Kwintessential Offering Intercultural Solutions for Business Travellers

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The ever increasing intercultural interaction within international business has brought with it some challenging issues, namely how to do business in foreign countries effectively. Kwintessential, a leading cross cultural communications consultancy, is now offering free resources to business personnel travelling abroad wanting to maximise their potential through greater intercultural awareness.

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London, UK, (PRWEB) 3rd September 2005 – Recent research by pollster NOP has shown that UK business executives spend on average 70 days a year on business trips abroad. The ever increasing intercultural interaction within international business has brought with it some challenging issues, namely how to do business in foreign countries effectively. Kwintessential, a leading cross cultural communications consultancy, is now offering free resources to business personnel travelling abroad wanting to maximise their potential through greater intercultural awareness.

In today’s global reality doing business abroad is an integral part of helping domestic businesses expand, develop and succeed. However, without understanding the cultural drivers behind doing business in foreign countries business personnel are losing their competitive edge.

“Culture is a little like dropping an Alka-Seltzer into a glass—you don’t see it, but somehow it does something,” stated Hans Magnus Enzensberger. This is certainly true when it comes to international business. The cultural differences in areas such as greetings, body language, dining etiquette, communication styles and negotiation (to name but a few) are some of the many areas in which business travellers need to be aware. Although eating with the wrong utensil or shaking a hand too firmly will not always lead to lost deals or soured relations, they occasionally do have detrimental consequences. Take the case of the salesman from a UK recruitment company who called a German client on his cell phone on the weekend. “He didn’t realise that making that call was overstepping the mark,” explains Neil Payne, Kwintessential’s Managing Director. “The client felt disrespected due to the fact that his personal time was being encroached upon. The contract was lost and we were called in to give them cultural awareness training on doing business with Germans.”

Cultural awareness training is now being recognised by businesses as a key training requirement for international staff. “One thing many of our clients are starting to realise is that by investing in cultural awareness training they not only negate the chances of cross cultural gaffes but are in fact increasing their competitiveness,” says Payne. “If there are two companies both seeking to start a business relationship with another in Iran, who do you think the Iranians are going to like more and therefore want to do business with more? Nine times out of ten it will be the one who took the time to build a relationship, understand a bit about Islamic etiquette and presented his or her company in the way the Iranians would expect.”

In order to support the process of internationalization, Kwintessential are now offering free online resources to business personnel, expatriates, HR staff and business travellers on cross cultural issues for a wide range of countries from Afghanistan to Venezuela. Their country profiles section (http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/country-profiles.html) offers information on language, general etiquette tips and business protocol advice. This information does not compensate for the value of comprehensive cross cultural training but it certainly gives readers enough information to give them a head start when travelling abroad for business.

For more information on Kwintessential cross cultural awareness training please visit http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/cross-cultural/cross-cultural-awareness.html
or call on +44 208 406 9288

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Neil Payne
KWINTESSENTIAL
0044 208 4069288
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