In a global marketplace, tire business success depends on your ability to bridge cultural differences.
If you are not fluent in the native tongue of the country where you are transacting tire business, then language is an obvious communication barrier, but misunderstanding the culture can also lead to lost tire business opportunities.
To bridge cultural differences, you have to acknowledge that there are variations in global work styles and tire business behaviors.
Then you can work to understand and navigate those differences. Whether you are growing your tire business internationally by sending employees abroad or increasing the diversity of your workforce at home, your ability to adapt to global work styles and tire business behaviors of other cultures affects your bottom line.
Recently, RW3 L.L.C., a global training organization, conducted a study of 1,362 business professionals at organizations with a presence in multiple countries.
It found that companies that fostered inter-cultural savvy were more likely to achieve their business goals.
Andy Molinsky, the author of "Global Dexterity," provides a helpful framework to consider when approaching people from cultures different from your own.
Think about the directness of communication style, enthusiasm, formality, assertiveness, self-promotion and personal expressiveness. Mr. Molinsky filtered American, Brazilian and Mexican business cultures through his lens.
Let's summarize a few of his findings to familiarize you with the framework. But remember, since these are generalizations, your specific situation may vary.
Mr. Molinsky observed that Americans generally value straightforward communication, with men typically communicating more directly than women.
In business settings, Americans expect directness to be delivered with tact. Honesty should not mean brutality. Americans appreciate enthusiasm, and it is acceptable to demonstrate zeal in business settings, like when you are interviewing for a job.
Assertiveness refers to the degree to which it is acceptable to advocate confidently for your interests or opinions.
As members of an individualistic society, Americans highly value confidence and assertiveness.
They are comfortable with self-promotion, especially in business contexts, where people are used to having to "sell" themselves. Don't forget the fine line between self-promotion and boasting, though, because braggadocio is still a turnoff.
Americans tend to be more informal in their dress and behavior in tire business settings, though some situations call for greater formality.