Cross cultural communication is about getting your message across to people who might be from different cultures. And proper communication is vital in today’s multicultural workforce. And these days in globalization environment, many corporations send their employees abroad to work on various projections. It is important that one is able to communicate effectively and at the same time not offend anyone.
Here are several tips that can help one to overcome misunderstandings, and communicate effectively across diverse cultures.
Slow Down: Even though employees speak the same language, but it is important to slow down and enunciate the words. In the western culture, many of us tend to slur our words and this can very difficult for non- English speaking person to understand. (Example Whadda you want? – Meaning, What do you want? )
Separate the Questions: Try to separate the questions , instead asking two questions in one. For instance, “We can go to the restaurant now or if you are too busy then we can make it next week.” An individual who might be new to the country or perhaps maybe a non-English speaker may only understand the first portion of the question. Do not forget that native English speaking person also has an accent – it is called “western accent”
Avoid Humor: Especially in a business setting, it’s better to avoid humor or any type of jokes because it is considered inappropriate. And often many people from different cultures probably would not even understand what is being said.
Avoid Slang: One of the biggest mistakes many native speakers make when communicating with others is that at times they tend to use idioms, slangs and sayings that has no meaning. For example, ” Drive up the wall” – just irritate. Or “By the skin of her teeth” – just barely. The danger is that the person has no idea what is being said.
Be Professional: When communicating with others, it is always a good idea to stay professional even when things are not going right. It is what many people in other cultures call “saving face”. Never let anyone know that you are having a bad day.