Change How You Listen During Business Communications

"Due to a general lack of awareness about the nature of listening, both speakers and listeners are using the same faulty assumptions. Speakers assume that the listener has heard what they said as they intended it. Listeners assume that they have interpreted accurately. In other words, both sides are sure they are right and are convinced that the communication was successfully transmitted. But if a problem arises out of a miscommunication, who is typically blamed for it?"

"I have noticed over the decades in my work with clients, from a variety of professions and cultures, that we all share something in common; if there is a miscommunication, most of us blame the listener for not listening correctly. I challenge that. . . ."

Read the full article by Sherwood Fleming (photo, left) . . .

Be Aware of Intercultural Communication Blind Spots

"For most of us, language is transparent. In other words, we do not see what it is or how it works. That is what I call a communication blind spot. If you are blind to what is going on when you communicate in your own language, imagine how much you do not see when communicating in English as a second language with people from different cultures. Specifically, you cannot see what you need to change about how you speak, write and listen when using English within your particular intercultural business context. I call that an intercultural communication blind spot."

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Relieving Intercultural Tension

"When cultures mix there are many unknowns, such as different accents, unfamiliar body language and tones of voice. There are also different communication styles, customs and protocols. This can lead to participants being self-conscious and nervous about doing or saying the wrong thing, with a fear of appearing incompetent or inappropriate. In business we all have a certain identity we wish to maintain and do not want others to form negative opinions about us. All these factors produce tension."

Read the full article by Sherwood Fleming (photo, left) . . .

Practice Adapting Across Cultures

". . . You have to practice so that change can happen. Why? Because change is not a destination, it is a process. Accustomed as most of us are to a goal-oriented mindset in business, a common misconception is that we can set targets on communication changes and get there on deadline."

Read the full article by Sherwood Fleming (photo, left) . . .