Everyday, people just like you visit the Authentic Journeys' site and blog to learn tips to improve business interactions with Americans. In this series of posts, I will answer some common questions professionals browsing the site have emailed us about.
Authentic Journeys is predominantly intended for people from India, who are either working in the United States, or working with clients from there. What are some of the main difficulties and opportunities you talk about? How can this information help your clients prosper in the United States business climate?
Americans clients and customers strive on a structured, documented approach. Many of the Indian corporates I coach that work with US clients or counterparts hold regular status review meetings, they typically have ongoing relationships to complete complex projects. Often the Indian service provider comes to the meeting without an agenda, ideas or questions and expects the American customer to drive the bus. This is acceptable in Indian business culture, but not for working with Americans. Most Americans expect their service provider to set the tone for the relationship from day one with expectation setting, sharing the reporting structure, keeping structured meeting agendas, notes, asking and answering questions, problem solving and acting as an equal participant. Often many teams I coach in India expect the US counterpart to direct them, to tell them what to do. This disturbs the balance. People on both sides are confused of their role as both are thrown off their cultural roadmap. In many situations, the Indians have to adjust to the American style. Resentment sometimes sets in. In unique situations, situations I enjoy the most, we mediate between the US and Indian teams to create a better communication plan and lines of understanding.
Note, while the business predominately works to bridge the business culture gap between India and America, U.S. cross-cultural training programs, virtual team building programs and others have a wide reach and can help bridge the culture gap between U.S. onsite teams with teams based globally. Content delivered to individuals and small groups face-to-face in India and the U.S. and worldwide through virtual methods using experiential and integrative learning methods.
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