The way other people understand what you say is not only dependant on the language and words you use. Many other factors, such as background knowledge and cultural baggage, play important roles too.
Project manager at Sumino Oy Zheng Xu shares here his best tips for better cross-cultural communication:
Keep an open mind
Try your best to understand the situation from the other party’s perspective. Don’t deny ideas too fast, even if they feel ridiculous in your context.
Use simple words to avoid ambiguity
In a cross-cultural communication scenario, both sides often use a foreign language (3rd country’s language). Try to use simple but accurate verbs and nouns to avoid misrepresentation and misunderstanding. Sometimes it is a good idea to repeat the points in another way to make sure they are correctly received.
Don’t be shy to ask
If you feel unclear about some points or replies, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Maybe there is some piece of culture-related background information you are not aware of. You will never go wrong with asking, as long as you do it in a proper way, of course.
If you are the presenter, try to take this issue into consideration as well. How can you actively provide more background information in your statement to make things easier to understand.
PS.: If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us!
PPS.: After this article was published, we got more great tips from our followers on social media. See more tips for cross-cultural communication.