Working to Solve the Challenges of Cross Border Communication

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

Any reasonable person that has lived with a sibling, a parent, a roommate, and certainly, a significant other has experienced the challenges of communication. Those closest to us, that we are supposed to know the best are commonly misunderstood. If communicating with family members or close friends has its fair share of obstacles, then to what level of attention and diligence should we consciously commit to our interaction with business associates? Throw in a dash of differing cultural norms, a pinch of varying ethical principles, and a splash of diverse vernaculars and we can all assume I’ll be saying apple and you understand it as orange.

In our international practice at JKJ&H, one of our core principles is to maximize the efficiency of communication with our clients and business partners. Most of the time when I am describing this concept in conversation it is often followed by an agreeable nod accompanied by the assumption of “well, isn’t everyone.” Maybe this is a byproduct of “efficient communication” being an overused tagline across many service industries that is passed off as too lofty an ideal to spend time dissecting the true added value. At JKJ&H, we’re not under the illusion we have a perfect process, but through recognition, awareness, and persistence we can get closer to increasing the efficiency of communication for the betterment of our clients.

In our client interactions at JKJ&H, we are always dealing with German management and US management. Sometimes US management are German Expatriates and sometimes they are Americans, the joint venture has the linguistic capabilities and professional experience in both countries to facilitate the communication of each country’s insurance nuances and cultural norms to provide comprehensive risk management assessment and consultation. Of the two joint venture partners, JKJ and Hoertkorn, each has a team specifically assigned to these clients and we maintain a close working relationship through joint client meetings in both countries and cooperative strategic planning for addressing each client’s program and service plan.

Although this is by no means limited to JKJ&H, our top priority of proactive responsiveness is a key facet of our business model with a focus on finding solutions to problems. We have a team of support staff specifically assigned to each client that is meant to respond quickly to coverage inquiries, safety concerns, or claim situations. Multinational companies have an added sophistication towards achieving efficient communication and through our joint venture, JKJ&H, we position ourselves to address this necessity.

Author: Bruce F. White, CPCU, Account Executive

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