Communicating across cultures

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Well, for most of us, the summer holidays are over and we are back at our desks evaluating the feasibility of the business objectives set in January.

We are also back at our desks, reminiscing on our vacation.

–          Did you go abroad this year?

–          If you did, how did you get on?

–          Did you experience the frustration of having difficulty making yourself understood?

–          Are you one of those people who, when words fail, you revert to exaggerated hand gestures and facial expressions to make yourself understood?

–          Worse still, do you, in stilted English, just automatically raise your voice, deluding yourself that louder is also clearer?

–          Did you find yourself looking for other Dutch people to mix with when trying to communicate with another culture just became too exhausting?

If you can answer yes to all or any of the above, then you have been exposed to the phenomenon of cross cultural communication (or lack thereof)

However, that is just vacation! Now you are back in your own environment, where everyone understands you, and you do not have to struggle to be understood.

Friends and family accept your idiosyncrasies and laugh at your jokes. More importantly, they know when to take you seriously. Colleagues too, have come to understand what makes you tick. Unconsciously they interpret your tone of voice and body language.

But, what about those foreign (potential) clients? Can you say the same for them? If one of your business objectives was to go global, have you:

–          taken care of your multilingual website, brochures etc?

–          translated your PowerPoint or other presentations?

–          actively made contact with your potential market?

I expect you can answer yes to the above questions or that you can at least say that you are in the process of carrying them out.  If not, then it’s not too late. You still have over four months to achieve your global objectives!

But the most important question for me, and I’d like you to think about this. If you can only answer yes to the first of the three questions, than what is holding you back on the other two?

It wouldn’t surprise me if the issues that you were confronted with on vacation, are the issues that prevent you making real contact with those potential clients abroad.

You know it’s not just about translating your presentation. Or sending that translated email.  It’s also about:

–          understanding the translation

–          actually presenting it with confidence

–          and being able to discuss it.

–          having a constructive conversation.

It’s not about speaking the language perfectly – no one expects that.

That’s why, at Write Away, our aim is to support your communication needs, not to turn you into a linguist. A made to measure language training at Write Away, is tailor-made to your needs. 

But as I have said often in the past

FIRST IMPRESSIONS ALWAYS COUNT

A good first impression will show:

–          confidence

–          clarity

–          success

With those three elements, you ensure that your company is a worthy global player, up to the task of serving customers worldwide.

Be ready to take any opportunity that comes your way.

Approach your market with confidence.

Write Away works with you to translate all your communications, including your presentations.  Then takes it a step further with a tailor-made language training.

When you sign up for language training, the translation of the presentation is included in the price.

Curious? Feel free to mail me for more information.

Have I missed something? Then let me know in the comments box below.

If you have other questions or want more information on what Write Away can do for you, fill out the contact form in Dutch if you prefer.

 

Written by geraldine

Website: http://www.writeaway.nl

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