Ten Tips for Cross Cultural Communication

Here are some simple tips to help you improve your cross cultural communication skills:

Slow Down

Even when English is the common language in a cross cultural situation, this does not mean you should speak at normal speed. Slow down, speak clearly and ensure your pronunciation is intelligible.

Separate Questions

Try not to ask double questions such as, "Do you want to carry on or shall we stop here?" In a cross cultural situation only the first or second question may have been comprehended. Let your listener answer one question at a time.

Avoid Negative Questions

Many cross cultural communication misunderstandings have been caused by the use of negative questions and answers. In English we answer 'yes' if the answer is affirmative and 'no' if it is negative. In other cultures a 'yes' or 'no' may only be indicating whether the questioner is right or wrong. For example, the response to "Are you not coming?" may be 'yes', meaning 'Yes, I am not coming.'

Take Turns

Cross cultural communication is enhanced through taking turns to talk, making a point and then listening to the response.

Write it Down

If you are unsure whether something has been understood write it down and check. This can be useful when using large figures. For example, a billion in the USA is 1,000,000,000,000 while in the UK it is 1,000,000,000.

Be Supportive

Effective cross cultural communication is in essence about being comfortable. Giving encouragement to those with weak English gives them confidence, support and a trust in you.

Check Meanings

When communicating across cultures never assume the other party has understood. Be an active listener. Summarise what has been said in order to verify it. This is a very effective way of ensuring accurate cross cultural communication has taken place.

Avoid Slang

Even the most well educated foreigner will not have a complete knowledge of slang, idioms and sayings. The danger is that the words will be understood but the meaning missed.


Watch the humour

In many cultures business is taken very seriously. Professionalism and protocol are constantly observed. Many cultures will not appreciate the use of humour and jokes in the business context. When using humour think whether it will be understood in the other culture. For example, British sarcasm usually has a negative effect abroad.

Maintain Etiquette

Many cultures have certain etiquette when communicating. It is always a good idea to undertake some cross cultural awareness training or at least do some research on the target culture.


Cross cultural communication is about dealing with people from other cultures in a way that minimises misunderstandings and maximises your potential to create strong cross cultural relationships. The above tips should be seen as a starting point to greater cross cultural awareness.

For more information on cross cultural communication training please visit http://www.kwintessential.co.uk

Neil Payne is Director of London based consultancy http://www.kwintessential.co.uk

In The News:

Jeanette M. Engler  newschannelnebraska.com
How to land fast in PUBG Mobile  Red Bull Australia

Get Your Mailing Noticed - Seven Tips for Effective Direct Mail Pieces

When sending mail to clients and potential clients, make your... Read More

Positioning Your Company for Debt Financing

Positioning Your Company for Debt Financing:There was a time in... Read More

10 Dos and Donts Of Customer Services

Email etiquette is the key to help calm down anxious... Read More

HackeD

HackEd by unkn0wn_hax0r... Read More

Top Ten Ways to Develop New Success Habits

1. Make a clear, specific commitment to what you want.... Read More

7 Ways To Profit From Other Peoples Products

If you don't possess the time, money or inclination to... Read More

Advice for New Coaches: 10 Ways to Attract Your First Paying Client and Receive Endless Referrals

Many new coaches struggle to attract their first client. Often,... Read More

10 Things To Do Before You Start Your Business

If you are thinking of starting a new business, or... Read More

Checklist for Hiring a Private Investigator

Looking for an old friend? Want to know if your... Read More

Business Meeting Etiquette

Business etiquette is essentially about building relationships with colleagues, clients... Read More

Ten Top Performance Management Tips

Talk to Your People Often By building a great... Read More

My 7 Most Important Business Lessons

Millions of people start new small businesses in the United... Read More

Making Money over the Internet : 5 Cool Tips

The Internet is a fast growing medium, trancending the personal... Read More

The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make Managing Organisational Performance

mistake #1: rely just on financial statementsProfit and loss, revenue... Read More

7 Money Saving Tips to Decrease Home Business Expenses

We all know that running a home business is highly... Read More

Top Ten Tips for Participating in Online Business Expos

Are you ready for a BASH? Have you ever been... Read More

Top Ten Listening Skills for Speakers

Good Speakers need good listening skills to become Great CommunicatorsSpeakers... Read More

Ten Reasons to Implement Choice Theory in Your Organization

What is Choice Theory (CT)? CT is a theory of... Read More

Top 10 Tips on How To Write About Yourself

Many people find it really hard to write for business... Read More

7 Secrets to Writing Inventory Procedures

What would You do with $1,000,000With $1 Million would you:?... Read More

Ten Tips For Starting A New Job

1. Get to know people. First meet those people in... Read More

Event Planning: Seven Best Practices Successful Planners Use

Do you plan events for the corporate world like product... Read More

Business Attire: 10 Tips to Perfect Your Look

Being appropriately dressed is essential in making good impressions in... Read More

10 Things To Ask Your Accountant

This is a quick checklist of a few things that... Read More

10 Great E-Commerce Businesses You Can Start Now

If you've been thinking of starting a business on the... Read More