The Significance of Achieving Effective Cross—cultureCommunication in Foreign Trade Business


校园英语·下旬 2016年9期


【Abstract】The commercial activities of foreign enterprises are a kind of cross-cultural communication activity. There are many contradictions and conflicts existing in the foreign trade business communication. The thesis aims to discuss the misunderstandings generated in the course of cross-cultural communication and illustrate the importance to improve cross-cultural awareness, as well as providing measures to improve the cross-cultural communication competence in foreign trade business.

【Key words】contradictions and conflicts; cross-cultural awareness; cross-cultural communication competence; foreign trade business

As more and more companies engaged in international business negotiations and transactions, misunderstandings happen a lot. During the process of cross-cultural communication, the entrepreneurs and foreign trade personnel from different regions and countries have different cultural backgrounds, so they cannot have a better understanding for each other. This will affect the business activities, even lead to a failure of international negotiations and transactions.

1. Misunderstandings happen in the Cross-cultural Communication in Foreign Trade Business.

First of all, figuring out the relationship between culture and communication is really essential for understanding why does misunderstandings are common in foreign trade business. Then, whats culture? We may adopt Neulieps (2006:21) definition of cultures as “an accumulated pattern of values, beliefs, and behaviours, shared by an identifiable group of people with a common history and verbal and nonverbal symbol systems” (Chen Jianping, Quoted from Neuliep, 2012:83) Thus, we can conclude that mental processes, beliefs and values, history, verbal and nonverbal systems are the essential elements of culture. As we all know, people from different countries have different thinking patterns, different values and emotions, different traditions and customs, different history backgrounds and different behavior patterns. So during the foreign trade business work, businessmen from different countries may encounter intercultural conflicts and misunderstandings.

2. Cross-cultural Awareness is Helpful for Foreign Business Communication

The cross-cultural awareness is very important during the process of doing foreign business. Communication involves the dynamic process of encoding and decoding verbal and nonverbal messages within a defined cultural, physiological, socio-relational, and perceptual environment. Due to the cultural differences on the interpretation of symbols, many of our messages can often influence others unintentionally in communication (Chen Jianping, 2012:49). Nevertheless, if those businessmen doing the foreign trade business who live under cross-cultural environment possess of great learning ability and can aware the cultural differences most of the time, they will achieve better understandings with their customers, which is helpful for establishing business relationship.

3. Measures to Improve the Cross-cultural Communication Competence in Foreign Trade Business

After realizing the importance to improve cross-cultural awareness, we should take certain measures to enhance cross-cultural communication ability.

Firstly, establishing the conception about different cultures can facilitate people communicate with each other smoothly. Furthermore, cultivating cross-cultural awareness certainly helps us to find some keys to overcome the existing barriers. Within the business context, when we communicate with people, we should respect those people who have different cultural backgrounds from us. For example, the westerners didnt talk about the personal privacy such as incomes and ages when first meet. We had better start from the topics of weather and sports, which is more acceptable for Westerners. Cultivating cross culture awareness can help people to avoid making mistakes and leading to misunderstandings. Therefore, businessman in foreign trade industry should spare no efforts to enhance the cross-cultural awareness.

Secondly, providing cross cultural training for employees. When hiring the new employee, foreign trade enterprises should take full account of their English proficiency and cross-cultural competence. Whats more, in order to help employees to set up a good attitude for carrying out communication during the foreign trade business, the foreign company should offer training courses for junior staff to learn basic knowledge and perform basic cross-cultural communication skills. So it is of great significance for foreign trade company to offer cross-cultural training for all staff from different countries, which can make them to have a better understanding for others and keep a good cooperation.




[3]Savomar et al.Communication between Cultures(7th Ed.)[M].Stamford,Cencage Learning,2012.Savomar et al.,Dominant United States cultural patterns.(p.200).


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