If you thought language was the only way we communicate as humans think again. We have evolved over thousands of years and so too have our customs, gestures and non-verbal means of communication. Western societies have traditionally scoffed at traditions and customs of other societies especially in an era where they dominated in business, education, scientific and artistic prowess.
In a global economy we use terms such as EU, OPEC, G7, G8, CARICOM, NAFTA and OAS to describe trading blocks, countries whose economies depend heavily on the success of the other and countries that need to trade with each other. In this new world order we must understand cross cultural communication. It is no longer a fact that English must be learnt to be a successful business. Spanish, Mandarin and French add to the language of business . With the learning of these languages comes the culture as well. The two cannot be separated.
To be successful in business you must cross geographical boundaries and go where the cost of labour is not prohibitive or the laws of establishing a business facilitate waivers and welcoming tax breaks. More and more these “ideal” borders are in non-English speaking countries. Asia is becoming the new economic master and traditional consumerist economies have turned towards this continent as the saviour of their own industries. The recent recession in Europe and the United States devastated the world economies. Asia on the other hand has managed to hold its own. It would behove any international company to learn customs, gestures and other communication nuances if they want to capture market share. After all smaller economies are doing so. Now watch the video below. Cross your legs with your heel exposed while eating your bag of chips with your left hand then burp loudly in a room filled with your non western friends. Their reaction to these gestures should enlighten you!