Where Will You Communicate this Summer?

Last week, I went on one of the best business trips of my career: to British Columbia, to collaborate with my High-Value Writing YouTube channel creative partners. And that's right: I rented a bike too. Nature abounds in these parts!

As a Californian, I figured British Columbia's culture would be very familiar to my own, and for the most part, I was right. After all, we speak the same language and enjoy the same coastline and ocean!

However, even largely similar cultures can differ, which always means one important thing when traveling or working across cultures: Time to adapt one's communication style.

How do you build a relationship?

One thing I've noticed in working across cultures is this: We don't all expect the same level of "getting to know you" as one another. We handle meetings, introductions, and collaborations differently as a result.

In the U.S., business communication norms often suggest getting down to business right away or after brief introductions—even when meeting brand new vendors or partners or colleagues.

When I've worked with others around the world, though, I often see them start with time for relationship-building—time for trust to build and friendships to begin forming. And I'm starting to like it.

My partners in Canada and I, and the other people we collaborated with, worked in what I might call a "relationship-forward" way. We took the time to build trust and talk about our lives and share things about ourselves. That way, when we got down to business, we already knew we were in it together.

I've had similar experiences teaching in Indonesia, China, and Mexico: Lots of other cultures expect some time to build trust before getting down to business. So, I'm learning to adapt, and building some great relationships in the process.

Back in the U.S., though, I readapt to what's needed or hoped for by an American business team or audience. Many of my U.S. business partners and clients prefer meetings that move immediately into agenda items and we Get. Things. Done.

I'd love to know how you adapt your spoken or written communication when you partner with someone from another culture—whether that culture is national, generational, industry-based, or otherwise. If you have thoughts to share, please reply to this email and let me know: Who do you connect with around the world, and how do you adapt your style in doing so?

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