Culture is a fascinating thing. We all have one, we’ve all grown up in one and some of us have even grown up in several different ones. The environment, values, experiences that form the basis of culture are the things that shape who we are, how we see the world and our preferences.
Now though, with so many companies working globally and across different locations, we’re expected to be able to instantly communicate with people who may have a very different outlook to ours. So how can you do that?
Unfortunately there’s no easy step-by-step guide for being able to communicate with those from another culture, however there are some helpful tips to bear in mind to help you when you’re talking to or working with others from a different region or country. For effective cross-cultural communication, a person needs to:
Recognise own dominant cultural assumptions
Become sensitive to 'invisible' cultural differences
Appreciate the value that differences can bring
Accept alternative means of achieving shared objectives
Avoid stereotyping and generalisations
Relate to the individual and develop respectful relationships
Demonstrate patience, tolerance, empathy, politeness and respect
Recognise non-verbal clues in communication
Appreciate FACE – avoid belittling others or causing them discomfort