International business cross cultural skills

International Business Skills

Our aim is to provide a critical assessment, reflecting on the materials which we learned and covered during the module of “International Business Skills”.

This module is based on two basics skills which are essential and very useful in business operations namely, numerical and soft skills. Numerical skills referred to exchange rate calculation while Soft skills are related to cross-cultural teamwork, networking, cross-cultural leadership, win-win negotiating, cultural exchanges and resolving conflicts.

Through these different topics, which easily you can assume that are different levels in a scale, you can develop and obtain individual knowledge and understanding. Therefore joined the knowledge that you get from each level, you acquire an integrated sense of what skills required for an international manager.

In order to be more specific, we intent to discuss with more details each topic separately and have a deep analysis of what we have learn and how these may be related to any previous knowledge. Also we will examine in what extend are relevant to international business and ways which we can apply our learning.

There are eight topics which are:

Numerical Skills

Generally the organizations and companies are come and face up a range of mathematical functions in order to calculate vital information for the organization. In this topic we mention on the issues of financial mathematics which encounter by a company/organization in a daily routine. Refereeing to the financial mathematics we mean the Interest Rate and Compound Interest, the Present Value, Net Present Value (NPV) and Future Value, Annuities, Guilds and Corporate Bonds and finally the Exchange Rate. Consequently during this lecture we learnt and understand the meaning of these notions and I link them with my previous experience and knowledge, which some of them I acquire from daily life and transaction with banks, in order to have an integrated view.

Having done the theory behind the Interest Rate and Compound Interest, we learned how to calculate these, how banks think and operate each of these in different circumstances i.e. for people, for business and organizations and finally how organizations treat each interest in order to find which is more profitable for the company.

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Another basic theory in this part is the Net Present Value (NPV), in which we learned how to appraise long-terms projects using the time value of money. The NPV is related with the Annuities (for instance how the insurance companies work) and the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) – Discount Rate. The calculation of NPV is very important in financial calculations because can help you to decide whether you should accept a cash rebate. Generally speaking NPV and IRR help us decide whether to accept or reject investment proposals. It is major to mention that as the discount rate increases the NPV falls down. Bonds have the same ideas based on the same ideas with PV and FV and therefore have the same results.

A part of this topic was the Exchange Rate which we learnt how to calculate and understand the background behind them. This is very crucial and relevant with international business because all the companies/organization interchange money

Cross-Cultural Teamwork

Nowadays team working is given and very popular, so many companies tend to adopt this trend. It comprises one of the major factors in business organisation. Teamwork is crucial for the success in the business as when you utilize a team effectively, it helps to cultivate/foster a percept/sense of belonging for team members, assists in the completion of duties and tasks and therefore these contributes positively to the overall success of the company. Consequently managers, administrators and general people who work in companies they need to learn and acquire the relevant outfits/accoutrements for a good teamwork. So, one of the things that we covered through this course was the Cross-Cultural Teamwork.

During this section we realized vital points for team building, like how to gain dynamic rapport among team members, how to stimulate creativity and discover new ways of strategizing and solving challenges. Also we have learned to trust, appreciate individual differences and strengths and how to strengthen teamwork and motivation.

Is incredible the fact that by carried out some activities in this session, but also in previous group assignments, we went through the four basic stages that Tuckman’s refer in his theory, without to notice it. First the group come together and tries to know each other but they keep a position of guardedness. Then members discussed and tell their opinion about the solution approach. In this stage they begin to argue but at the end they come up with the best solution for the problem and therefore they have got a clear view for the rules, norms and roles that each individual will has. Finally the team starts to work on the project to attain their target. In other words, these are the four stages of Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing according to Tuckman’s theory.

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Have in mind all the stuff that we learned and combine them with Belbin’s Team Roles we can find the people who fit best with us, in order to built a good team and get the best performance and results.

Team work has many advantages as it increases the performance of the organization, reduces the cost and gives many avails to the employees.

Thus is relevant to business and particularly to International Business, where the organisation expects to expand abroad and therefore is necessary to collaborate and coordinate to achieve the “successful” team.

Networking

Networking is very important for people and business in order to develop relationships. Through the networking you get the ability to seek, identify, create effective contacts with others and maintain those contacts for mutual benefit. Networking simply builds when you meet people, you start to get the know them and build trust when there is honesty in the relationship.

In this topic we have learned significant tips which can help you get started and build your confidence to know more easily other people. All these tips are interrelated with the way you talk, body posture and a positive body language. This lecture improves and develops skills that already have and actuate me to realize that eye contact, active listening and a small talk, in order to find background details about the person in front of you are substantial points to build a network. Networking is always easier when you feel relax and comfortable and be yourself. Network with confidence helps you create more connections.

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In business, networking skills is meaningful to success and growth of the company. By honing your ability to network effectively, you create a pool of contacts such customers, suppliers, peers and mentors that you can call upon you make your business run more smoothly. Networking is the key for accomplishment.

Sum all up networking is high of importance and can be applied in the daily life routine to help you with the communication with other people, find new contacts and use them not only for future job opportunities but also to help each other. That is the very heart of networking.

Presenting with Presence

Presenting with presence concern with the challenges and enjoyable methods adapted for presentation and focus on each person’s unique presenting style. Main purpose of a presentation is to transfer a set of ideas by the presenter to the audience. In order to be successful the transfer of the message requires good knowledge of the subject and to take into account the characteristics of the audience.

This topic has a lot of interesting things to give you. The most important is that we detect the secret of effective presentation, is the good preparation, which gives additional confidence and helps in the elimination of stress in front of the audience. Also we discover how to command and be able to keep the attention of the audience, to overcome any fear of public speaking, use our unique individual style appropriately and inspire and influence the audience.

Once again this topic is relevant to International Business because everybody who works in a company at any time is…kaloumai.. to present to shareholder on behalf of the organisation, the board of management or fellow staff members. Therefore we are responsible for the way we communicate and the impression we leave with our personal targets audiences. Having presence means how to utilize your personal presence and power.

Finally the materials we have learned can be useful and applied everywhere, as everyone presents important information to others. For this is required basic knowledge of the presenting presence skills.

  1. Cross-Cultural Leadership
  2. Emotional Intelligence
  3. Win-Win Negotiations
  4. Art and Business
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