Please login to the form below

Culture cannot be global: doing business outside your comfort zone

Dorottya Okros of Blue Latitude Health talks through the common communication and negotiation pitfalls of working with Eastern Europe and the CIS for British presenters.
Communication is a critical business skill, and in marketing, it is our business. Mastering the art of communication, however, usually means reading books or taking seminars run by people from our own culture who are teaching us how to communicate better within that culture. But you can be the best communicator in all of Britain, and still fail to get your point across in a meeting with the EMEA or CIS Director of Marketing if you haven’t taken their cultural communication style into account when preparing for your meeting.

Cultural context is everything when you’re working with teams from a different background to your own. Think of how many times you experience miscommunication and misunderstanding with your own family members - and these are people who share your cultural context.

In this article, Senior Associate UX Researcher Dorottya Okros talks through the common communication and negotiation pitfalls of working with Eastern Europe and the CIS for British presenters.

Culture develops on different levels

Culture develops at a national, local, and even company or team level. And communication styles can differ wildly from culture to culture. You might see this on a micro level within a company – one brand team may have a manager who prefers very direct, succinct communications, while another brand team may communicate in a more formal, long-form style. Neither is ‘wrong’, but if someone moved from the formal style team to the direct team, they would likely have an initial struggle to adapt.

Now magnify that problem to the country level. From a business perspective, understanding national behaviour can be the key to success when developing content and strategy for our clients, or simply, when we have a business meeting with an affiliate. Think of how many companies sit within the EMEA region. This grouping into a region falsely suggests that Europe, the Middle East, and Africa will have the same requirements, same understanding, and same attitudes, culture, approach, religion etc. Clearly, they do not. And treating a meeting with the brand leaders of EMEA as one entity would be a grave mistake.

As soon as we understand the cultural differences between regions, and even the differences within that specific region, we can better prepare ourselves for the upcoming conversation, negotiation, or presentation. We can prepare more relevant deliverables, and hold better trainings and workshops. We can also foresee their reactions to our plans for them. Meeting cultural and communication needs is essential.

Getting communication right: an Eastern European example

Because British managers tend to be more politically correct, confrontation avoidant, and emotionally less expressive then other cultures, they may face great challenges when they need to hold a training for Eastern Europeans (who are more confrontational and emotionally expressive). When providing feedback, they would say things they are used to within their society and culture. For example, “I only have a few minor comments regarding your document”  is understood by Brits to mean that one should think again and have another go at the document, but for anyone else, this could be understood at face value as minor suggestions.



Download the full article from Blue Latitude Health

12th April 2017

Share

Tags

Company Details

Blue Latitude Health

+44 203 328 1840

Contact Website

Address:
Blue Latitude Health (UK)
140 Aldersgate Street
London
EC1A 4HY
United Kingdom

Latest content on this profile

Q&A with Dr Timothy Vollmer, leading MS Neurologist
Blue Latitude Health sits down with key opinion leader and specialist neurologist Dr Timothy Vollmer to better understand the paradigm shift in MS treatment. He explains the challenges neurologists face when making treatment decisions, and why patients need to be treated with more efficacious drugs earlier on.
Blue Latitude Health
Living my best life with multiple sclerosis
Multi-award-winning advocate and patient engagement champion Trishna Bharadia gives a valuable insight into life with multiple sclerosis. She explains how treatment has changed, how our healthcare systems and pharma can unite to improve quality of life for MS patients today, and why her diagnosis isn’t stopping her achieving her goals.
Blue Latitude Health
Creative review: ESMO 2018
BLH reviews the creative concepts exhibited at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress, crowning our best booth winners and giving key insights on how to develop an inspiring design for your booth.
Blue Latitude Health
A unique tool for turning data into brand strategy
Head of Insight Martine Leroy, uses her 25+ years’ experience to develop an exclusive perceptual framework for research design and analysis, which generates a deeper understanding of customer needs and the changing market dynamics
Blue Latitude Health
Positive disruption: getting to the bottom of big data
BLH speaks to Nicole Huyghe, founder and Managing Director of data science consultancy Boobook, about the growing need from businesses for data-driven decision making.
Blue Latitude Health
We've moved!
Blue Latitude Health has moved office to a new location in Barbican, Central London, following a year of substantial growth.
Blue Latitude Health