Cultural Proficiency: A Cornerstone of Modern Business
Having international clientele is more common than ever, and with it comes exposure to many different cultures. Being culturally aware requires you to understand and respect cultural differences and make no judgments about them. This level of awareness is becoming more and more of a necessity. Fortunately, if you plan to expand overseas in the future, there are plenty of ways to prepare yourself.
Research the culture
Researching an entire culture is an impossible task. On top of that, you have no idea exactly what parts of the culture, if any, the other party may actually practice. Even so, being well-read on the culture will prepare you to be flexible and respond intelligently when the situation arises. For example, a client in another country might be unavailable during a certain time due to a holiday celebrated in their country.
When dealing with members of your own culture, it’s easy to make assumptions about what days people need off or the most common hours of working. If your business has a global reach, you don’t want to make any assumptions about someone’s cultural background. If you do your research ahead of time you’ll be able to deduce cultural information throughout your dealings. That will enable you to ask the appropriate questions in order to keep things running smoothly.
If you work with partners in other countries, it’s important to train your employees about cultural awareness. Training your employees increases the respect everyone has when working with your business. Such reflections are much more likely to gain you referrals and future work.
Training may involve preparing employees for a specific client and teaching them about the culture involved. This training may also include teaching employees how to treat everyone respectfully and how to react when they do experience a cultural difference. While preparing for a specific culture is helpful, the ultimate goal of these training sessions is to provide employees with a skill set that will allow them to robustly respond to any culture difference they experience.
International Translating Company provides cross-cultural and language training services that will help you or your company prepare for international business dealings. Contact us if you would like to learn more about our translation and cultural training services in over 230 languages.