Getting Past the Road Blocks
Watch your Pace
When you’re dealing with people from non English speaking countries, you need to speak slowly and clearly. Pause after each sentence, pronounce the words correctly, use simpler words and avoid the use of idioms, slangs, jargon and abbreviations. Keep the dressy stuff out and use these simple techniques to make your communication easier to understand.
Clarify and Cross Question
For business communication across cultures to be successful, you should frequently ask your listeners about whether or not they have understood your point. However, don’t keep on repeatedly asking them ‘have you understood this?’ as this can leave them somewhat uncomfortable, instead try cross questioning to see how well they’ve understood your point. Rephrasing and repeating the important points also helps.
Be Specific yet Detailed
Keep the communication within the specified boundaries, and spell out all the expectations, details and requirements clearly. Keep a limited number of points to be informed or discussed per session, and focus more on detailing them out for increased comprehensibility. If you’re using some specific terminology, you must explain it before you begin with the communication except in the case of written communication where such detailing goes below the actual communication.
Use Multiple Mediums
Whenever possible, you must use more than one medium to communicate the same message. If you’re giving a presentation use visual aids and handout notes, to improve the overall understandability. For a telephonic conversation you can follow it up with an email or vice versa. The idea is to ensure the receiver comprehends the message fully, one way or the other.
Learning the art of business communication is important to gain a competitive edge when you foray into international markets. Besides watching for the points we’ve put up here, you must also read about specific cultural differences and the communication protocols of communities or countries you’re dealing with.