Skills to improve communicating across differences
Listening: Attentive listening is critical to be able to understand meanings, read between the lines, and empathize with the speaker.
Speaking: Positive speech such as encouragement, affirmation, recognition, phrasing requests clearly, or expressing opinions sensitively will improve communication. Also, avoiding negative or stereotypical comments and innuendos based on gender, race, age, etc. is critical to communication success.
Observation: Note people’s dress, body language, interaction, and behavior. Be aware of differences within your own culture and try to understand the roots ofbehaviors. Asking appropriate and thoughtful questions expands your cross difference knowledge.
Patience: Through patience, respect is won and cross-difference understanding isenhanced.
Flexibility: Adaptability and open-mindedness are the route to successful communication. Understanding and addressing differences leads to the breaking of barriers, which results in better lines of communication, mutual trust, and creative thinking.