Today we continue looking at ways to simplify your cross-cultural communication. Simplicity is one of the steps to communicate with extreme clarity.
Many cross-cultural conversations are with people who speak a different native language. For most of the readers here this language is English and will probably include non-native English speakers. But I also have memories of conversations with Scottish people, when I had to keep my level of concentration at a higher level than with non-native English speakers. There are many different versions of the English language and certain encounters are just as cross-culturally challenging as with non-native English speakers.
Today’s tip reminds us to follow some basic rules if you want to make sense to others.
Focus on communicating one thing at a time and in the right sequence.
There are times when you communicate too many thoughts at one time, for example when you:
- Get excited about something
- Are absent minded
- Make too many assumptions
- Have not prepared your meeting well enough
This can create confusion in the minds of the people trying to understand you.
Imagine the scope for confusion when you present your thoughts out of sequence. The person from another culture has all of his own cultural assumptions to deal with. Presenting your thoughts out of sequence can create some rather big disconnects in the communication.
What should you do if this does happen?
- Make an assessment of the common understanding
- Go back and lay the foundation with clarity
- Keep your communication simple
- Check that everything is well understood by everyone
- If this happened during a face to face meeting, evaluate whether you need to provide a clear summary by email with the “right” conversation afterward the meeting.
Use this tip as a starting point. Think about what this means to you. Not sure what you think about this? There are a few links below for suggested reading to get you started. Follow each of these tips this month to improve your cultural skills.
Get All Cross-Cultural Communication Tips:
What do you think? Is this helpful? Please leave your thoughts and comments below.
Photos from Shutterstock.
Filed under: Cross-Cultural Communication
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