Cross Cultural Business Keys
You Need To Know

Cross cultural business is a fact of life in today's global economic environment. You have to know some fundamental things about the way people function from society to society to be successful in international business.

The term culture is given different definitions, some broader than others. There is no one definition of culture. This only follows from the fact that culture differs from nation to nation, and group to group.

Culture, as used in Terris Worldwide, is the set of norms and standards that are specific to a group of people that define their collective, group personality. It is what's common to the members of the respective group that makes them different from other collective groups.

Culture includes,

the language,

the customs,

the physical characteristics,

and other specific, unique traits of the group.

Fundamentally, the culture of a people is contained within the language of the group, both written and spoken. When a people lose their language, they lose their culture.

No man is an island.

Man is a social creature by nature. "You" are a collective person. You exist as member of a family, a group. To know "you" one must know your respective individual personality, and the common, group personality.

Cultural definition is extremely important to foreign business interactions. Each person is a two-part being. One part is the individual person, and the other part is the collective group to which the individual person belongs to.

To make international business work, each two-part participant in the cross cultural communication must have a clear understanding of both parts of each person interacting with each other. If only one part of the two-part person is known communication will be adversely affected.

In Africa and Asia, for example, the three broad cultural traits of the group are,

Empathy (understanding),

Loyalty, and

Harmony.

These are the general cultural traits of individuals within these societies. So, when you do cross cultural business in one of the African or Asian countries you know going in the starting point of interaction.

Once again, people do business with those they

Know,

Like, and

Trust.

People can only get to know you if they know first, your collective group personality, and then your individual personality, in that specific order.

A person gets to know your individual personality by interacting with you and having experiences with you. If they like and trust your group personality, and secondly your individual personality, then they will want to do business with you.

Keep in mind that fundamentally people do business with people. Companies, corporations, and like legal business entities are really ideas, or abstractions. They are objects, things not people.

If you understand these keys to cross cultural business you will get out of the gate running when it comes to international business.

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