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4 Communication Tips for Managing Diverse Teams

4 Communication Tips for Managing Diverse Teams

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4 Communication Tips for Managing Diverse Teams

This 4 Communication Tips for Managing Diverse Teams article will help to improve team integration and dynamics.  Have you ever been part of a conversation where you do not understand a single word of the language being spoken?  It’s a little awkward, to say the least, right.  This article is intended to help you avoid such “awkward” situations.

The nature of a “team” is inherently diverse since each team member is a unique individual.  Apart from the team members, groups are also diverse in terms of the objective they will need to achieve, the method according to which they work and many other elements.

Considering that teams may consist of people from different cultures, religions, professions, nationalities and many other aspects, it’s important that groups have an effective way of communicating to improve productivity and optimize outputs.  These 4 Communication Tips for Managing Diverse Teams are aimed at opening communication channels among team members.

 

TECH TALK

Being able to speak your industry language is important and you should be able to as a professional.  However, when working as an integrated team member you will need to consider that some team members are from different professions.  Technical jargon differs from industry to industry.  For example, SME could mean Subject Matter Expert or Small-Medium Enterprise.  There is quite a difference between them.  Similarly, teams should avoid using slang, idioms, and sarcasm.  Apart from possible language barriers, team members have different personal interests and hobbies.

 

SPEAKING SKILLS

Rambling, or speaking fast is a natural response for many of us when presenting to teams or speaking in groups.  It’s important to breathe appropriately, this will help you calm down.  Keep in mind, that what is important is to slow your speech down to a conversational pace.  This will help in terms of clearly pronouncing words to make sure the audience hears what you’re trying to say.

In South Africa, we have 11 official languages, all of which are spoken in many companies.  This does not yet consider foreign languages that are also widely represented.  Generally, we accept English as a standard for communicating in groups.  However, English is a secondary language for many South Africans.  This means we need to acknowledge that English is often implicated by the accent and language rules of another language.  That has the potential for miscommunication and ultimately problematic situations.  It demonstrates why it’s important to speak at a steady pace and to clearly enunciate your words.

 

CHECKPOINTS

This 4 Communication Tips for Managing Diverse Teams entry is based on a sales closing technique; the trial close.  This is an effective way of measuring understanding of the subject being discussed as the conversation progresses.  When having arrived at a checkpoint, it’s important to repeat the main ideas of your message and to gain buy-in for what has been proposed thus far.  This ensures everyone is on the same page and reduces constraints/ objections further down the line.

It is, however, important not to be interpreted as patronizing or to undermine someone’s intelligence.  Avoid using close-ended questions such as; “Do you understand?” or words like; “Obviously”.  Rather use open-ended and/ or applicative questions such as; “How do you think we should move forward from here?”.

 

BODY LANGUAGE

Research has shown that approximately 93% of communication is done through body language when communicating in person.  Body language is clearly very important when communicating in teams and should be used appropriately.  Being able to use body language effectively will help with conveying your message convincingly.  Additionally, the ability to interpret body language will also help you better understand how your audience engages with you.

These 4 Communication Tips for Managing Diverse Groups are introductory concepts and should be used to open channels for teams to contribute to their full potential.  When all team members feel comfortable to communicate their ideas, the true benefits and advantages of a diverse team can be optimized.

 

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