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Ways to Improve Intercultural Communication
Intercultural communication skills are important in today's workplace environment. These skills can help you avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and misinterpretations due to ineffective communication. You can forestall frustration, tension and decreased productivity. Improve intercultural communication skills by learning about other peoples' cultures, behaviors and communication styles; unlock the potential for a creative and dynamic cross-cultural environment.
Treat others with respect and address them appropriately; this is especially important for closing and opening conversations. If you're unsure of how to address someone, ask first.
Be an attentive listener. Always check for understanding, and ask questions if you have any doubts.
Learn About Other Cultures
In order to avoid insensitive comments and misunderstandings, research and learn about specific cultures. At the same time, avoid overgeneralizing and stereotyping. Each person is an individual, so try not to make assumptions about a person of another culture based on what you have learned. Instead, aim for a better understanding and more effective communication.
Avoid Using Slang and Idioms
Use specific and relevant words when speaking. Slang and idioms will not be understood by people of other cultures; try not to put others in a position that requires them to "read between the lines." Think before you speak. Clarify or rephrase your dialogue when you catch yourself saying something that may be misinterpreted.
Be aware of your body and energy; nonverbal cues and gestures may communicate more than you think. At the same time, pay attention to and be aware of others' nonverbal cues and gestures.