Global business environment require more and more people to understand different cultures. Even though it’s hard to understand in depth on other culture, there are still multiple ways to improve these differences.
The primary way to begin is to learn. Business people need to learn a new language by themselves or to hire multi-linguists for their businesses. Language is the first step to learn a new culture. The ways to learn necessary language for business include listening radios, news in other language, talking with people who have different culture and language, reading and writing more and more by other languages.
The second way to handle cross culture in business is to overcome threat feelings to communicate with people in different culture. To ask when you really do not understand rather than keep silent with confuse. It might bring big loss in business when people sign a contract without understand all clauses in it. Owing to different culture, it’s easy for people to ignore some words which are the key in one culture rather than in other’s.
The third way to handle cross culture in business is that do not take everything for granted even some part of different cultures are similar. For example, everyone likes discount. In United States, it has black Friday; most people stand in line to purchase what they want for a much lower price than usual. In China, people like discount also, but if you live in China for enough long time, you will find that every day is “black Friday”. Therefore, for business people, black Friday strategy does not work well in China. Take cosmetic as an example, in China; they promote their products by giving more gifts rather than reducing price. In United States, they have price discount rather than free gifts. As a Chinese, I will doubt whether the cosmetic will expire soon if they reduce their prices, but I feel happy if it happens in United States.
The fourth way to handle cross culture in business is to develop diversity within your group. For example, train people from different culture in your local company and send them into different countries. As a Chinese with university education in United States, I am a target for those American corporation who has branch in China and those Chinese corporation who has business in United States. Not only the language advantage I have for a U.S. corporation with branches in China, but also the politic and network advantages.
Overall, global business needs a great portion of diversity, which need business person to learn, to understand, to overcome threat feelings in strange environment. Therefore, people are equal when learn new things, in other words, they are equal when handle cross culture.