10 Tips For Global Communication

NOTE: This was posted on Communication Nation a little while back, but I loved the drawings and had to share.

By Dave Gray

The difference between local and global markets is like the difference between the fishbowl and the ocean. To understand and engage successfully requires a shift in perspective. Here are a few tips to help you get the most from your global communications efforts:

1. Get outside your fishbowl.
To go global you’ve got to get out from behind your desk. Your culture surrounds you like the air you breathe, and you can’t understand it until you get outside it. Spend some time – an extended period, if possible – completely immersed in another culture. When you return, you’ll be surprised how many things you notice that were previously invisible.

2. Be authentic.
Being global doesn’t mean losing your identity. If you’re a global company that was started in Germany and is headquartered in Germany, it’s perfectly ok to be German. It’s a multicultural world and you are a part of it too. The key is to be respectful of other cultures while being true to your own unique identity.

3. Remember that you are a guest.
When you are visiting another country, or when you open an office there, you are a guest. The same rules apply that would apply if you were visiting a friend’s house. Be polite, respectful, and thoughtful in your communications.

4. Think visually.
There’s a reason why TV is booming while newspapers are going out of business. People understand pictures faster and more easily than words. With pictures you can communicate complex ideas instantly, and virtually nothing is lost in translation. And words need to be translated, while pictures are a universal form of communication.

5. Ask for feedback.
Share your ideas with global teams early, when they are in the napkin-sketch stage, and ask for feedback. When you ask people to participate in defining the message, you build trust. If you build your message globally, then deployment becomes much easier.

See the remaining 5 tips at Communication Nation…


2 thoughts on “10 Tips For Global Communication

  1. Thanks for the kind words! Here’s another tip I forgot to mention: Put the “plus-one” in front of phone numbers on your business card. That way, when you give someone from another country your card, it doesn’t look like you think the US is the center of the world. It’s a small way to demonstrate that you see yourself as part of a larger community.

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