: Mr. Reynolds dictated the letter, signed it, and left the office.”

9. Awkward Pointers. To save words, business writers will often point readers’ attention backward with expressions like as mentioned above,” “the aforementioned,” the former.” the latter,” and so on. Doing so is a distraction to the reader and is usually unnecessary. If a reference does need to be made, it’s better to name or restate the specific thing being referred to.

10. Misassembled Sentences. A misassembled sentence is one in which an element is in the wrong place. The most common misplacement is at the beginning of the sentence, creating a dangling modifier.” Take this awkward example: Walking the office, a red sports car passed him.” Moving the modifier is an easy solution here: A red sport car passed him while he was walking to the office.”