To many people’s surprise, work and personal relationships are very different in intercultural relationships. It’s easy to get along with anyone from anywhere; however, working with someone on a professional level is often very challenging, even within one’s own culture.
Beyond the basic need for an individual to actively and constructively engage with one’s colleagues to cooperate and improve efficiency, there are three common cultural challenges that often severely impact one’s ability to navigate a new business venture or role within a different cultural environment.
If you cannot decode the behavioral/cultural patterns in these areas, you will have difficulty in having a successful relationship in an enterprise with a party from a culture that’s very different from your own.
My coaching focuses on these challenges as well as other crucial and pivotal areas of success in an intercultural environment. I also customise my coaching according to your specific needs.
For expatriate employees, I offer coaching sessions for the individuals and families. Those who have gone through intercultural communication coaching tend to have better job satisfaction and are more effective at their job, enhancing their value to the company.
In my training, I help people understand the new culture(s) that they are confronted with and provide tips and strategies to make their dealings more successful in their new environment. Discussion of actual situations/cases of participants is an important part of my training so that lessons resonate more based on the unique situation of each participant.
Three COMMON cultural challengeS TO A NEW BUSINESS VENTURE:
1. building trust in a relationship
How does one build trust in a professional relationship? By being professional and showing all one’s credentials or by investing time to know the other party first?
Not knowing which manner to adopt can make the trust building futile.
2. The explicit and implicit “NO”
How does one perceive a “no” and say “no” when they are dealing with cultures where the expression of “no” is not acceptable? And, for someone from a culture who is not accustomed to say “no” directly, how does one learn to do it?
This can be a problem when people want to build a relationship. Saying “no” too directly or “forcing” people to say “no” can harm your relationship with a person from another culture, and vice versa, not being able to say “no” directly can also damage a relationship because expectations aren’t met at the end.
Furthermore, a forced “yes” (from people who can say “no”) will let you to a road of disappointment because of “failed promises”.
3. Finding out who the decision maker is
Finding out who the boss or decision maker is can be challenging, especially for people from western cultures doing business with Chinese companies. In many cultures, there’s only one or a small handful of people that make decisions. If you come from such a background, you may have difficulty knowing who to speak to if your business counterpart is from a culture where the boss is somewhat “invisible” or from a culture where decisions are made in a consensual manner.
Without knowing who the decision maker is, you are less likely to make an impact or sell your services or products. That can translate into lost deals, lost revenue as well as investment. Or at the very least, a much longer time spent to reach your business objectives.