In any international relationship communication and understanding are critical for success.
Problems created by; language, stereotypes, misinformation, lack of information, and cultural misunderstandings combine with normal business problems to create a complicated scenario for anyone involved in international relationships and global business.
Prepare your international meetings and business presentations using the following questions as a guide to organize your ideas and focus on actions that will produce positive results for everyone involved.
6 Questions – Create Great International Business Trip Results
- What does this organization know about me, my company and my country?
- What do they think they know about me?
- What can I tell them that they do not know?
- What do I know about my international partner, culture and country?
- What do I think I know about this business, culture and country?
- What can they tell me that I do not know?
1. What does this organization know about me and my company. When you walk in the room an opinion has already been formed about you, your organization, and your ability to perform in the future. These ideas are based upon facts, information and past experience.
- What has been the history of our relationship in their country?
- Who has been involved in our mutual business, and why?
- What promises have been made and kept by both?
- What promises have been made and not delivered upon?
- What have the major problems and success been in the past?
- Press and media, our organizations promotional material.
2. What do they think they know about me. Clarifying the unknowns or presumed realities in a relationship is crucial to success. These ideas may be very damaging and limit your ability to trust one another. What stereotypical behaviour can you avoid or prevent? What can you clarify or refute through information or actions?
- Behaviour and reacts based upon past experience with your organization.
- Rumour and innuendo, press and media reports.
- Negotiation styles.
- Business objectives.
- Behaviour, goals and methods of doing business based upon country and cultural stereotypes.
3. What can I tell them that they do not know. Today’s business world requires trust, information and solutions. Reinforcing your need to work with your international partner, providing important information or solutions, and clarifying misunderstandings can only help the relationship.
- Clarify or destroy cultural stereotypes.
- Clarify business objectives and why they are important in order to reach these objectives.
- Provide solutions and alternatives to existing situations and challenges.
- Provide information of value for their business and strategy.
- Clearly identify current or potential business problems.
- Predict and have answers ready for their questions.
4. What do I know about my International partner, culture and country? What do I know is true and not innuendo or interpretation? The numbers, facts, information, agreements and past performance history of the business. Information about the country and the business culture.
5. What do I think I know about this business, culture and country? What preconceived ideas and stereotypes are you working with? What are you assuming and what has been proven?
6. What can they tell me that I do not know? What questions do you need to ask in order to verify information or create plans. What pieces of your information puzzle are missing? This is the time to get your questions answered, what are they?