HOW TO AVOID BUSINESS cultural misunderstandings?


Although it might seem that business is an „international language” (after all, everyone wants to get rich, regardless of skin color or nationality), practice shows that nuances are of great importance in this matter. Sometimes very specifically countable in money …

How to avoid cultural misunderstandings if we do business on an international scale? First of all – learn, observe those who do it correctly, and in the event of a mishap – get a smile and apologize. The knowledge of the meaning of various types of gestures, which, depending on the country in which they are performed, mean something different, as well as the ability to efficiently navigate in a multicultural environment, is referred to as cultural intelligence. Importantly, this skill can and even needs to be developed if we want to achieve satisfactory business goals. Trainings on cultural differences in business are conducted, for example, by the Effect Training and Information Center.

Business with representatives of foreign cultures

If we take into account the approach to doing business, especially to negotiations that are frequent in this area, we will be able to distinguish two basic strategies.

The first is the so-called protransaction. In general, it is about finalizing the transaction as quickly as possible, the fastest and shortest way to „reach the goal”.



The second strategy is called propartner. The word itself puts people at the center of business relations. Relations with him are the basis, and only from them you go to the next level, i.e. strictly business talks. Prot-transaction attitudes are the domain of the inhabitants of Anglo-Saxon countries, mainly the USA, Australia, New Zealand, as well as the Scandinavian countries and Germany. In this case, all words spoken during business talks have a strictly defined meaning. The external context does not actually influence the course of the negotiations. The situation is completely different in Arab and Latin American countries and in some African countries, where the dominant attitude is propartner and the strengthening of relations between contractors is an important element of running a business.

What is Poland doing in this ranking? It can be said that we are on the borderline – between a protranational and pro-partnership attitude. The difference can be seen clearly if we compare our standards of business eg. The German – concept approach to time, punctuality, attitude to the law, etc.

Differences between neighbors

While in relation to contractors from radically different cultures intuitively we feel that we need to keep far-reaching vigilance so as not to make a blunder or a faux pas, some businessmen seem to forget about the differences between our countries in cross-border contacts, for example with Germany.

If you want to learn more about avoiding cultural misunderstandings in business, check out the professional training offer for companies on the website


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