Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Global Communication

What happens with two people are talking to each other over phone? can follow each other, maybe not get the tone of the speech but its fine. What happens if a group of people are meeting in a room and having a conversation. They could take turns talking, or there could be one member talking and others listening, or there could be a synchronous Q&A session or there could be a situation when each one is talking and there are many meetings in progress :)

Now what if this is meeting over phone across geographies and among large group of people having their own sweet accents. There are no protocols as to how to take over a conversation, who should talk, who should listen, how to pass a topic. Its a chaos.

I attended a Global Communication skills training few days ago. The above scenario is not new; been in this situation since I joined this line of work. But what I discovered were those subtle things that we miss out. For e.g. It would be so easier if each participant mention their name each time before they mentioned something. It seems funny but it so helps everyone. It gets awkward when you have to answer a query but you don't know who asked that question!!

Another conspicuous factor is the tone and frequency when you speak; in person or over phone. A tone in which you state can change the dynamics of a conversation. "HEY! THIS IS NOT RIGHT" can always be mellowed down and instead said "Hey, You know what? This is fine, but it might not work effectively in our scenario".

What else changed apart from the tone? The choice of words. Stressing on NO, DONT, NOT is so so negative. Its a contradiction. Instead of contradiction, challenge the case in the form of a question. Instead of a "No! I don't agree!" ask "How do you think this will help our case?" This shows you are willing to pursue provided you have supportive data!

The cultural differences plays a important role in communication. Keep silent in a meeting among group of Americans; they would probably think why doesn't he go take a nap if he has nothing to talk? Keep silent in a meeting among Japanese, they will appreciate and assume you understood it all and probably thinking!! See! :)

Use words that the majority of the crowd connects with. It makes it easier to present your case and make the crowd understand what you are trying to say. Last but not the least, small talk. Americans talk about weather and pets. Indians talk about traffic and food. So get into the groove and have fun! :)


  1. A good post more like a short summary from global communication workshop!Intercultural differences are always a challenge to address!

  2. "HEY! THIS IS NOT RIGHT" can always be mellowed down and instead said "Hey, You know what? This is fine, but it might not work effectively in our scenario".

    If only I can learn such techniques... sigh!!

    Every thing said is so true... re minds me of my initial training days :)
    why to consider people around the world.. to converse with indians from various parts over the phone itself is at times a difficult task ..

  3. Global communications workshop ! interesting.

    Communication is about what the chap that receives it, makes of it. Isnt it ? No, I am not talking of Pawar.

    But we have a curious way of speaking. So does everybody else. I guess the most important thing is to be sensitive to this fact.

    no ?


  4. Ha,I love the topic as always Insi.It's quiet interesting these days to notice while we talk on an international sphere these days..Like we learn on a daily basis.There are times when reading contemporaries help.And yes,observation.It's amazing.

    It was jovial reading your post.What you scribbled on cultural differences is one thing I really really loved.That's evident.Being comprehensive with occasional quip most often helps with all these..
    Cheers !

  5. it is absolutely important for one in professional or personal life to be carefulwith every word one chooses to speak.One wrong word or a misplaced word can ruin a relationship or ones carrer

  6. Communication is basically the sharing of meaning. Problem is a simple statement or even word can mean different thing to different people, what more across culture. Aa..aa, means 'yes' in my culture but 'no' to the Americans. How can we strike a common chord in such a situation?

  7. or have a bottle of whisky , a couple of shots and then talk .. everything is FIne then each one understand perfectly fine what the other is saying .. :)


  8. Lessons in effective communication? I think we all need this.

  9. B, this is an interesting piece. May be you could enlighten more on the seminar that you attended, or training , what ever.
    Makes sense when we are careful about the words and sentences we use to convey.
    "Of course I agree", some one told me is akin to telling the other, "Hey you stupid don't you see that I agree?"

  10. Effective communication -- very important, must be handled in training by every organization. Some official mails really make one cringe. And, we all have been to meetings which are embarrassing due to certain people just not knowing how to speak or conduct themselves.

  11. I had a smile while reading this... this is what we communicate in our workshops too!! :)

  12. Interesting to note the difference between the Americans and the Japanese. What would be an Indian situation?

  13. Rahul,

    Thank you. Yes, it was very helpful, so I thought will share


    Yeah try to implement it :)


    :-) I totally agree with you; that was the debate we had. How much ever you try your best; its only what the receiver makes out of it.


    Thank you. :-) I am glad you liked the post.

    Chowla sir,

    True sir.

    Wan F,

    Yes Wan, It helps only when the receiver gets the meaning the way we intend.


    Hmm...try it at office Bik :)


    :-) Absolutely!


    Yes, I also attended a workshop on Assertions and Influencing :)


    I agree with you.




    Everyone will have a different point to make in our case :)

  14. yeah right.. but i can always have one and go to work Or keep it in the car ... and just before it starts .. have a couple he heh e

  15. International communication skills - what's pc in Japan, isn't so in the US, is wrong in China and right in India (or is it the other way around?) Aaargh! Can't I settle for a friendly face and a sense of humour?


I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!