22 Jul What are the Cultural Differences in Business(Last Updated On: July 22, 2019)
Our vast world is full of people belonging to different countries and speaking different languages. Our differences make us beautiful and unique. But they are also the things that can cause misunderstandings among them. A word may be used as an insult in one country but as a form of agreement in another and if the difference is not known by people, it can lead to a big misunderstanding between them. Language, however, is one form of differences among us. Another one is culture. Although culture affects language and vice versa in some cases, it has a unique identity of its own too.
Everybody loves their culture and even if they don’t agree with some of its aspects, they wouldn’t want someone else to insult it. And rightly so because a foreigner has no right to comment on your style of living just the way you don’t have a right to criticize their lifestyle. If people of Earth do not respect each other’s values, they will not be able to leave a peaceful planet for their future generations. With the abundance of entertainment material, sometimes the respect of other cultures is ignored. But it is more important now than ever to ensure such instances do not occur.
The advancement of technology has ensured that people in any corner of the world can access something made thousands of kilometers away from them. And we live in a global world where every other country has a lot of minorities who want nothing but respect for their values and traditions. Imagine if a country with a Christian minority starts closing down churches, what would that make the Christians feel? They would surely feel isolated and betrayed. But also, as if their personal values and beliefs are under attack. The government would lose their trust and support. And if the majority doesn’t stand up for them, they will be considered the enemy too.
Business in A Global World:
When we talk about the globalization of industries, we need to keep in mind the methods of running international businesses. In our world today, businesses can’t succeed with the help of good quality products and high-class services. Success today relies on a lot of factors and good service covers only one aspect of it. Social media’s popularity has made it clear that businesses that do not have an online presence find it hard to appeal to the younger generations. If you are not available to answer people’s questions then you can say goodbye to any success dreams you had.
If you have covered all other basis, but still don’t know how to connect with your target audience, then you need to understand about the cultural differences in business. People assume that things like traditions and values can’t affect commercial activities when they actually do. Without understanding the impact of culture on business, you can’t reach anywhere near your goals in the commerce world. When you are getting your website designed for international clients, you may have realized you would need its different versions in different languages. But what many people don’t know is that the translation needs to be according to the local values or it will be useless.
Examples of Cultural Differences in Business:
In order to find out how these differences can affect your corporation, a look at the example is necessary. If you are doing business in a Muslim country, handshake with women may not a good idea, and greeting them with a hug is totally out of the question. But in America, handshake is a norm everywhere regardless of the gender of the other person. In Europe, however, kissing your business associate on both cheeks as a form of greeting is the norm.
There are a few countries where the tone of voice may sound threatening when that’s simply how the people of that place talk. If you didn’t know this fact beforehand, you may think that the other person is going to start a fight with you. If you did know, however, you will be comfortable with it, and be able to communicate with them efficiently.
Another example is that in America, people prefer to keep some distance between them and their associates while in European countries, standing shoulder-to-shoulder is the norm. The thing about cultural difference is that you need to know all about them or you can end up offending your associate. Even if you don’t own a business and work at a place where people from different backgrounds work, you need to know their values so you can treat them accordingly. But in business, you can’t take a step in the international market if you are not aware of each cultural difference.
In today’s world, if your successful business isn’t multinational, you are intentionally putting a hurdle on your way to success. But entering the international market is not easy the first time. You have to consider a lot of things and make sure you are fully prepared before you can take this risky step. But knowing the impact of cultural differences can help you a lot. You will be considerate of other people’s sentiments. When you follow their customs, they will return your respect with respect and awe. It will also be a good way to earn the trust of your target audience because if you show people that you know their culture and respect it, they will become your biggest supporter and lifelong clients.