International Business Communication


Cultures provide individuals with distinct frameworks of understanding, through which they interpret the world, and individuals from different cultures will likely interpret the ‘same world’ in radically different ways. This cultural difference can result in misunderstanding, which can negatively affect cross-cultural business-to-business relationships.  Globalisation and related advances in communications technology have effectively reduced geographic distance but business executives must still bridge this cultural distance in order to secure and maintain cross-cultural business relationships in the current global market.  In this highly-interactive course, participants will acquire an understanding of the role culture plays in international business communication through intensive group work, thought experiments and role-playing. They will be provided with context-specific communications strategies that can minimize or overcome potentially harmful cultural differences.  The aim of this course is to enhance participants’ sensitivity to cultural differences, to signpost the dangers of ethnocentrism and to cultivate participants’ understanding of the constitutive role that context, paralanguage and non-verbal communication plays in cross-cultural business interactions.

The programme includes:

  • Globalisation and intercultural communication
  • Cultural anthropology and the construction of social reality
  • Cultural distance and communication breakdown
  • Ethnocentrism and cultural monopolies
  • The difference between high-context cultures and low-context cultures
  • Culture and normative diversity: Individualism vs Collectivism, Masculinity vs Femininity
  • Formal and informal communications: conventions and taboos
  • Intercultural Business Communications: decoding and responding to oral and written messages
  • Non-lexical communication: Kinesics, paralanguage and Proxemics
  • Strategies for improving intercultural communication: denotation, understanding, respect, and research

Participants will learn how to:

  • Communicate effectively with colleagues and clients from both high-context and low-context cultures
  • Adapt oral and written messages to meet particular cultural requirements and expectations
  • Utilise non-verbal communication to convey meaning in face-to-face meetings
  • Avoid or cope with hot button issues
  • Devise and deploy strategies to develop cross-cultural business-to-business relationships

Who should attend?

  • CDOs
  • Marketing managers
  • Public Relations managers
  • Human Resources managers
  • International Sales executives
  • Business Development executives