Chapter 11

Communicating Across Cultures

In This Chapter

arrow Appreciating differences

arrow Understanding that context is vital

arrow Steering clear of problems

In today’s ‘globalised’ world, international trade and tourist travel occur on a regular basis. As a result, understanding and respecting cultural differences, and being able to communicate effectively with people whose backgrounds, ethnicity and customs are different from yours, are vital for establishing and maintaining positive relationships and building business.

Knowledge is key to communicating successfully across borders. Appreciating differences, valuing diversity and avoiding stereotyping can help you steer clear of misunderstandings. Although religious, cultural and behavioural differences can be frustrating, when you demonstrate respect and practise patience, your ability to communicate across borders is hugely enhanced.

The subject of cultural differences is vast, fascinating and worthy of a book of its own. In this chapter I aim simply to whet your appetite by offering you a broad view of the different norms, values, beliefs and customs across the globe. In addition, I provide you with some tips for side-stepping potential ...

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