Working Through Language, Time, and Cultural Differences
With a multicultural and increasingly diverse workforce, communications skills are more important than ever. If you find yourself working with someone who isn’t quite fluent in your language and comes from a very different culture background, you may have difficulty communicating with them. Remember that the language barrier goes both ways. If you are frustrated by their lack of understanding, they probably feel the same. Find the resilience to push past that barrier. If you need to talk about something complex or technical, you have the option of using a free service like Google Translate to help facilitate communication. Remember also that using pictures is a much more universal language. It all boils down to patience and endurance. Take your time, making sure to explain things clearly, and if necessary, use translation tools to help. If they have different cultural values, acknowledge them and find common ground. If you are talking to someone on the other side of the world (Isn’t technology wonderful?), work to compromise on the time so one party doesn’t need to get up insanely early or the other stay up insanely late.