You might sabotage yourself without knowing

Making intercultural communication effective is key when it comes to improving productivity & overall performance in diverse teams. Often enough though, without the intention or even knowing, we sabotage our own effective listening. How do we do this? When you rethink conversations that took place in intercultural settings the level of sabotage can be reduced to one of these five:

  1. Mind reading
  2. Judging
  3. Reconciling
  4. Derailing
  5. Daydreaming

I will give a short explanation and example with each one of these five components. In the example I will use the same sentence for person A with all five components, so that the response of person B makes the difference between all five components more clear.

Mind reading
Mind reading means assuming we know what the other person feels & thinks without clarifying.

For example:
A: Ok, in order to meet this month’s target, everyone needs to…
B: A must think she’s the only one with a vision on how to get things done.

Judging
Judging means evaluating the other person & what they say rather than trying understand their perspective.

For example:
A: Ok, in order to meet this month’s target, everyone needs to…
B (to C): OMG, I can’t believe she’s expecting us to…

Reconciling
Reconciling means agreeing super quickly without listen to the other persons feelings and concerns.

For example:
A: Ok, in order to meet this month’s target, everyone needs to…
B: You’re right, let’s all agree to what A is suggesting.

Derailing
Derailing means changing the subject as soon as you hear something that bothers you.

For example:
A: Ok, in order to meet this month’s target, everyone needs to…
B: What about we organise a team lunch this week
.

Daydreaming
When we daydream our mind is wandering elsewhere & beyond the conversation.

For example:
A: Ok, in order to meet this month’s target, everyone needs to…
B: Yum, I’m having lasagne tonight.

After reading these five ways of sabotaging effective listening, do you feel like you are guilty of one of them? Or maybe of more than one? Struggling with these components will not only sabotage effective listening, it will also increase the chances of encountering culturally based conflict. Are you interested in personalised advice based on your own cultural background in combination with the corporate culture you are currently experiencing at work? Don’t hesitate to contact me.

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