Solving Intercultural Communication Problems

1447 Words Nov 16th, 2013 6 Pages
Sherwood Fleming's Intercultural Communication Insights

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Solving Intercultural Communication Problems

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intercultural comunication problemsAre you are a manager or leader of an intercultural team? Or do you work within an intercultural company? If so, are you experiencing intercultural communication problems? Take a look at the photo — is that how you try to solve your intercultural communication problems?

Accustomed as we are, in the West at least, to cause and effect thinking, we are convinced that surely there must be a formula
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And when they do lead, we resent being followers. By being unaware of all that we do at the level of language, we lose sight of the basic building blocks of the human communication dance and so we lose our way. It is as if we have forgotten that we actually know how to dance. Often, we don’t even know that we know.

Getting back to the communication basics that all human beings share in common is what my seminars, such as Mastering Intercultural Communication and The Dance of Opinions focus on. As a communication expert working in field of human communication for the past twenty-five years, I am always amazed by this one fact: for a species that lives in language to the degree that we all do, it’s rare that any of us notice or understand the basic building blocks of human communication. So the problem is not ‘out there.’ Instead, the challenge for all of us is to find our way back to a dance that we all know and can share effortlessly, once we get back to basics.

I often say that all of us suffer from intercultural communication blind spots, and it is often like the blind leading the blind. If we can’t see the communication dance, if we can’t see the steps, if we can’t see how we dance or how others dance, what is it that we think we are trying to fix when we try to solve a communication problem? And why do we assume that formulaic thinking will lead to an