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Cross Cultural Communication Abridged

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An overview on cross cultural awareness for effective business communication in the international marketplace.

An overview on cross cultural awareness for effective business communication in the international marketplace.


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  • 1. Optimizing Cross-Cultural CommunicationTalia Baruch. Founder, Localization & Culturalization ConsultantCopyous: Your world wide word.talia@copyous.comwww.copyous.com415.722.6744
  • 2. What color is this?This is a roller coaster ride throughpains & gains in pre-natal productdev. for new market entry:• Climb up contextual, functional & visual hurdles.• Dive into locale-tailored branding.• Resurface for a quick peek into glocal strategy.
  • 3. GOAL: Sustain diversity. Restore communication Provide building blocks for building trust across different cultures & perspectives
  • 4. People are wired differently.More so people from different cultures.We’re triggered by differentassociation paths,collective memories,stories & histories.
  • 5. Richard Lewis 3 AXIS model
  • 6. 3 axis: Multi-active Linear-active ReactiveJuggle tasks Monochromic: One task at a time ReactWork all hrs. Work during scheduled hrs. Work all hrs.Non-punctual Punctual PunctualTalkative/inquisitive Quiet Silent/respectfulRelationship-oriented Task-oriented Relationship- orientedConfronts emotionally Confront with logic Avoids confrontationCreative, improvise, Follow guidelines Plan slowlyinnovativeInterject conversation Listen through Good listener
  • 7. Multi-activeLinear-activeReactive
  • 8. Case studies of conflicting cultures interplaying in global settings Oi! Hi! Rodrigo Santoro, Brazil MEETS Richard Sanders, USA Multi-active Linear-active Time is event, interaction Time is clock
  • 9. Colliding cultures within international teams & B2B partners:real-life samplers from the workplace Business Meeting • Swedish vs. American | attentive listening • Japanese vs. American | eye contact
  • 10. Colliding cultures within international teams & B2B partners:real-life samplers from the workplace Happy Hour • Italian vs. American | body language • Slovakian vs. American | interjected discourse
  • 11. Colliding cultures within international teams & B2B partners:real-life samplers from the workplace Management styles & leadership differences French, Latin American, Middle Eastern Autocratic Authority o Centered around Chief Executive o Task orientation dictated from above o Knowing the right people oils the wheels of commerce o Nurture human relationships over technical profit
  • 12. Colliding cultures within international teams & B2B partners:real-life samplers from the workplace Management styles & leadership differences Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore Confucian hierarchy o Top executives make final decisions o Cultural values dominate leadership & organization code of conduct o Top down obligations, bottom up loyalty, obedience & trust
  • 13. Colliding cultures within international teams & B2B partners:real-life samplers from the workplaceManagement styles & leadership differencesFinland, Sweden, Holland Flat organization -Middle managers make day-to-day decisions -Executives stand shoulder-to-shoulder with staff & help in crisis -Flexible work roles, less rules & protocols -OK to challenge the opinions of upper management
  • 14. Challenges working in global teams• Language/cultural barrier: Use of idioms/jargon/slang drawn from local cultural references “off-base” “ballpark estimate” “struck out”• Work style: Task ownership, detailed top-down instructions vs. hands-off end-result approach, Outcome/Details vs. Details/Outcome orientation• Time system: “TO BE, OR NOT TO BE”….on time
  • 15. Communication style differences in global teams Adjust management model to team communication style
  • 16. How language morphology & cultural customs impact each other•Japanese 日本 okyaku-sama Script: Kanji, Katakana, Hiragana okyaku-san Honorific: multiple levels of respect: okyaku “Customer” = kyaku
  • 17. How language morphology & cultural customs impact each other•Chinese 中国 Language peppered in proverbs, instantly triggering layers of meaning, foreign to foreigners. “One arrow double vultures” 箭雙雕 “When the tree falls, the monkeys scatter” 树倒猢狲散•German Strict syntax, verb at end of sentence in split verb Deutsch structures. => listener must first hear through end of speaker’s sentence before commenting.
  • 18. Phone manners around the globeAmerican: “John speaking” (first name)German: Schmidt (last name)Dane: Karen Andersen (first & last)Italian: pronto (“ready”)Spanish: diga (“speak”)Egyptian:-“May your morning be good”-“May your morning be full of light”-“Praise God, your voice is welcome”
  • 19. Communication builds Community A malfunctioning joint venture with a foreign partner can result in a catastrophic financial loss.
  • 20. What’s your objective?• Expand your brand’s footprint worldwide.• Increase global usability & visibility.• Reap ROI.
  • 21. No, really, what’s your objective?CONNECTION.CROSS-CULTURAL.Make a meaningful & memorable connection withinyour international team players and partners.
  • 22. Create solid ties btw HQ & regional teams/partners
  • 23. WHICH WATCH?Optimizing project timeline & team performanceAround the globe clock
  • 24. The Power Tower of Babel Our mission as localizers isto restore the communication across the scattered cultures & dispersed languages
  • 25. Q&A Talia Baruch/CopyousLocalization program dev & management GlobeGo Connect-Content talia@copyous.com @TaliaBaruch
  • 26. Case studies of conflicting cultures interplaying in global settings Ciao! Hello! Marina Bianchi, Italy MEETS Mary Bodden, UK Multi-active Linear-active People-oriented Task-oriented
  • 27. It all boils down to training