INDIVIDUAL CULTURAL VARIABLES

business communication  INDIVIDUAL CULTURAL VARIABLES:

Food

It may be a good idea prior to visiting your host country to visit various ethnic restaurants in your home country. Then you’ll have an initial idea as to the kinds of foods available: how they are served, fixed or eaten.

Perceptions of Food

a.Are you aware of the eating habits of your hosts?

b.Are there table conventions you should be aware of?

c.Are there foods you might find disagreeable?

Individual Cultural Variables

Acceptable Dress

It is better to ask about the mode of dress for an occasion in your host country than to risk making an embarrassing mistake.

It most American businesses men wear the business suit whereas women wear dressed or tailored suits.

Some British people might still wear the bowler along with a dark suit and carry an umbrella.

In Middle East long cotton coat are acceptable.

Perception of Dress

a.How much skin may be exposed in both an informal and in a formal situation?

b.Are certain colors disturbing?

c.Will western attire be accepted?

Individual Cultural Variables

Manners

Knowing manner is also very important. Children shake your hand in Germany, hug you in Italy, and often stay in the background in Pakistan/India. In fact, the ritual of the greeting and the farewell is more formal many countries with children and adults. You avoid gifts of red roses in Germany or white chrysanthemums in France, Belgium and Japan.

Be prepared to sit close together in Asia. In Saudi Arabia sons

Defer to their fathers. At the heart of their system is the family.

Perceptions of Manners

a.What is the protocol regarding the introduction of persons in a business situation?

b.What are the “rules” of gift giving?

Individual Cultural Variables

Decision Making

Patience – above all – is needed in intercultural communication, in doing business with other countries. Americans are typecast as moving too quickly in asking for a decision. Give more thought to inductive communication.

American are accused of being brusk, curt, impolite; we wish to get to the point – fast, “Getting down to business” is a trait of the western culture. The Germans, Singaporeans, Swiss, Dutch, and Scandinavians are similar, quickly getting to the issue. Chinese, Pakistani, French, and British prefer more pleasuring social amenities.

In Japan, decision time is held back as group consensus moves toward a decision.

Individual Cultural Variables

Ringi process (stamps of approval by many people on a proposal)

Your understanding of the decision process – add to your success in dealing with a foreign environment.

Perceptions of decision making

a.Is the pattern for making decisions consistent from one company to another?

b.Is placement of the major decision maker consistent in meeting situations?

c.Is an inductive or a deductive pattern of decision making preferred?

Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

Verbal

A kind of verbal sparring occurs when strangers meet each seeking to determine which topics are acceptable and uncontroversial the tone of voice of one’s initial words can influence you initial perception of whether the meeting is positive or negative ‘see you later’ can mean the same day to Asian workers or some indefinite time in the future to Americans

Arabs are loud and some Japanese use little volume

Cantonese demand more volume to suggest changes in word meaning

Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

A. Accept cultural differences

  1. studying your own culture
  2. Learn about other cultures through books, articles, videos, and other resources.
  3. encourages employees to discuss their culture’s customs
  4. Avoid being judgmental
  5. Create a formal forum to teach employees about the customers of all cultures represented in the firm reader’s forum.
  6. Train employees to see and overcome ethnocentric stereotyping.

Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

B. improve oral and written communications

  1. define the terms people need to know on the job
  2. emphasize major points with repetition and reap.
  3. Use familiar words whenever possible.
  4. Be concise.
  5. Don’t cover too much information at one time.
  6. Adjust your message to employees’ education level.
  7. Be specific and explicit – using descriptive words, exact measurements, and examples when possible.
  8. Give the reason for asking employees to follow a certain procedure and explain what will happen if the procedure is not followed.
  9. Use written summaries and visual aids (when appropriate) to clarify your points.
  10. Demonstrate and encourage the right way to complete a task, use a tool, and so on.
  11. Reduce language barriers: Train managers in the language of their employees, train employees in the language of most customers and of most people in the company, ask bilingual employees to serve as translators, print important health and safety instructions in as many languages as necessary.

C. Access how well you’ve been understood

  1. Research the nonverbal reactions of other cultures; then be alert to facial expressions and other nonverbal signs that indicate confusion or embarrassment.
  2. probe for comprehension.
  3. Encourage employees to ask questions in private and in writing.
  4. Observe how employees use the information you’ve provided, and review any misunderstood points.

D. Offer feedback to improve communication

  1. Focus on the positive by explaining that should be done rather than what shouldn’t be done.
  2. Discuss a person’s behaviors and the situation, rather than making a judgment about the person.
  3. Be supportive as you offer feedback, and reassure individuals that their skills and contribution are important

A Kind of verbal sparring occurs when We judge people to a great extent by their voice. Some native languages demand many tonal variations, giving the impression to a nonnative of loudness, even arrogance.

Nonverbal

A Myriad of nonverbal symbols exist for every culture, even in subcultures. Knowing the major desirable and undesirable cues helps knowing both intended and unintended communication errors.

Oral Team reports on a Country’s Variables that May affect Business and communication.

Appoint several teams within the class. Each time is responsible for selecting a single country and then orally reporting the class some of that country’s national environmental variables that may affect business and communication. A possible outline might include the following points:

PROCESS OF PREPARING EFFECTIVE BUSINESS MESSAGES

While preparing a written or an oral business message, you need to plan, organize, compose, edit and revise it. The message must also be proofread and corrected before it is mailed. Apart from the steps mentioned above the writer must take care of seven C qualities and also of legal aspect. Careful preparation of communication is important, even if the writer / speaker has the modern technology. The basic planning steps are as follows:

Five Planning Steps

Before writing a message, the following steps are necessary for effective communication.

  1. Define the purpose of the message.
  2. Analyze your audience – readers or listeners.
  3. Choose the ideas to include.
  4. Collect all the facts to back up these ideas.
  5. Outline – organize – your message.

1. Define the purpose of the message.

i. General Purpose To inform, to persuade, to collaborate with your audience This deters the amount of audience participation and amount of control your have over your message.

to inform: you control is high you inform you need with interaction. Audience absoure or reject

the information to persuade: you require a moderate amount of participation / moderate amount of control.

to collaborate: with audience you need maximum participation / you control is minimal.

Specific purpose

That purpose you be clear and straightforward. To achieve this are your self what you want to achieve / accomplish with your message and what your audience should think after receiving the message.

Is you purpose realistic Is this the right time? Is the right person delivering the message? Is your purpose acceptable to you organization?

2. Analyze your audience – readers or listeners.

It is very important to write the message to the recipient’s views and needs. You might or might not have met the recipient. It is better to visualize the individual. Try to picture that person – business or professional person or labourer, superior (boss) colleague, or subordinate, man or woman, new or longtime customer, young, middle-aged, or eldery client. Also, consider the person’s educational level, attitudes, and so on. If the message is for many people, try to find some common characteristics. In all communications, the areas must be considered on which the recipient is likely to be well informed or uniformed, pleased or displeased, positive, negative, or neutral, interested or uninterested and unreceptive. As yourself some key question about your audience

  1. Who are they?
  2. What is their probable reactor to your message.
  3. How much do they already know about the subject?
  4. what is their relationship to your Audience profile
  5. Who is your primary audience?
  6. How big is your audience?
  7. What is your audience’s composition?
  8. What is your audience’s level of understanding?
  9. What is your audience’s probable reaction?
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