Due Thursday 7/17/14 – before midnight eastern time.
Unused/ Original. No copy-paste work!!
I need 2 critiques in regard to each of the essays below fitting the following reqs:
- What did you learn from your classmate’s posting?
- What additional questions do you have after reading the posting?
- What clarification do you need regarding the posting?
- What differences or similarities do you see between your posting and other classmates’ postings?
120 words min in each 1-3 paragraphs per essay
In continuing my work in establishing my business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Israel, Mexico and China, I must at a minimum train the mangers that I could possibly send abroad the basics of international communications.
Several aspects of training should take place first being that every country listed has a high and low context language. Look at it like slang here in the United States. I, and my selected managers, need to know the difference between talking to business owners versus talking to possible customers. It also means knowing the difference of what meanings words take on that I am used to versus what they mean in other countries. An “ok” in my language might mean something else in the UAE. (Moran, 2014) This must be known prior to any establishment instead of finding out you have possibly insulted a potential business partner or customer.
My next part of language training would also include dialect and non-verbal communications. In China, this could be paramount for instance when you stare to long at someone’s eyes, this is considered an insult. In the UAE, showing the bottom of your feet is another insult. In Mexico, in conversation with another person, you get very close to them and backing away might be a sign of unfriendliness. Israelis tend to be very direct and arrogant to the point of being pushy, but that’s the way their culture is and to them it’s considered being very honest. (Moran, 2014) I propose that we create a go-to sort of guide in basic cultural differences between our countries. The price of the manuals is small compared to the loss of business we could encounter.
My next training phase would be educating my staff on conversation taboos between the countries. My manual would show some examples like in China, never use the phrases like “I’ll think about it” or “perhaps” unless you mean “no”. These phrases generally mean “no” to Chinese but might mean “perhaps” actually to us. (Cotton, 2010) In Israel it is impolite to not use their title at first if it warrants (Israeli Business Culture: Dos and Don’ts, 2014) and in Mexico, avoid the word “no” in conversations because it may mean “maybe”. (Cotton, Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos: Communication Guidelines for MEXICO, 2012)In the UAE, establishing a friendly relationship is a very good start. Asking about one’s health is good and how many children they have is also acceptable. Asking how many wives they have is not though. (Business Etiquette in the U.A.E., 2014)As you can see we need to have some guidance on verbal taboos or acceptances in these countries and training is the key. Along with this training though, I believe it is important also to initially use a translator.
Initially using a translator can be beneficial in the beginning because of our lack of knowledge of the cultural differences. Not that the training wouldn’t help, but initially we want to make a good first impression and the use of a trusted translator would be helpful. Possibly after the initial work is established and a common knowledge of who we are dealing with is done, we may think of either retaining the translators or moving on ourselves. That would be determined after though and no time table should be set on that. The pros of having a translator initially speak for themselves. We need to establish if English can be spoken but to find that out at a business table that no one speaks a common language can be harmful or looked upon as a lack of preparedness. It also would be nice if one of our own personnel spoke the language of our new country interest. The con of having a translator hired abroad may be that your expressions or words may be translated wrong or misinterpreted. That is the chance we might have to take though and I believe possibly and second interpreter on the onset might be necessary to make sure our intentions are correctly identified.
Training is paramount in this endeavor we are trying to establish and rest assured the more we do this the easier it will become. Most regional cultures are similar, not exact, but similar and we can build on this as time goes on. Our commitment to our new customers abroad warrants no less than the best we can provide to make things acceptable and communication is the key to this.
Essay # 2
Every culture has it’s own form of high and low context language. Low context communication is rule-oriented. Low context communications are direct and task related. These types of interactions are generally a transfer of knowledge or ideas with little personalization. High context communication is more in depth and includes physical, non-verbal communication. High context communication is often used in long term relationships or intended long term relationships. Low context communication would occur on the intermediate level of business communication. High context communication would occur more frequently after the business relationships are stable. (Jefferey, 2007)
Training for cross-cultural communication would include training employees on the importance of religion to each country. Each country has very different religious beliefs and these beliefs influence their business communications. For example, business men and women alike should wear professional attire and women should not wear anything revealing. Unlike business women of the USA that can wear shirts that show skin, women should wear long dresses or pant suits and shirts that button the neck. UAE business meetings are usually long and filled with interruptions so they require patience.
It is also considered rude to show the bottoms of your feet or not accept gifts from UAE business men. (US-UAE Buisness Council, 2014)
Israeli business meetings are often more relaxed. Israeli business men can come across as bothersome to Americans because they want to get the know the people before conducting business. They ask very personal questions and it is considered rude to not be forthcoming and answer their questions. It is also important for the employee to read up on kosher living as to not say anything that would offend Israeli business men. (Foreign Translations, 2014)
Business meetings in Mexico begin with a handshake. It is important to train employees that you only shake the hand of a Mexican woman if she extends her hand first. Mexicans often hold a handshake longer than Americans. Mexicans stand closer to one another while speaking as well. This is opposite from Americans who tend to need their personal space. In Mexico, it is considered an insult to step back from your Mexican counterpart while he is speaking. American business men should always be punctual for meetings but should expect their Mexican counterparts to be late. (Global Portal for Diplomats, 2014)
Business meetings in China also begin with a hand shake. A Chinese business man may sometimes greet another business man with applause. If greeted with applause, it is considered rude not to return the applause. China businessmen are usually very direct and impersonal. In this culture, when it comes to communication, less is more. It is important to address Chinese businessmen by their full title and name. It is considered rude to touch a Chinese businessman, aside from a hand shake. For example, a high five would be considered inappropriate behavior. (Global Portal for Diplomats, 2014)
There are many pros and cons to using an interpreter. One obvious advantage is overcoming the language barrier. An interpreter would be fluent in the language so there would no confusion. Interpreters are also experienced in the culture and can help explain cultural differences. The disadvantages would be the cost of the actual interpreter and the lack of personalization. It can be frustrating using an interpreter because of the exchanges back and forth must be completed through a third party. There are some cases where using an interpreter could no be avoided. In countries where they do not understand English and the American business person is not fluent in their language and interpreter would have to be used to conduct any business deals. (Language Translations, 2014)