7 Tips for Listening Across Language Barriers

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Listening Across Language Barriers

Listening for mutual understanding challenges all of us at one time or another. Now add a layer of language or cultural difference between the speaker and listener. What began as a simple conversation has just evolved into a recipe in frustration, misunderstanding and potential disaster.

So what’s a listener to do to bridge the communication gap? Here are 7 easy tips to help you become a better audience when the speaker speaks a different language than you do:

1) Don’t stop listening when you hear an unfamiliar accent.

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7 Tips for Speaking Across Language Barriers

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Nancy Mueller ICC Class 2012

Most of us have felt the frustration and embarrassment of trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak our language.

Here are 7 easy tips to help you get your message across when you are the speaker:

1) Slow down, but don’t speak more loudly. Pause between words instead of linking them together.

Depending on the level of the listener’s fluency, this one tip may be enough to foster understanding.

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Summer Reading for Grown Ups

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Beach-Books

Reading offers one of the easiest ways for leaders to expand their horizons at any time of year. But summer especially holds the promise of settling down with a stack of new books (or a loaded e-reader) away from the daily routine.

You might prefer the latest books on leadership or about your industry. But choosing books outside your field offers the opportunity to gain a new perspective and make connections between unrelated disciplines.

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