Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with Mila Golovine, President and CEO of MasterWord Services, Inc. Welcome to the Playbook, Mila.
Mila: Thank you for having me.
Russ: You bet. Tell us about MasterWord Services.
Mila: MasterWord provides language support, translation, and interpretation across 250 languages. Which basically, we connect people across language and culture.
Russ: Ah, language and culture. The language part I understand because you provide language services, but why is culture awareness important?
Mila: It is very important. To begin with, our world is becoming more and more international today; we all come from somewhere else. In addition, we have different backgrounds, different family histories, different life experiences. So, being able to communicate across culture is a very important trait for a successful leader to have.
Russ: Okay, so was that your contribution to the Profit and Peril Report?
Mila: I was talking about the effective management of multicultural teams. Did you know that 90% of our communication is non-verbal? And that part is really different across all of the different groups. Some people, for example, view personal space differently. Some people would like to give each other a hug when they see each other, and in other cultures would be completely unacceptable. But to bring just a very simple example into the mix; why would people hold a meeting? So, for Americans, to hold a meeting would be an exchange of ideas, sort of brainstorming. For some cultures, like Latin American culture, that would be a team building approach or exercise. For a Japanese or an Asian culture, that would be where a previously discussed and agreed upon idea is announced and really nobody is expected to be called out of place or unexpectedly embarrassed with any type of disagreement.
While in the Netherlands, the purpose of a meeting is to find everything wrong with a potential idea. So, can you imagine a team from the Netherlands holding a meeting with a team from Japan without prior explanation?
Russ: Great point. I really appreciate you sharing this complex perspective with us today, Mila.
Mila: Thank you.
Russ: For other international topics, visit pkftexas.com/internationaldesk. This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.