I work in many different countries and cultures, so have a special interest in cultural understanding. We Brits need to be more direct it seems from this simple guide of Anglo-Dutch understanding:
Of course, this applies to everyone that works with others not of their own culture:
- be polite and direct
- say what you mean
- don't use colloquialisms
- clear speech - don't mumble
- slow speech - crucial if you want your listener to fully understand you
- interpret their response from their next comment or question
- interpret their response from their facial and body language
- question their understanding
- repeat your words if understanding is in doubt. Phrase it differently if necessary.
- if instructing, ask your listener to repeat the instruction in their own words
- state importance and deadline when giving instructions. Understanding expectations is crucial
- Don't assume understanding even if your listener says he understands.
It is your responsibility to ensure understanding of YOUR statements and instructions. Be prepared to repeat 3 times.
Working with different cultures is enjoyable and uplifting. Understanding is crucial to success.