The first thing you need to do is choose a foreign country. How about Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Spain, Russia, China, Japan, Mexico, or Brazil?
Second, research your country. On the internet, you can Google such terms as say, Egypt business communications or Mexico customs. Keep searching til you find information about the communication styles of your country.
After you learned about how business is conducted in your country, write a memo to your supervisor explaining your findings.
The customer service department at Electric Supply Company is excited to be the department chosen to visit our sister company in England for a month. We had a department meeting to determine who would be accompanying me on this trip. After a long discussion with each team member, it was decided that Beth and Kerry would be exceptional communicators in a foreign country.
We have been preparing and studying for the past few months. You will be proud of the efforts this department has put forth to learn about the differences and similarities between our two cultures. A business associate who recently traveled to England on business suggested we study the book, Global Etiquette Business.
The book has served as a guide to help us understand business etiquette in England. Nonverbal communication is an important factor when conducting business. When a person does not understand the culture, it is easy to misinterpret the message. One example we found is to not use irony or humor in the office environment because it is not accepted as it is in our culture. Irony and humor is reserved for social situations in England. Another thing we learned is that business attire is more casual in their work environment. Therefore, we will not be taking any business suits with us on this trip. A simple hand gesture can be a terrible misunderstanding between our cultures. We are accustomed to a thumb up signal meaning all right or good job. In England the thumb up signal means the same as the f word to us. A routine greeting when women enter a room is for the men to stand. I personally think it is a nice form of respect. While we have learned many things about what to expect on our trip, one tool has been valuable in our preparations.
It is important to be fully aware of our nonverbal and verbal communication. We decided to video ourselves in a group interaction then have an outside party critique and offer feedback. My business associate who recommended that we read Global Etiquette Business is the outside party offering feedback to us since he has been on a recent business trip to England. His feedback has been valuable to our steps in preparing for the trip. One important point he made is when it is appropriate to speak, and when it would not be appropriate to speak. He also commented on what is considered to be acceptable talk and what is not. Another point he noted was for us to be mindful of other’s personal space and to not invade it.
In closing, Mr. Jones, I would like to reassure you that the best possible team will be visiting our facility in England and we anticipate successful, long-term relationships to be formed. I will stay in contact with you while we are out of the country, but in the meantime if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me immediately.