Cultural differences

Cultural differences are a proven fact. Scientific literature claims that up to 70 % of all international business fails due to missing intercultural competences of one or both partners.

    Experience shows that cultural differences play a cardinal role in the following situations:

  • Delayed rollout,
  • Missed deadlines,
  • Work has to be redone,
  • Delayed production,
  • Enormous amount of time spent while establishing and maintaining relationships,
  • Slow transfer of knowledge and experience,
  • Repeated effort to resolve the same issue.

Knowing and comprehending the inner logic of both your own and the foreign partners' cultures will help you understand and avoid similar situations.

You will understand how cultures differ e.g. in communication, in expressing emotions, hierarchy perception, performance orientation, assertiveness or in the perception of structure and time.

    You will learn what to expect and be prepared for in,

  • Virtual communication (e-mail, telephone and video conferencing, etc.),
  • Communication (e.g. disagreement, negative feedback and objections),
  • Negotiation (e.g. strategy, process of achieving agreement, its form and urgency),
  • Self-presentation and self-marketing (e.g. assertiveness, recruitment, proactivity in a group),
  • Meeting management (e.g. preparation, flexibility of the agenda, minutes),
  • Employee management and motivation (e.g. the role of a manager, motivation systems, leadership styles),
  • Team cooperation (e.g. the development of cohesiveness, team roles, loyalty, competitiveness),
  • Networking (e.g. etiquette, work vs. private life, communication technologies),
  • Decisionmaking (e.g. who decides what, accepting responsibility, role of the organisational culture),
  • Etiquette (small talk, taboos, level of formality, dresscode, gift giving, addressing, women vs. men, etc.).
schéma - klíčové kompetence leadera

Differences between national cultures represent just one piece in the mosaic of interaction between people with different cultural backgrounds. They need to be reviewed regularly, e.g. with regard to differences within a single culture, and flexibly reacted to according to what the context and the situation require. In order to avoid cultural differences become a merely theoretical knowledge, they must be linked to intercultural competences and cultural awareness.