Listening is one of the most underrated and undervalued skills. But when it comes to cross-cultural communication, it’s absolutely critical.
If you are having a moment of misunderstanding or miscommunication with someone else, the only chance either party has of coming out the other side with a mutual understanding is through listening.
|Don’t lock horns – LISTEN instead! Photo Source: Unsplash (Ming Jun Tan)
When you think about the times you have been REALLY listened to, how much better did you feel? You feel like someone has heard you – your opinion, your world, your perspective!
But it needs to be a 2-way street to work. It might be nice that you feel listened to, but if you don’t return the favour, the communication still won’t be effective – as they say, it takes 2 to tango.
Once you have REALLY listened to someone (putting aside your own thoughts or desires to interject with opinions etc), you have a chance of seeing opportunities where you have common ground – as well as the places you have differences.
Talking these through will lead to better communication and hopefully, better collaboration between yourself and the other party.
The best part is, the above applies in so many situations; cross-cultural family relationships, marriages, business partnerships and social friendships!