The process of verbal communication is never a simple process and hard feelings and confusions can often find their way into it. This can be a real problem in business, as international business culture requires strong communication. Often people have different mother tongues, so even if they speak in the same language, their skill levels may be vastly different. At the same time, nonverbal communication retains the scope of misinterpretation too, since different mannerisms may denote different meanings in different cultures. The article will thus impart some general advice on how to improve cross-cultural communication.
There are mainly two ways. The first focuses on the dominant speaker. He should make sure that the language is not spoken too fast. This makes it difficult for the listener, for whom the language spoken may be the second language, to catch all the words and follow the thread of the meaning. Avoiding confusing jargon or local idioms is important, too. People from another culture will normally not be familiar with the idioms and may try to take them at their literal value. Jokes and sarcasms should similarly been avoided. A joke or a certain witticism may mean something different or even rude in another culture and this creates space for confusion.
The onus lies on the listener too that he response to the conversation in the proper way. If something is not clear, he can ask the speaker to clarify the meaning for him, instead of just letting it go. He should also take active part in the conversation and should speak his mind from time to time. This will help to keep the conversation interesting and alive.
Observing these simple techniques will help to improve cross-cultural communication. There is no reason to think that a person is lacking in intellect only because he is not adept at communicating cross-culturally. In fact, these kinds of communications often help to build strong and enduring bonds with others.