blog: cross-cultural training

Our blog keeps you informed about the cultural characteristics of different cultures and countries. This will ensure that you have the most up-to-date background knowledge, including information on such topics as negotiations in China, leading employees in Brazil or successfully writing e-mails with Italians. Furthermore, you will get the latest news about cross-cultural communication and cross-cultural training.

In case you’re interested in seminars, workshops or coaching on these topics, here’s an overview of our services, which we offer worldwide.

Hierarchy: Cultural differences

Experience has shown that dealing with hierarchy is one of the most important topics when it comes to work-related communication. Considered simply, there are two distinct styles worldwide with different advantages and disadvantages: a hierarchy-oriented style and a style with the flattest hierarchies possible. Our article reveals important background information on both. Continue reading

Posted in Allgemein | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Employee leadership “Made in Japan”

In Japan, very special cultural challenges are waiting for western visitors, which can also have an impact on business cooperation. Today we want to provide you with important background information on the topics of hierarchy, seniority and leadership.

Continue reading
Posted in Allgemein | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Do your foreign contacts often say “yes” and then do nothing? Do you never get negative feedback?

Especially in very indirect cultures there is a tendency not to speak out negative things openly. Instead, you usually say “yes”, even though you cannot complete a task at all, for example. Or you only get to hear praise, although there are actually enough things how the company could be improved. As a result, you are missing important information that you urgently need for successful work.

We have put together practical tips and strategies that will give you better / more honest answers.

How well do you take feedback?

Basically, you should first check how you accept feedback yourself! At this point the main reason for a lack of negative feedback can already lie. Does the other person feel that you react dismissive, offended or with too many justifications to negative statements?

This can lead to a gradual lack of negative feedback. The following article tells you what to keep in mind when you get feedback from others.

Read between the lines!

In my experience, telling an indirect person to please be more direct is of little use. If you are used to communicating negative things in an encrypted or indirect way for years, then you will find it very difficult to get rid of this characteristic.

So it is up to you to read more between the lines! If you assess your counterpart as an indirect person, you should therefore pay more attention to the “quiet tones”! By the way, communicating positive things is not a problem for indirect people. Negative statements, on the other hand, are circumscribed, presented as a small problem or only hinted at.

Conversely, this means: If you don’t hear a clear “yes”, it almost doesn’t matter what you hear instead. It’s probably a “no”. If your indirect counterpart says, for example, that it could be difficult to complete a task on time, then this – read between the lines – is very likely a “no” to the punctual delivery of the task.

That means: small problems are – with indirect people – most likely bigger problems. Implied rejections are most likely a rejection. They were only communicated very politely and in coded form. So be prepared to read more between the lines!

Written feedback, open questions, hierarchy

My experience from 16 years of international work shows that indirect people give more open feedback, provided they can do so in writing and anonymously. You just have to give them the opportunity!

When I worked with Chinese employees [who didn’t want to give me negative feedback at all], after several unsuccessful attempts at finding a solution, I appointed a spokesman among the Chinese employees. This person was supposed to act as an interface to me from now on. Through this “trick” this person was placed a bit higher in the hierarchy and was therefore allowed to address critical things more openly to me. In addition, this person did not pass on his own feedback, but that of his Chinese colleagues. This is one of the reasons why this employee was a bit more direct than usual.

I would also like to recommend that you use open questions more often when you work with indirect people! So don’t ask “Is everything okay?” But “What do you need my help with?”! Since you can rarely answer open questions with a simple “yes” or “no”, you will receive at least one whole sentence as an answer. You can read a lot more from this longer statement than from a mere “yes”.

You can make your international collaboration much easier!

Just book a cross-cultural training!

The background knowledge presented here is part of our transnational cross-cultural training courses, in which we provide you with interactive and exciting know-how about effective worldwide communication.

We optimize your international collaboration so that you can focus 100% on your actual tasks! 🙂

Posted in Allgemein | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Your international contacts do not answer your e-mails? We tell you what you can do!

Not receiving e-mail answers can thwart efficient work and be stressful, especially when you’re waiting on an important answer that doesn’t arrive. Today’s blog post will provide you with tips and strategies on how you can deliberately improve your e-mail response rate with foreign contacts.

Continue reading
Posted in Allgemein | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Leadership “made in the US”

Various rankings, which list the best global executives, are led by managers from the USA. One reason for that might be because many large corporations such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are located on site. But, there might also be a special American leadership style which is simply more successful than others.

Let’s take a closer look! Today’s post gives you basic information about the American leadership style, the subject of employee motivation and the requirements for a good manager in the US.

Continue reading

Posted in Allgemein | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Proper [in]direct communication

Learn practical tips and strategies on how to best deal with direct and indirect people! In this way you can achieve your professional goals faster and with a lot less worries.

As you surely know from your own surroundings, certain people communicate more directly than others. These people don’t mind telling you their opinions very openly, regardless of whether you’ll take it positively or negatively. On the other hand, you certainly also know people who tend to communicate more tactfully and thus place more value on the way things are said. From a global perspective, individual countries usually lean more toward one of these forms of communication than the other. Continue reading

Posted in Allgemein | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Relationship management in Turkish

If you want to do business in Turkey successfully, you should proceed differently than you normally would at home. In today’s post, we’d like to give you some valuable tips on which cultural characteristics to keep in mind when it comes to your business in Turkey. Continue reading

Posted in Allgemein | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Collectivist or individualist? Cultural differences in group behavior!

Do you have a lot of casual acquaintances? Or a close, steady circle of friends? Maybe even since childhood? We introduce you to the world’s most important differences in group behavior among people. … What’s in it for you? The article tells you how you can make your international work easier and, above all, more effective!

Continue reading
Posted in Allgemein | Tagged | Leave a comment