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Global Business - How Can I Communicate Better At Work?

Being part of a big, diverse world has its ups and downs. Sometimes we believe that everybody thinks the way we do and should act according to our expectations. But the reality is different - people around are not the same as us and actually, if you ask me there is a beauty in it. However it might be stressful sometimes. So how can we get out of our comfort zones, understand intercultural differences and become better communicators?

Throughout my life I managed to live in three culturally different countries, so I thought it is time for me to speak a bit about my experiences. In this blog I will tell you a little bit about the challenges of living in this global community and why communicating effectively with people from different cultures is so important, especially in the business world.

I will give some tips on how to become a more confident and easy communicator in an international workplace that you actually can use outside of work as well.

So let’s dive into this!

Understanding Each Other in Our Global Neighbourhood

Okay, so 'culture' is just a fancy word for the way different groups of people think and do things. Whether we're meeting face-to-face or through our phones, we're all part of what some folks call a 'global village.' It's like a big, connected world where we can talk to anyone, anywhere. But navigating in this global village in the right way is key, so we don't accidentally cause problems. Knowing the challenges of our diverse world is not just useful—it's something we really need to get.

In our super varied world, where people move around a lot, it's important to understand each other. When people from different backgrounds communicate, sometimes there's a bit of confusion, especially in how we talk and act. Consider verbal and nonverbal communication styles as well.

Why Business Talk is a Big Deal

Now, let's talk business! Companies are doing business all over the globe, and that means talking to people from lots of different cultures. This 'intercultural business communication' thing is just a fancy way of saying we need to talk and work well with people from different backgrounds. As businesses go international, they exchange tons of goods and services, making it crucial to understand how to communicate across cultures. Why? For a basic reason - if you want to be successful you have to know how to communicate!

Being Friendly in a Global World

Throughout history, people have always communicated with those from other cultures. Today, it's even more common—we've got friends, colleagues, and family from all over. But here's the concern: talking to each other, even though we're all global citizens, is still a bit tough. This is especially true in business, where making connections is super important. Knowing how to understand and work with people from different cultures is like a secret weapon for success.

And so, how can we master intercultural communication skills? How to adapt easily in different cultures? Here are some tips from me:

  • Understand the culture you are surrounded by

  • Research in Google, Books or even ask people to tell you a little bit about this culture (Get information, however do not 100% believe in everything you read or hear. Sometimes the reality you are in might be different from others)

  • While Communicating, listen more at the beginning rather than speak, however show your interest (don’t freeze)

  • Check which language/tone is better to use: friendly or formal

  • Evaluate how much personal space they need to feel comfortable around you

  • Check if they would like to share some personal information or things are kept strictly Business

  • Don’t forget to smile (So far I think this is the best and the fastest tool of nonverbal communication for making people like you more)

  • Be polite and kind, but avoid having a naïve person appearance.

  • If interested, tell them about the culture you come from, share general information (Remember sometimes you really are the ambassador of your culture)

  • Do not judge before you know a lot about the culture you are in

  • Do not generalize one specific attitude/characteristic to whole group of people

  • Stay positive and professional

So, these are some pieces of advice I’d give to anyone who would appear in a new environment that is culturally diverse.

Always remember, as our world keeps getting more connected, being able to talk to and understand each other becomes not just cool but totally necessary.

Sure, there are challenges, but by recognizing them and learning how to talk across cultures, we're paving the way for a better, friendlier global future.

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