This is the next one of 5 tips on showing respect to build trust in cross-cultural communication. Here are the other 4 tips:
- Adopt a respectful attitude
- Listen with respect
- Show yourself respect
- Understand what to say and when to say it
In learning how to show appropriate respect in cross-cultural environments we have looked at how to have a respectful attitude and how to listen with respect. Today’s tip is still focused on ourselves. A large part of any cross-cultural communication success is due to knowledge about ourselves and how we use this knowledge to adapt ourselves to facilitate communication.
Trust In Cross-Cultural Communication Challenge – Tip 23
Do not be self centered
It is usually difficult for us to admit when we are too self centered. This post is not about how to change self-centered people. Instead I want to focus on how we can be perceived as being self-centered in cross-cultural situations. This happens often with people who have not yet developed international skills.
We should try to avoid being perceived as self-centered in cross-cultural encounters because self-centeredness can in turn be perceived as a lack of respect to others. This lack of respect makes it difficult to build trust for successful international business.
Appearing Self-Centered Through Cultural Ignorance
When you are not aware of the complexities that cultural differences can create it is easy forget to try to show appropriate respect to others. When people do not realize that they need to make an effort to adjust their attitudes they can appear self-centered.
The solution is very simple…
Try To See Things From The Other Person’s Perspective
An easy way to avoid being perceived as self-centered is to try to see things from the other person’s perspective. A little curiosity can go a long way. Become curious in:
- Why they are as they are
- What they expect from you
- Why they expect different things
- Why they do different things
- How others perceive you
- What others find different in you
- How others react to the differences they see in you
The Cross-Cultural Mindset
When you systematically try to see things from the other person’s perspective this is reflected throughout your communication. Continually seeking to understand the other person’s point of view is part of a strong cross-cultural mindset. This is something you should try to do right for your first international encounters, even at the very beginning when you do not realize how important it is. And by doing this, instead of appearing self-centered, you will appear to be moving the communication towards a real connection across cultures.
Questions for you…
- Do you think your international business partners find you self-centered?
- When was the last time you found someone from a different culture self-centered?
- How would you react to self-centered cross-cultural encounter?
Please share your stories in the comment section below.
Photos from Shutterstock.
Filed under: Cross-Cultural Communication
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