In a recent piece for the New York Times, Kara Alaimo (Ph.D. ’15, Political Science) lent insight into managing cultural differences and misunderstandings that frequently arise in international business.
“How to Deal with a Foreign Colleague Who Can’t Say No” draws on Alaimo’s experience as global media coordinator for the United Nations. Her colleagues often agreed to provide information by a certain date, yet would not meet their deadlines, according to Alaimo.
“In many cultures, it is rude to say no,” Alaimo wrote. “So some people would say yes to anything I asked, regardless of whether they had any intention of delivering.”
Communicating across borders often requires accounting for cultural differences among colleagues and audiences. “Some of the biggest factors to consider when communicating in a new culture involve emotion, context, conceptions of time, and social expectations,” Alaimo wrote.
Alaimo is an assistant professor of public relations at Hofstra University and a global public relations consultant. Her book, Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: How to Practice Global Public Relations and Strategic Communication, will be published this year by Routledge.