How Do Cultural Issues Affect a Business?

When businesses expand and open offices in foreign countries, this opens the door to many cultural issues that are likely to arise, especially in a country such as Thailand, where they have their own unique culture that has never been influenced by colonialism. As we all know, it is the people who make an organisation what it is, and when people of different cultures share the workspace, there are likely to be issues.

Direct Vs Indirect Communication

If we take Thai culture as an example, conflicts are generally avoided whenever possible, so the straight-talking western approach would definitely not be suitable; indeed, such a scenario often causes disharmony among multi-cultural teams. If you hire a business coach in Bangkok, they can help all participants gain a deeper understanding of the small differences in cultural values that could cause issues.

Gaining a Deeper Understanding

Once all team members are aware of the cultural differences that exist, they are more understanding of the potential issues that might arise and can therefore avoid any potential problems. There may be more than two cultures in a working environment, and all participants need to be aware of all aspects in order to have a full understanding, and by hiring a suitable business coach, they would be able to explain to all parties, the various cultural differences.

Cross Cultural Management

In Thailand, many expats are posted in a managerial role, and therefore need to have good knowledge of the Thai culture in order to get the most out of their team members, and a short one on one course can be delivered by a seasoned professional who has lived and worked in Thailand for several decades.  Thai people, for example, can be a little self-conscious, which can cause some issues when you are looking for feedback, opinions or ideas, and while they should be given every opportunity to engage, this should not be forced upon people who are not ready.

Course Content

If you book a cultural understanding course, the following would be included:

  • One on one assessments to define cultural assumptions.
  • Cultural sensitivity training.
  • Tweaking group dynamics.

This will help to generate an overall team understanding and improve the group synergy, which, in turn leads to a more productive working environment.

Team Facilitation & Building

In the event you are running a team that comprises of people with different cultural backgrounds, there are areas where lack of comprehension or misunderstanding can develop, and with a course that is industry specific, you can be sure that this new knowledge will empower your team to be more in harmony.

In order to get the most out of your Thai workforce, you really do need to have a deep understanding of Thai culture, and equally important, how Thai bosses lead. If you are soon to be posted to Thailand in a managerial capacity, search online for a specialist firm that offers cross cultural training in a business environment, and this will help you a great deal.