Almost any person who has tried talking to a foreigner at least once will mention basic language barriers and the inability to get one’s message across. While it’s true to some extent, international communication barriers also include socio-cultural points that often make it challenging.
It doesn’t matter if you are watching some foreign movie that poses a cultural shock or facing challenges of doing business in Asian countries, it is important to understand that international communication barriers are more complex than that.
4 Deadly International Communication Barriers and How to Solve Them
1. Linguistic Barrier
While it is not the deadliest international communication barrier these days, thanks to professional linguists and interpreters, it still represents the most apparent.
It may be relatively easy to translate a business agreement with all the considerations of legal terms, yet working with product manuals and medical translations will require native knowledge of relevant terms.
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When you turn to professionals, this communication barrier is usually settled down, yet we have three more that often come along.
2. Cultural Points
This barrier is more varied because it has perceptions and notions that have been present for decades. For example, dealing with Dutch people will have more direct communication with a high degree of clarity since they have been in the maritime and engineering industries for centuries.
Yet, if you want to make business in Arabic countries, things will become more complex as not every Western strategy will work.
Even when we know how to overcome language barriers for online business, learning more about the foreign culture and marketing principles is essential. This is where talking to the locals and reading more about the country should come first.
3. Psychological Barriers
The psychological barrier involves more than just the perception of an idea or a person, which is why it belongs to our four deadly international communication barriers.
However, things are not that grim because it is always possible to implement things like mediation to settle down the conflicts as they occur and provide both sides of the issue with a solution.
If the psychological barriers involve financial matters or stereotypical thinking, they can be solved with the help of individual conversations.
Alternatively, use group training of the people in question to let every person involved approach cooperation and talking in a non-formal environment.
4. Conflicting Values.
This communication barrier is, perhaps, one of the hardest since it is akin to trying to solve socio-religious conflicts or values of people that they have followed since their birth.
Still, it is not always necessary to settle them down since one just cannot expand some business to a country like Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates without consideration of all the restrictions and rules.
The solution is to integrate into the country’s values and become a part of it by trying one’s best to reach out to people and the local culture.
Unless the talk goes of environmental issues or political conflicts, solving conflicting values with the help of cultural integration and diversity works.
The Physical Distances & Matters of Perception
The aspect of physical communication is often ignored, especially during times of pandemic restrictions and remote work. Since the majority of our communications have become even more virtual, an element of physical distance and a different perception of information play a vital role.
Therefore, it is necessary to consider a different matter of trust and implement an explanatory tone when dealing with social media or business matter negotiations. Provide various real-life examples to help people relate.
Such an approach will improve basic perception and will make international communication more human. It will also help to address linguistic confusion as many examples you may provide are mostly similar across the world.
As a business consultant and educator, Michael likes to explore the ways how global communications can help achieve success in any field. His posts offer efficient tips that are worth checking. Follow Michael to learn something new and get inspired.