The single most important problem faced in cross-culture communications is ignorance. Interacting with foreign nationals is a tricky business. The road is paved with shortcomings, potholes, roadblocks, and signals misinterpreted by the other side. So how do we deal with this dilemma of international communication? We must know our target audience. The focus of this paper will be involved with Customs and Courtesies, approaches in business, and culture awareness. I will tailor this discussion from a Middle East perspective, for all these communication issues that you will find thru out the world, the problems are alive and well in the middle east. Being a Special Forces soldier for the last twelve years and training thousands of their troops, interfacing with several of their government officials, and conducting business for goods and services in nineteen of these countries. How you handle yourself in proceedings is of paramount importance.
Let us begin with customs and courtesies.
You must understand that not everyone in the world is the same as America. We, as Americans have a very utilitarian view of our goals and the world. It is very one sided and considered rude by most cultures. This is one of the reasons that overseas we are called the ugly Americans.
We must understand that what is important to us is not necessary important to them. Family is the number one priority in the Middle East and it carriers more weight than business. It is as important and is directly linked to the Muslim faith. The American public is currently finding out about the dark side of this faith via 9/11. The Muslim faith is the largest in the world. It is also one of the most calm and caring religions in existence. I have seen very powerful people in the Saudi...