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
Crusader House
145-157 St John Street
London
EC1V 4QJ
United Kingdom

Latest content on this profile

Creative effectiveness: international work that works
Creative Director Damien Parsonage explains how the creative department at Blue Latitude Health creates work that resonates with customers and delivers results.
Blue Latitude Health
Key principles for developing brand and portfolio messaging
Senior Medical Writer Sarah White and Consultant Zoe Bartley reveal practical tips for creating a strong messaging strategy that works for your brand.
Blue Latitude Health
Immunotherapies in oncology: the future of cancer treatment lies in combinations and partnerships
Anne Legendre reviews the scientific rationale behind immunotherapy combinations and Frances Hendry examines how partnerships, co-marketing and positioning drugs will play key roles in shaping the competitive landscape in oncology.
Blue Latitude Health
Localising digital services in healthcare: efficient and effective adaptation
Head of Customer Experience Elisa del Galdo explains what localisation means and how pharma companies can effectively and efficiently develop and deploy their services, helping you overcome the challenge of different regions with diverse markets and customers.
Blue Latitude Health
How to plan, execute and refine an excellent congress experience
Medical congresses are one of the most important and intensive marketing activities a company can undertake. Here, Account Director Dolan Desai and Senior Creative Copywriter Dale Choate give you the practical tools and tips you need to create a leading congress experience.
Blue Latitude Health
21st Century Cures Act: a commercial perspective on how the new FDA regulation could revolutionise use of RWE and analytics in healthcare
The 21st Century Cures Act has transformed the US drug development landscape. David Cooney explores the implications of the Act for pharmaceutical companies and reveals how it can be leveraged.
Blue Latitude Health