5 Tips for Building Relationships Across Cultures

Posted by nancymueller on Monday, November 8th, 2010
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When working across borders, whether hosting or visiting your global clients, consider your client’s perspective. For example, rank and status are highly valued in Asian and Middle Eastern cultures which impacts everything from how you greet one another to seating arrangements.

Use the following acronym as a reminder of how to facilitate your global interactions at home and abroad:

A – Anticipate that there will be differences in customs, courtesies and communication styles and plan accordingly.
D – Demonstrate your respect and understanding of other cultures by learning a few key words and phrases in your host’s or guest’s language.
A – Ask more questions, make fewer assumptions. When in doubt about what is considered appropriate behavior, it’s better to ask than to assume you know and end up having a cultural collision.
P – Practice “The Platinum Rule,” as coined by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.
T – Tailor your communication style for mutual understanding. Avoid using unfamiliar cultural references, jargon or slang that would exclude the other person.

By learning to A – D – A – P – T to cultural differences, you gain the trust and respect of your international colleagues and clients to set the stage for long-term, mutually rewarding relationships.

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