Cross-Cultural Communication in Alabama
Birmingham Diversity Training for Corporate Communications
Understanding cross-cultural communication can be the difference between running a business in harmony with your employees and partners, and a fractured company that falls apart due to internal conflict and lack of understanding. It is about more than just emails and texts between employees, and instead comes from fostering a corporate culture where everyone feels welcome and can interact in a positive and meaningful way. Not only can this help ensure workflow is efficient and productive, but it can help avoid internal conflict and even potentially disastrous lawsuits or loss of employees.
Cross-cultural communication training is vital for businesses in the 21st Century. Do not get left behind and find yourself wondering where it all went wrong. Contact the Guster Law Firm, LLC today at (205) 581-9777 to learn about the diversity training we offer. Take your business further and ensure you are ready for global communication and all the expansion opportunities the future offers.
What is Cross-Cultural Communication?
In general, cross-cultural communication refers to the exchanging of ideas and information between people of different cultural backgrounds, often with differing nationalities and upbringing. This can occur within one nation, such as someone from the southern areas of the United States communicating with a person from the Pacific Northwest, or between countries, as happens when business occurs between people in the US and Japan. While the differences may be fairly minor or quite extensive, in any situation it is vital to understand how culture impacts communication and act accordingly.
The Importance of Communication
In many ways, in the modern world, communication is the most valuable and important commodity most businesses have. Whether it is interaction between employees and clients or customers, messages from manufacturers to distributors, or just emails between employees at a company, communication is key to efficient and productive workflow. When communication breaks down, it tends to take a lot of other systems and functions with it. Even a minor error or miscommunication can result in a loss of time, money, or future contacts and business associates.
Incorporating Cross-Cultural Communication into your Business
Effective cross-cultural communication really begins with training that permeates all levels of a company with a real and functional understanding of what to expect when communicating between cultures. This can be practical, such as applicable lessons in how to relate with other people from a particular nationality, or more general lessons regarding awareness and sensitivity to cultural differences. A top-down approach is often helpful, since managers and team leaders can demonstrate cross-cultural communications through their daily behavior, modeling these attitudes and practices for other employees.
It really needs to permeate an entire company and become part of just about everything, from hiring practices to daily operations and exit interviews when an employee leaves. This helps ensure your employees are in a productive environment where they feel free to be themselves and interact effectively with each other and gives you feedback on where improvements can be made or how additional training might help.
Types of Cross-Cultural Communication
While an exhaustive list of forms of communication is probably unnecessary, most forms of communication tend to fall into oral, written, or non-verbal messages.
- Oral - Oral communication covers messages expressed verbally from one person to another or to a group. Word choice is very important in cross-cultural communication to ensure comprehension is clear and efficient.
- Written - Written communication are messages conveyed through text. This can include things such as emails, text messages, and memos between departments.
- Non-Verbal - Non-verbal messages are those conveyed through things such as body language, eye contact, and facial expressions. These are very precise and subtle indicators of meaning, but can also be vital when trying to effectively communicate between different cultures.
If you want to ensure your business thrives in a growing marketplace, cross-cultural communication is vital. Call the Guster Law Firm, LLC today at (205) 581-9777 and we can discuss training options that would benefit your company.