International business traveler – ambassador, explorer, map-maker

The critical roles played by international business traveler.

International business travelers play an incredibly important role as ambassadors, explorers and “map-makers” inside their organizations and with their overseas contacts.

Ambassadors, Explorers, and “Map-Makers”

Ambassador of your country and culture. During your trip your actions and reactions are being watched by others. They are trying to confirm, deny or create stereotypes of your country.  Everything including your inter-personal skills, business negotiation skills and manners, the way you dress and eat, your choice of hotels, table manners, social skills, and the ability to make small-talk and conversation will be watched, examined and commented upon after you leave.  Keep this idea clear at all time during your trip, it is important.

Ambassador of your company. Prepare and bring all materials required for the negotiations and business interactions.  Project an aura of professionalism, a willingness to learn and share, and honesty.   Create relationships with a long-term vision.  You may be promoted or leave the organization some day, but your international contacts will continue to do business with your company.

Ambassador of you. International business is all about relationships, and your behaviour and attitudes are critically important as the liaison and trusted representative.  Make promises you can keep, follow-through on the projects and projects.  Project honesty and a concern for doing business and maintaining relationships.   Your actions should focus on creating a climate of trust and open communication.  Don’t try to be someone you are not.

Explorer. The international business traveller, technicians, and sales and business development executives have the added responsibility of verifying existing information, establishing new contacts that will be beneficial in the future, and discovering new ideas and opportunities.  It requires an inquisitive character, a bit of courage and a spirit of adventure.

Map-Maker.   Often neglected by organizations is the cultural, political and personal information gathered by international business people.  This information (or data), should be gathered, filtered and consolidated, and available to the organization after every overseas trip.   “Maps” should be made for future consultation and reference.  The map-making role requires the separation of the facts from interpretation, personal anecdotes and opinions. This information becomes the foundation for all future strategic and operating decisions.

Original post August 21, 2006

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.