The importance of cross-cultural communication that drives success

November 01, 2021

Importance of cross cultural communication

Good communication has always been a cornerstone of successful businesses. But now, with improved technology allowing more businesses to expand their reach across international boundaries, it’s even more prevalent.

The ability to communicate effectively with diverse cultures has become of paramount importance. You cannot conduct productive or profitable business without understanding your collaborator’s culture.

These same technologies enable businesses to employ talent from anywhere in the world and to integrate them into effective and productive teams. Fostering an understanding of cultural differences and understanding the importance of cross-cultural communication is vital for the productive functioning of these teams.

Understanding a global culture

The challenges and benefits of working in this global culture and the effects of a business’ worldview all prove the importance of cross-cultural communication.

Cross-cultural communication refers to the communication between participants from different cultures. Even within the same country, different locations can have cultural differences. Communication styles, standard norms of turn-taking in conversation, and accepted methods of address may all differ. 

So, before getting into the workplace and the effects of cross-cultural communication, it’s necessary to keep several things in mind. 

Each of us needs to develop our knowledge and understanding of our own cultural background and biases. Without this understanding, we take many things for granted. This will undoubtedly lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations. We also need to cultivate open-mindedness of other cultures and ways of doing things. Keeping these points in mind, let’s proceed.

8 aspects that prove the importance of cross cultural communication

For businesses to thrive in the global economy, it’s becoming increasingly vital to be aware of the importance of cross-cultural communication. Those businesses that successfully navigate and harness the differences and similarities between cultures can create more resilient interconnection and interdependence. 

Accordingly, the importance of cross-cultural communication in business plays its role in increasing productivity which helps businesses to thrive and increase their profits. So, let’s go through some of the greatest benefits of improved cross-cultural communication in the workplace and see how they drive success.

Communication and trust

Good cross-cultural understanding improves communication between people from different cultures. Consequently, it fosters greater trust.

When employees or customers are aware of potential differences and similarities, they’re likely to pay closer attention. They’ll think more about what other people are saying and doing. This is important to minimize misunderstandings and to consider what the other side is actually trying to communicate.

When employees or customers demonstrate an understanding of each other’s cultural background, greater trust is built. This creates a feeling of being a team and it enhances collaboration.

Increasing productivity and profits

Improved communication and trust promote greater productivity of all. The improved communication between colleagues boosts productivity in numerous ways, including reducing misinterpretation and a better understanding of strategies and goals.

With greater trust, participants can focus more on their aspect of the common work. All without the worry of whether the other participants are fulfilling the requirements of their respective tasks. Furthermore, greater trust also promotes collaboration and a sense of unity amongst team members.

Incentives

Another reason why cross-cultural communication is important is that it impacts the understanding of the different incentive drives of participants. By applying good cross-cultural understanding, we cater to these various incentives and create an inclusive environment. Consequently, there is an improvement in productivity when the participants are appropriately incentivized.

Appropriate incentives make employees or customers feel more valued because they recognize that attention has been paid to their relevant cultural norms.

Creativity

With a larger pool of cultural influences and views, creativity is improved as well.

Because of the greater variety in cultural influences and views, there are more inputs to any creative endeavor. This cultural diversity is important because it provides a larger selection of possible solutions to any problem or challenge faced in the workplace. 

Also, a better cross-cultural understanding is important to develop open-mindedness. It promotes the understanding that there’s more than one solution that’s suitable for any given situation or challenge.

In today’s rapidly changing markets and fast-paced lifestyles, improved creativity and problem-solving can provide a business with a noticeable edge.

Human resources

The importance of cross-cultural communication and understanding has its part in a business’s human resources department as well. When they have the ability to recruit globally and successfully integrate international talent, a business can make use of the most talented people, irrespective of their location. 

Not only would such diversity improve productivity, but it would also have a positive impact on the company’s image. It demonstrates that they value ability and talent wherever it comes from.

Challenging the status quo

Cultural diversity means that more questions are asked between participants as they seek to ensure effective communication and understanding. This results in the challenging of the status quo which often leads to potential improvements that would have been missed in a monocultural environment.

Moreover, frequent improvements often mean more efficient workflows, which can also drive greater success within the workplace.

Local needs

In utilizing cross-cultural communication and the application of a diverse talent pool, businesses can adapt to regional requirements with greater finesse and understanding. By making use of the relevant knowledge from within their global workforce, they’re better equipped to adapt to and understand local needs, habits, and requirements.

Demonstrating such local understanding could be a primary determiner of success in a local market. By catering to local culture, your business is almost certain to have a competitive edge over any rivals.

A great growth opportunity

While there are numerous challenges that occur when different cultures interact, there is a great opportunity too.

Ideally, the development and implementation of cross-cultural communication should take place from the top of the organization. When the leaders set an example and demonstrate their awareness and adaptability, they pave the way for everyone else in the organization to follow suit.

The benefits of effective cross-cultural communication, not only toward success and profit, can be immense. It generally outweighs the challenges posed and has major long-term benefits.

To start the development of cross-cultural communication, keep the above in mind. Remember to actively listen to all participants. And, always pause before reacting, in case there has been a cultural misunderstanding.

Conclusion

Society’s integration with technology and the resulting development of global culture has placed greater pressures on business. It highlighted the need for developing and training cultural understanding and the importance of cross-cultural communication. Therefore, breaking the cross-cultural communication barriers in the workplace goes a long way towards increasing success. 

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