This program is for employees of global companies who are negotiating or working on joint ventures or carrying out other business in a selected region or country.
The purpose of "Doing Business in Country or Region X" is to explore the impact of cultural values on management and communication styles. It is designed to help participants develop a strategy to adapt their management and communication styles to other cultures. Building on the cross-cultural skills and country- or region-specific information learned during the program, participants are prepared to review their business objectives and discuss how their approach for the selected country or region could be made more effective.
The program is typically delivered to a group but can be structured for one or two participants.
- To explore cultural values specific to the participants' home or organizational country and other selected countries, and examine their impact on communication, social customs and business practices
- To assess participants’ management preferences and compare these to the preferences of managers in the selected country or region through the use of the Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™
- To provide participants with conceptual and practical approaches to understanding business practices in the selected country or region, and prepare them to interact with clients and/or colleagues there
- To help participants develop skills and strategies to accomplish their business objectives
- To review the recent political and economic climate in the selected country or region and the implications for doing business there
These objectives may be modified following a needs assessment.
Employees in these seminars will:
- Become more effective in a multicultural business environment.
- Be able to relate cultural values to business practices.
- Develop strategies for adapting their management and communication styles to other cultures.
- Develop skills to understand cultural differences in motivation, negotiation styles, decision-making, planning and conflict-resolution.
- Learn how to establish credibility and how to avoid misunderstandings.
- Learn about cues you can use to make sure your message is getting across.
1. Cultural Values
This exercise is designed to highlight the similarities and differences between the cultural values of the participants and nationals of the selected countries in key areas such as attitude to life and society, family and social relationships, gender roles, work ethics and time.
2. Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™
The Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ enables participants to identify individual workstyle preferences and compare them with management preferences in targeted countries.
3. Culture in Business
Discussion of "home" country management preferences vs. those of the selected other countries, focusing on their impact on leadership style, risk-taking, negotiating, decision-making, planning, problem-solving, control, conflict-resolution, use of time, investing and spending, approaches to individual and team responsibilities, and aspects of superior/subordinate relations.
Review of key differences between "home" and selected countries’ communication styles, including high and low context, direct and indirect, and verbal and non-verbal communication. Participants learn how to avoid misunderstandings, how to deal with language barriers and how to get their message across in a culturally appropriate manner.
5. Business Etiquette and Protocol
Cultural tips to aid in social and business interactions, including discussion of: levels of formality, making contacts, building relationships, business entertainment, appropriate topics for conversation, male/female relationships, private-/work-life overlap, dress, business cards and gift-giving.
6. Critical Incidents / Role Plays
Based on actual interactions between managers from different cultures, each critical incident is an example of a culturally sensitive situation that might be encountered in a social or business context. Participants analyze them within the context of cultural, individual, organizational and environmental differences and relate their own stories of encounters with other cultures. Role plays enable participants, whether actors or observers, to experience and learn from interactions between managers from different cultures as scenarios relevant to the targeted country and participants’ business objectives are played out and debriefed.
7. Selected Skill-Building
Depending on participants’ goals (determined during a needs assessment), culturally relevant approaches to specific skill areas are discussed. Possible topics include letter writing, presentations, meetings and exchange of information, long-distance communications, proposals, financial areas and team-building.