What is Intercultural business Communication?
Effective business communication directed at an intercultural audience typically includes a review process to mitigate misunderstandings due to linguistic and cultural differences. Cultural stability, complexity, composition and attitudes all affect communication. Your message may need adjustment for different groups of people. Consult with other people who have done business in cultures you are unfamiliar with to learn about its history, religion, politics and customs.
Create an outline for the business communication you need to generate. This might be an email message, technical proposal, policy document or customer service report. Select the method of organization, based on your audience need. Choose order of importance, chronological or alphabetical depending on your content. List items of interest from the specific to general or general to specific depending on what makes the most sense for your intercultural audience.
Write your text in under six lines. Each paragraph should focus on a single topic. Avoid using long sentences that may be difficult to read if English is not the reader’s primary language. Make sure your purpose is clear. Avoid using jargon and check your work for spelling, grammar and formatting errors to maintain a professional image.
Related Reading: Intercultural Communication in the Global Marketplace
Anticipate the reader’s questions, based on his background. Supply visual images if they complement your written text. Acknowledge different social values and status symbols in your writing. Be aware that not all cultures like to make decisions quickly so consciously avoid asking for immediate action in your business communication. Recognize that some cultures rely on circumstances and implied meaning.
Check your business communication to ensure it does not violate any legal or ethical protocol, or any rules of good manners in the culture you are speaking with. Get expert advice, if necessary.
Take responsibility for communicating to a diverse audience. By withholding rash judgments, showing respect, empathizing with others and being patient, you can increase your cultural sensitivity.
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