Sunday, February 7, 2010
This week I learned an interesting and important lesson from our guest speaker. He was talking about how when he would do business with foreign people, the deals would not always go according to plan, even if all of the "right words" were used. Different cultures interpret body language and various gestures in several different ways. What may be intended as flattering or passive in one culture could be very insulting to those in another culture. Also, just because your client has a translater, does not mean that they do not speak English. What you may think you are saying to your co-workers under your breath may actually be heard by all. Some people use translators as a tactic to try and make the others think they are fully trusting them, however they can actually gain more information from the things that may not be translated, therefore they have an upper hand. Communication skills are very important in business deals, but moreso in foreign deals because a lot of communication is made up of things that are not acutally said. It is always best to walk into the room prepared. Know your client and know their culture. By not being prepared, you could make a move or gesture that may ruin business with that client forever.