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Overcoming  Cultural  Differences
FAILING  TO  COMMUNICATE Communication requires more than just talking. One  person  cannot  communicate.  Communication involves  a  sender  and  a  receiver  and  a  message understood by both. The sender must be able to select words  or  visual  signals  that  accurately  convey  the desired meaning and can be understood by the receiver. All  responsibility  does  not  rest  on  the  sender;  the receiver must hear what is being said. When interference (lack  of  understanding  or  distractions)  garbles  the message, the receiver should ask the sender to repeat or explain the message. Misunderstanding information may be worse than receiving no information since it can result   in   disappointment,   frustration,   missed opportunity,  or  improper  action  by  the  receiver. Sometimes it seems that you can almost see the earplugs in a customer’s ears. What you are saying is not getting through. You may be tempted to shrug the incident off by saying, “I did my part. It’s not my fault if the customer wouldn’t listen.” Are you sure that you did your part? After all, the customer came to you for information  or  advice  but  didn’t  receive  it.  Any  one  of several causes could have interfered with your message: The customer was vague about the particulars of the  problem. You  communicated  with  jargon,  unfamiliar terms, or slang. You didn’t make your explanation as thorough as you  should  have. You communicated or inferred that the customer or  problem  wasn’t  important. The  customer  had  other  problems. The  customer  felt  rushed. The  customer  lacked  confidence  in  your  ability to  provide  the  requested  service. You  failed  to  make  sure  that  the  customer understood. Several types of language barriers can interfere with effective   communications.   Cultural   differences, physical problems, language that reflects bigotry or prejudice,  speech  habits,  and  confusing  terminology  all can  create  a  barrier  to  communication.  However,  the first two barriers—cultural differences and physical problems—are the most difficult for the speaker to 3-8

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