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One of the key aspects of doing business in other cultures, like those of Asia, is to know how to communicate well. It’s not only a question of language. It’s more like reading a different alphabet.

Instead of relying on the way things are done in our Western countries, we meet customs and traditions and social and business behaviors that are all different to what we are used to.

This can make us lose our bearings and become impatient. However, there is a plus side to being thrown out of our usual gears and habits. We have to step back, listen more, and read different signs – or else we will miss them.

…So what are we listening and waiting for when we step back from our usual business habits and expectations in Asia?

First: How to be less direct and less expecting of fast, rational, quick decisions – in short, less logical.

That is not to say that Asian businesspeople are illogical. The point is that they have their own logic, which is sometimes much less deductive and more based on emotion and context than our more ‘Anglo’ ways.

In Asian cultures, the family and the collective are also much more important than the individual. This makes relationships far more significant than in Western cultures.

So how can you READ your Asian business counterparts or audiences when doing business in Asia? What alphabet must you learn?

This is the topic of the interview I hosted in the Asia Business Network Expert Series with Katja Schleicher, founder and MD of IMPACT Communication Coaching, a pan-European training bureau specializing in communications, media and public speaking training.

Tune in as we chat about the curious byways and inside secrets to effective communication in East-West business:

7 Pillars of Successful Asian Business Communication

Listen in as we discuss:

  • Why doing business in Japan is like the tea ceremony
  • National mindsets and missions in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam
  • How to READ an Asian audience and prepare
  • Discovering your Asian counterparts networks & ‘spider webs’
  • Why business relationships are more personal than playing golf
  • Thinking beyond the contract (or the deal)
  • How infinite patience creates infinite respect – and lucrative partnerships

Have you found it difficult to understand what’s going on when doing business in Asia and how did you overcome the problem?

Would you add anything to Katja’s excellent advice on how to create an effective communications strategy for Asia business?

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