DIVERSITY & COMMUNICATION
With growing economies and skill sets of its people, we see large numbers of domestic and international migration, actuating towards providing a better lifestyle for themselves and their families when compared to the previous generation. The journey towards realising one's dreams comes with its own set of challenges. Diversity is one such hurdle and embracing rather than avoiding it, brings numerous lifelong benefits and learnings. Let's touch upon the importance of communication in diversity. From the use of words, interpreted as banter/joke with a section of people can easily be misconstrued as rude behaviour and worse still racism in different cultures. Miscommunication more likely than not is the starting point of disagreement, leading to mistrust.
Two-Way communication opens windows of thought, encourages creativity and induces multiple choices that help in making that winning decision. So why do we falter while communicating ? Fear is one of the reasons. The fear of rejection and also becoming the subject of ridicule. This results in a huge loss as we avoid sharing of views and experiences which is the starting point to finding creative decision making solutions.
I am sharing an example of 'non-verbal communication - through action' and what it means across countries with diverse cultures. (The turning on and off, of car headlights, signals different meanings in England and India. In England, it means giving right-of-way to the car opposite you to proceed. Whereas in India, hold on Bhai, my-way. A misunderstanding of this action has its consequences).
Finally let's look into few ways to overcome one's fear when communicating. For ease of learning, we try and work towards overcoming fear when communicating by making a genuine effort to being Friendly, Empathetic, positive Attitude and being Respectful. Let's look into this in a bit of detail.
Being Friendly - Making a sincere effort to build rapport with your audience. One way to being friendly and gaining trust would be to continually deliver on your promise as this develops trust between parties.
Listening skills are crucial when you're genuinely showing Empathy, i.e. putting yourself and see the world from the other person's perspective. If you move focus to yourself, then more often than not, you are moving further away from Empathy.
Being Respectful - One could start with couple of pointers like simplifying the topic, include people and groups in the conversations, respect the other person's point of view and don't dominate the discussion.
For the few who may have thought, hey you missed out on mentioning attitude. Please refer link towards building a positive attitude.
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