“More than 100 years earlier, emigrants were all but cut off from home. Outward journeys lasted weeks or months on sailing ships rather than a few hours aboard a jet plane. Returning home was a rarity and upon departure many emigrants were convinced they would never see their place of birth or extended family again.” Things have certainly changed for the modern expat when it comes to keeping in touch—and more!—as Murray Watson explains.
This month: Getting the message across—have images supplanted words as the medium of choice for communication?
This week: Body Language – the massive role that non-verbal communication plays in conveying meaning.
“It is important to understand and recognise cultural differences in the use of non-verbal cues, so that the body language of customers, especially those from other cultural backgrounds than your own, is not the cause of costly misinterpretation.” Professor Manie Spoelstra of The Negotiation Academy with some useful advice about the challenges of negotiating with someone from a different culture.
“When you know nothing of the person with whom you are communicating and they know nothing about you it’s easy to misinterpret things: does ‘Where do you live?’ mean ‘So I can murder you in your sleep’ or ‘I would like to have a physical relationship with you’ or ‘I have fun reading your messages, I like you, and I’m curious to know more about you’?” Phil reflects that what you say isn’t necessarily what the other person hears…