Top 7 Skills Needed for Success in International Business

Top 7 Skills Needed for Success in International Business

With a massive surge in Globalization in the past few decades as a result of better internet and physical connectivity, the boundaries on the globe have greatly diminished and it provided many businesses an opportunity to go international. In fact, many MNCs are hiring International Business Professionals. However, with an increase in competition, the Global Business Professionals face a “VUCA'' business environment- one that’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. 

An International Business Professional is one of the most lucrative career options nowadays. Though hard skills are still at play, Soft Skills now hold much more importance than ever before. Hult, a Global Business School, asked 100 of the world’s leading CEOs what they think are the key competencies business graduates need in the 21st century. The majority of them confirmed that when it comes to international business skills, soft skills in areas like influencing, collaborating, and thinking adaptively were critical for employability and success.

In fact, there are many Business Training Courses whose entire curriculum and resources are invested in teaching you soft skills rather than hard skills. After much research and analyzing some of the best business training programs available out there, we brought you the top skills that you need to succeed in International Business.

Top 7 Skills To Be Successful In International Business

  • Cross-cultural communication skills
  • Excellent networking abilities
  • Collaboration
  • Interpersonal influence
  • Adaptive thinking
  • Creativity
  • Emotional intelligence & Resilience
  • Cross-Cultural Communication Skills: For an International Business Professional, Cross-Cultural Communication is an absolutely indispensable skill. In the past, we have seen many well-known corporate giants erred unintentionally when they have failed to research cultural beliefs and traditions of the new geographies.

Though this seems to be very difficult at the surface, it often requires only sensitivity, respect, and diplomacy on our part. Research and open-mindedness here play an important role in learning, understanding, and appreciating cultural differences. Listening skill is often overlooked but it can help you a big time especially to overcome the language barrier. It also helps you understand the client’s needs and convey/mold your ideas accordingly. Having said that, the importance of a translator or language proficiency can’t be compensated here.

  • Excellent networking abilities: The key to a successful International Business is often a strong network of connections. One of the biggest challenges a business can face when moving from the domestic marketplace to the realm of international business is to be recognized as a leading company. In short, it isn’t what you know, but whom you know, and this sums up what networking is about.

While online platforms like LinkedIn have opened the door for making connections, excellent in-person networking ability will never be out of the fashion in international business. As conveyed in the previous point, the keys to build a strong network are diplomacy, tact, and a listening ear.

  • Collaboration: While your networks can get you to the ear of your potential partners, it’s your collaboration ability that helps you later down the road. How well you work with others, especially team members from other cultures, decides your success in International Business. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to not only develop cross-cultural communication skills but it also helps broaden your perspective and opens you up to understanding the psychology of your new geography.

  • Interpersonal influence: This skill can’t be denied even in a domestic business, let alone in an international business. Your ability to influence others helps you secure an investment, become more assertive, influence your customers’ purchasing decisions and whatnot. Your communication and collaborative skills, when combined with your ability to influence, can help you develop good professional relationships and build respect among your networks, team, and customers. 

  • Adaptive thinking: The ability to adapt and react quickly can help you a big-time in today’s VUCA business environment. This skill was previously the remit of military commanders, taking decisive action in times of danger and uncertainty. Today, it’s a skill that is highly deemed among global professionals. Your adaptive thinking prevents you from making any impulsive decision and helps you thrive even in this ever-changing business environment.

  • Creativity: In today’s dynamic business environment, your ability to think outside the box not only helps you survive but grow at a much greater pace than your competition. Your ability to unshackle yourself from the established solutions or practices allows you to respond swiftly and become decisive. Creativity allows you to reframe problems and see opportunities and solutions others can’t comprehend.

  • Emotional intelligence & Resilience: Imagine you’re in charge of a new ad campaign for an international firm and some unforeseen cultural issues and trade barriers arise at the last minute. Sounds very disturbing, isn’t it? Well, these types of situations are a very common occurrence, especially in an International Business. 

Success in international business unequivocally demands both Resilience and Emotional Intelligence. The combination of both helps you meet the inevitable challenges of global business, maintain motivation, overcome risks, and recover quickly from hardship.