This week we complete the LEARN acronym. Many of you have asked for strategies to more effectively work with and communicate with other cultures as you practice N behaviors of L E A R N.
The following strategies can help you avoid jumping to conclusions when working with people of other cultures:
- Before taking action or letting emotions get the better of you, consider several different interpretations of the behavior/situation in question.
- Don’t assume that other people think/behave the way you do. ? Accept the possibility that whatever occurred could be an anomaly caused by any number of circumstances (e.g., someone having a bad day or dealing with personal issues).
- Be aware of your personal biases (increase your self-awareness).
- Treat people as individuals and not as generalized stereotypes. Refrain from seeing things at the extremes since there are many shades of gray.
- Remain positive. Don’t always assume the worst/negative outcome.
- Avoid making comments such as, “You don’t understand” or “What’s your problem?” since they may cause the other party to respond defensively.
- When communicating with others, use descriptive and non-evaluative language.
- Be mindful of terms people use to explain themselves and the world around them, as certain terms have different meanings across cultures.
For more information, check the 2nd Edition of my Communicating Through a Global Lens booklet.