Unless your company is entirely local, made up of one single group of people or caters to a specific demographic, chances are that you will interact with people who come from other cultures. These may be customers, clients, vendors or perhaps even the employees that make up your enterprise. The current business climate is one that celebrates a certain kind of nationalism, but is also one that  realizes that it's very difficult to survive without outsourcing in some capacity.

Now that the corporate world extends much further than the four walls of an office building, we need to address how we can have successful interactions across different cultures. This is far more nuanced than breaching a language barrier – it's an issue that must be broached carefully and thoughtfully to avoid embarrassment, frustration and potentially even an insulting encounter.

Embrace and acknowledge
One of the first of many roadblocks to communication is the issue of language. While English is in fact widely spoken across the world, it isn't always an easy tongue to master. There are often more exceptions to grammar rules than examples of the rule itself. Not only can it be frustrating to learn, but it can make speaking very difficult. Unless a party is fully or mostly fluent in another language, these interactions take time and patience to work through together. Accepting that both parties will be trying their best to speak and understand an alternate tongue will bring a certain levity to the conversation that may otherwise be lost on single-language interactions.

International relations are vital in this business climate.International relations are vital in this business climate.

The next hurdle is how different cultures interact with people in a professional setting. According to Forbes contributor Dorie Clark, learning the different meanings of silence and the art of disagreeing will help business relationships immensely. In some countries, silence is seen as an awkward space that needs to be filled, while in others it's seen as a time of reflection – speaking through silence may be seen as rude. And disagreement, a normal part of business interactions, needs to be approached in an appropriate manner. Some cultures speak over each other, while other ones adopt a "power distance" to establish authority, noted

Preparing yourself before entering into a space where other cultures and customs need to be respected and upheld will prove your dedication to the conversation, and respect to your business associate as a fellow human being.

Setting the pace
Venturing to establish a business within another country or culture is ambitious, but you must be careful to address the corporate norms before hiring and interacting with the general public. As the Harvard Business Review reported, going slow to introduce yourself to the cultural history and in the context of business is much more prudent than rushing to get business started, much like what Bayer did when moving some offices overseas.

Overseas offices gives your employees more opportunities.Overseas offices give your employees more opportunities.

Many cultures outside the United States have very strong opinions about hiring people of specific genders or ages for management positions, and while we may disagree, it is important to consider the implications of going against the cultural grain. Implementing change after the company has been established will often go over better than enforcing a cultural imbalance straight out of the gate.

The business world provides us with amazing opportunities to travel and interact with people from other cultures, but we need to approach these situations with care and tact to ensure these relationships are as beneficial and prosperous as possible.