Our globalized world keeps bringing people of different cultures closer and closer together. But our culturally diverse demographic highlights the importance of cultural inclusivity and intercultural communication. However, intercultural communication skills don’t always come naturally.
Oftentimes, people need to find creative ways to facilitate intercultural communication. Authentic intercultural communications can’t exist without recognizing the diversity and intentional action to be inclusive to people of different backgrounds.
Want to learn how to work on your intercultural communication skills? Here are some golden nuggets of wisdom!
Top Tips to Improve Intercultural Communication Skills
#1. Focus on Sensitivities and Awareness of Different Cultural Backgrounds
Awareness of cultural differences is the key to improving your intercultural communication and relationships. When we communicate with people that come from different cultural backgrounds, we should understand those specific topics might be sensitive.
What we say might have a different cultural implication as well, and our communication styles might need to be adjusted to cater to this. You need to examine your point of view, cultural background, and potential biases you might have too. In order to communicate effectively, you must raise your level of cultural awareness.
Ditching your assumptions is a good starting point when it comes to developing intercultural skills. Your new German colleague won’t necessarily negotiate in the same way you do. Oftentimes, our knowledge of other countries and cultures is based entirely on unreliable sources and cultural biases.
#2. Practice Communication Styles in Intercultural Group Settings
One of the best ways to work on your intercultural communication skills is to participate in group interactions that include a diverse range of cultures. These can be structured or unstructured settings since both provide a number of benefits.
The benefits of these interactions include the development of a more diversified supportive social network that positively impacts every member of the group.
A conscious sharing-and-learning process within cross-cultural groups helps people gain a broader perspective of cultural diversity and effectively improves their communication skills.
#3. Get Some Help
There are many actions you can take on your own to work on your intercultural communications. However, it can be beneficial to get assistance from someone with experience in the field. If you’re tackling the topic as a team, you can try diversity training that offers intercultural training options for companies as well as individuals.
You can also turn to social media since it offers an opportunity to connect with people from all across the world. Online communities are formed by people with shared interests, and these communities are filled with people that have diverse backgrounds.
Social media can be an excellent learning source where you can expand your knowledge of cultures in a more informal and organic way. Friendships from here can also be a more comfortable way of exploring new cultures and learning about social norms and values.
#4. Put What You’ve Learned to Practice
Learning about cultural sensitivities, practicing in group settings, and receiving a helping hand are significant steps towards improving intercultural communication skills. Yet, the ultimate goal is to put all of this knowledge into practice.
You need to incorporate what you’ve learned into your attitude, your behavior, and your actions. This will help you communicate more effectively and productively in a multicultural setting.
Whether you’re visiting another country or listening to a colleague’s perspective, remember to show respect for their culture. Just like you’d adjust your conversation style when you speak to a close friend, try interacting with people from different cultures in their preferred style.
Here to Help You Communicate Across the Cultural Divide
The best intercultural communicators don’t only look outwards but also inwards. Make sure you take time to reflect on your communication and motivation style and see where you can improve on an individual level.
Research into the area of intercultural communications and multicultural environments shows that a culturally diverse environment is the most inventive and vibrant. And here at Day Interpreting, we can truly vouch for that. After all, we’re a dynamic, remote, and highly diverse team of professionals that never cease to stop fine-tuning our communication skills.
Our VRI app is available to clients that are struggling to cross the linguistic and cultural barriers that can easily arise in multicultural settings. If you need assistance with professional, effective cross-cultural communication, we’re here to help you. Regardless of what your language needs to look like!
Seldean is a multi-skilled content wizard that dedicates herself to writing content that goes beyond merely sparking interest in the audience.