Building Global Ties: Tips for Connecting With Your Foreign Counterparts

Jan 09

LS2group International Team in Russia

Written by Courtney Gordon

As we kick off 2019, the LS2group international team has been reflecting on the success of 2018 while preparing for the year ahead. We’ve recently had the pleasure of working on projects in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and other spots around the world.

Recently, we traveled to Russia and Latvia to assist with the Baltic Forum. The Baltic Forum is an international conference held in Jurmala, Latvia that brings together thought leaders from the U.S., the EU, and Russia. LS2group identified and recruited high-level U.S. speakers to participate in the forum. They included former U.S. ambassadors, the former commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, and senior leadership from top international think tanks.

During our time abroad, I was fortunate to meet several new colleagues and friends. We discussed food, business, travel tips, and the future of our world. During these conversations, two of my Russian colleagues, unknown to each other, uttered a similar sentiment that has stuck with me: “Politicians may burn bridges, but we build ties.” How true and simple it is.

As a new year begins, I’ve been thinking back on some of the best practices of international business travel I’ve learned over the past year. If your company is preparing for an upcoming trip abroad, there are three things this international specialist wants you to consider.

  1. Do your research. Understanding the political context, economic needs, and societal conventions that impact business interactions in individual communities will allow you to better communicate with your partners abroad. Cultural competency is the single most important skill needed to work across borders.
  2. Remember that you are a citizen diplomat. How you conduct yourself abroad and engage with the world around you not only reflects on your company, but also on your home country.
  3. Take notes whenever you can. Between catching flights, jet lag, and a booked schedule, you won’t be able to remember everything you hear or promise.

International experiences are exciting opportunities for companies and organizations. As my Russian colleagues noted, international travel is a chance to build ties with your foreign counterparts. Proactively thinking about the three ideas listed above will help you make your trip as meaningful and effective as possible.

For more information on the LS2group international team and how we can help your business or organization navigate the global arena, please click here.