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

Diagnosing the lag in neuropsychiatric treatments
The number of mental health research programmes in larger drug firms has shrunk by 70% in the past decade. Blue Latitude Health Senior Associate Consultant Sana Rahim explores this drop in investment and explains why developing a market-orientated model is vital for making progress.
Blue Latitude Health
Precision paediatrics: Treating patients with CAR-T
Dr Stuart Adams specialises in using T-cell therapy to treat paediatric patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Here, he explains what it was like to develop and deliver a groundbreaking CAR-T therapy for the first patient in Europe, and how the centre of excellence has adapted to make precision medicine a reality
Blue Latitude Health
What does it mean to be an agile organisation
We spoke with Philip Atkinson to learn how healthcare and pharmaceutical companies can rapidly respond to changes in the market.
Blue Latitude Health
Battling breast cancer with precision medicine (Part 2)
Dr Mark Moasser treated breast cancer survivor Laura Holmes-Haddad (interviewed in part one) with an innovative precision medicine, which at the time was yet to be approved. Here he gives his side of the story and explains how industry can help oncologists treat more patients with targeted therapies.
Blue Latitude Health
Battling breast cancer with precision medicine (Part 1)
Laura Holmes Haddad is a breast cancer survivor. She made the incredibly brave decision to participate in a PARP inhibitor precision medicine trial. Here, the author and precision medicine advocate tells her story and explains what industry needs to remember when treating cancer patients with precision medicine.
Blue Latitude Health
The role of brain health in treating MS
Blue Latitude Health speaks to Professor Gavin Giovannoni, key opinion leader and Chair of Neurology, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, about his theories on brain health, the importance of a holistic approach to MS and why digital technology is the future of effective MS care.
Blue Latitude Health