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Is Global Business Communication “Standard” Now?

“Isn’t global business communication pretty “standard” now?  Doesn’t everyone understand basic English?”  This question was asked by a student at Indiana University recently.  I was speaking on a Panel of Global Business experts for students interested in International Business.

I almost jumped out of my seat to answer that question.  It was a resounding NO!  –which was loudly echoed by the other Panelists.

Yes, much of the global business world speaks English.  But, that isn’t the point.

 The point is …

You need to apply a Global mindset to your communication

To be more effective, you need to adapt.  To avoid misunderstandings, you need to adapt.  To build relationships and trust, you need to adapt.  To have a more enjoyable experience personally, you need to adapt.  To sell more of your products or services, you need to adapt.

I’m guessing you understand my point by now.

When you have a global mindset, you understand that the question should be –

 “What changes do I need to make to communicate more effectively with this person

– based on his/her culture?”

 In the student’s defense, she was asking the question in a general sense.  Therefore, it presented a great opportunity for discussion.

In fact, I was quite impressed with the types of questions the Indiana University students asked.  (  It showed they understood the impact of a global economy, and they were serious about global business.  It was reassuring to know the world is in good hands with the next generation.

How do you need to adapt your communication for your next Global encounter? 

By Kelly Watkins, MBA, Global Thought Leader

Note:  You’re invited to attend “How to Go Global!” at no cost.  This is a one-hour webinar I conducted for IU alumni.  The webinar is archived at:  I’m proud to serve on the Board of Directors for Indiana University Kelley School of Business Alumni Association. 

What is poor communication costing you or your organization? How can your organization be more effective to compete in a global market? Find out: and