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International business: a lesson in culture

In a 21st century marketplace that has expanded to include every corner of the globe, what do Florida business owners need to know about international business disputes? After all, they cannot be so different from disagreements with American partners, can they?

Business News Daily helps entrepreneurs recognize that negotiating globally is actually quite different from resolving differences of opinion with U.S. associates. To put it simply, the uniqueness stems from the distinctiveness of cultures. Sometimes individuals of differing backgrounds reach for the same goals by what appears on the outside to be opposing means.

For example, Business News Daily discusses the American value of information versus international interest in trust. U.S. business owners, then, will often get straight to the point when sitting down with an international partner. That partner, on the other hand, focuses on building a relationship of trust, which oftentimes means discussing a lot of other seemingly unrelated ideas before getting to the point. If all parties are not aware of these differing cultural priorities, a negotiation may be an excruciating process. 

The University of Minnesota, in Business Communication for Success, has offered some pointers for understanding cultures. First, changing to a local perspective is a significant part of the process. In resolving disputes, the switch helps negotiators see things from the international partner's point of view and value the priority the partner may be expressing. 

In the example above, where one values information and the other trust, changing hats will help the information-dependent American be patient while waiting to receive the information he or she is expecting. The trust-focused party, on the other hand, may feel less offended if he or she can see through to the thirst for information behind the discussion.

Business Communication for Success emphasizes the inseparability of culture and communication. Since the way individuals communicate is grounded in their cultural upbringing, ignoring this significant aspect of international exchange is detrimental to the negotiation process.

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