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Posts Tagged ‘communication style’

How to successfully communicate cross culturally

In Collaboration, Communication, culture, Development, Effectiveness, Language, Leadership, Strategy, Team, teamwork on July 3, 2017 at 6:07 am

Once upon a time, some 100,000 years ago, language was born when a human uttered the first word to another human.

Fast forward to the modern day and language is only a part of how we communicate these days as we navigate our way through other communication complexities such as technology, virtual reality and multiculturism.

As we move swiftly forward in a global entrepreneurial world, multicultural teams become more and more prevalent, and having the ability to break down any communication barriers is vital to ensuring that collaboration and productivity stays at a high.

For as if it’s not hard enough to communicate with someone when you don’t even know their preferred communication style, default behaviors, or conflict preferences, or worse, when you can’t even see their visual cues and body language, as in the case of a remote team, add in time difference, distance and cultural differences, and you won’t be blamed if you sometimes feel as if you might as well throw in the towel. What’s more, all of this can occur even if you’re speaking the same language!

Such triggers can frustrate and give rise to conflict.

Not all is lost though. The very crux of communication is about ownership of the message you send as much as the message received. After all, how can you expect someone to understand you when you can’t even understand yourself? There are some things you can do to strengthen and grow your communication toolkit. And its roots come from more than speaking the same language, indeed, more than what you say or the words you use.

So how do multicultural teams successfully deal with multicultural challenges? One of the most successful ways is to recognize complexities and adapt accordingly. Acknowledge the diversity and rather than focusing on this as a barrier, learn to celebrate this. Identify cultural gaps openly and work around them.

Diplomat and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said:

“Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where people are becoming more and more closely interconnected.”

He is not wrong. Successful cross cultural communication stems from cultural intelligence, the success of which depends on three pillars.

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Dysfunctional habits that can damage your communication style and personal brand

In Branding, Communication, Inspire, Language, Leadership, Networking, Personal Branding on July 6, 2016 at 3:06 am

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Have you ever been in a conversation where no matter what you did, you struggled to engage with the other person?

What was it that they did? Or didn’t do? Having a conversation should not be a difficult thing to do. After all, we all do it every day. We have multiple conversations with various people in several settings, using a variety of mediums. The thing is, you could be the most charismatic, articulate speaker or communicator, but there are some common conversational habits that would absolutely kill your chances at engaging with the other party.

So what are they? Let’s consider six habits that can damage your communication style and personal brand, and what you can do to avoid them.

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Five simple but powerful tips to increase your influential presence

In Change Management, Communication, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Performance Management, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Positive Thinking on July 6, 2015 at 2:14 am

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Ever wondered why some people are so much more influential and persuasive than others?

American politician Jim Roth once said: “If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skilfully, you can work miracles.”

Now there’s a notion; working miracles. What exactly does that entail? A sense of power, achievement, and an ability to reach any desired goal. Profound attributes any leader would covet. Indeed, the quote certainly brings to mind the ability to communicate effectively with an aim to influence or persuade. Certainly an alluring quality. But not just for leaders. Why? Well, because influencing and persuading is a necessary skill for anyone, whether in the professional or personal sphere. It is a transferable skill that can be applied in various situations.

Influencing skills are critical to help you achieve your desired outcomes
Influencing is about being able to convince your stakeholder of the importance of an issue and to see things from a different perspective. If you haven’t got their buy-in, then you haven’t influenced or persuaded them effectively.

And here’s the thing. Influencing and persuading is not just about one conversation. I’m afraid there’s no shortcut. Sometimes, it can be a series  of conversations with the same or different stakeholder over a period of time. And in fact, how long it takes you to achieve the outcome that you’re looking for will depend on the rapport and quality of the relationship.

So what makes an effective influencer?

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Five simple listening tips that automatically change the way you listen

In Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Personal Branding, Philosophy on June 20, 2015 at 7:08 am

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I was sitting in a cafe recently and noticed the couple next to me. She was talking. He was on his smart phone. Scrolling. Reading. And nodding. Apparently he was listening. Apparently. She thought so, too. Because she kept talking. Mind you, she was looking at him. Talking and making eye contact. Or at least, attempting to. He had his eyes fixed on the phone.

Hands up those of you who have seen this scene. It’s not an unheard of situation. We see it all the time. But have we become so busy, we have to constantly multitask? Even at the detriment of how we connect with others?

If I was sitting across from someone who would dare do that, I would stop talking. It’s a waste of time. And energy. It is disrespectful. And it damages your personal brand to pretend to listen when you’re not. I wanted to shake that person sitting at that table across that poor woman.

But before we get there, there is hope. Here are five simple tips on how to listen actively.

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Good to great communication

In Branding, Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Language, Leadership, Learning, Personal Branding, Philosophy on May 27, 2015 at 4:38 am

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Have you ever thought about how the way we communicate can be aligned to the way we learn?

It occurred to me the other day when I was asked my thoughts on webinars.

And it got me thinking.

According to the VAK learning styles of visual, audio, and kinesthetic learners, I fall into the kinesthetic category. Perhaps a little visual. But mostly I learn by doing. I love jumping right into the heart of things and by trial and well, error. In fact, of the three styles, audio is not a preferred option for me. At all.

I can’t imagine sitting through a forty-five-minute webinar session, especially if not accompanied by visuals. In fact, I don’t even enjoy talk radio. Or talking on the phone, for that matter. It is not my preferred form of communication. Nor learning.

So I won’t function well in a webinar. It’s also no surprise that I don’t particularly sit well through lengthy teleconferences. Even though I have had to do so, they are a struggle for me. So to remain engaged and animated, I try to take notes.

But what does all this say about my communication preference and learning style? And what has that got to do with the person or persons communicating with me?

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