When I first came here, I could not speak English very well, and I did not know about small talk. I felt vey frustrated when I had to interact with someone. Then I took an ESL class at Baruch College. I also started to read the book “AMERICAN WAYS” by Gary Althen. This book made me more aware of the American conversational style. I think it is very important to know about cross-cultural communication when you live in other countries or you work in an international company.
Here are three tips to improve your communication skills in the United States.
When you encounter other people, you should make small talk; in other words, you should speak about the weather and your surroundings or you may talk about your past experiences, such as watching a particular movie or TV show, traveling to a specific place, and eating in a special restaurant. Making small talk can benefit you in many ways. You can make more friends improve your social networking, and connect with potential employers in anyplace.
In work situations, you should be open and accept other people’s opinions, ideas and constructive criticisms. It can help you to improve your performance. Constructive criticism is an essential communication technique that brings positive results. In most cases in the USA, when people give you constructive criticism, they speak to you directly in a polite way. As a result, you know what you need to improve to be better without hurting your feeling. You can be a more productive person by accepting criticism and changing your bad performance. It does not only benefits you, but everyone in the company.
You should be honest about what you feel and express it without being rude. In America, people normally state what they think and what they want from other people. At work, being assertive can help workers get their jobs done faster and more effectively because Bosses can generally be more direct with their co-workers, so they know what their bosses want them to do.
As you can see, cross-cultural communication skills are vital for everyone. When you live in a different country, you should learn about the culture, lifestyle, and communication patterns. As a result, you will live without less frustration. Besides, if you work in an international company, you will be able to get the work done more effectively because you understand the new communication patterns.