3 Ways To Break Communication Barriers

Posted by on Feb 15 | 2016

Relocating for work brings a number of challenges. This is especially true in the first few weeks and months when facing a new work environment, colleagues, and business culture.

Breaking Down Communication Barriers

If your move has taken you abroad, you may face communication barriers that make it difficult to engage with your team. This makes it hard to provide the proper feedback and establish expectations throughout your organization.

The following are 3 ways to break communication barriers so that you can simplify the relocation process and begin moving towards your business objectives.

Learn the Norms and Preferences of a Culture

Language goes beyond words. There are subtle nuances that support the ways in which individuals communicate with each other. These cultural norms must be understood in order to communicate with your team.

Every culture has its own way of giving and receiving information. Although it may not be immediately apparent, it’s essential that you be aware of the preferences that your team members have for effective communication.

Information and instructions received from a manager may not hold the same weight as those received from another leader within the organization. Praising employees may be best done in private when working in other cultures.

These subtle difference have a big impact on the effectiveness of your communication.

Learning the Language

It may not be necessary or practical for you to learn a new language, but there’s value in learning the very basics in order to support your communication. This is a powerful way to create rapport with your team while broadening your skills and experience.

When individuals in leadership positions take the time to learn the basics of a culture’s language, it supports the diversity of the organization as a whole. It also displays a willingness to learn from others.

There are many courses available online that can help you get started learning a new language. Start with some basic and frequently used terms and be willing let others help you along the way.

Adapt Your Communication Style

Breaking communication barriers in a new work environment also requires you to adjust your own style of engaging with others. Learn to speak slowly if you encounter difficulty in speaking with a colleague.

Speak correctly and avoid any slang or jargon that’s exclusive to your own language. Consider the words you use and try to keep your messages succinct and clear. This is especially important in technical industries that require complex language. Use simple words and phrases whenever possible.

Communication barriers are expected when working in a new culture, but these 3 steps will help you overcome these barriers and ensure that you and your team can understand each other. Clear communication is a bridge that helps your entire team move steadily towards your common goals.

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