Tag Archives: qualities

Top Qualities of a Cross-Cultural Communicator

I’ve been writing several papers and talking about how to communicate successfully across cultures lately.  I’ve come up with a list of essential qualities for cross-cultural communicators, but I am sure there are many more that I could have added to that list.  I am not claiming, by the way, to be proficient at all of the qualities below – there is always more work to be done and more to be learnt, after all.

1) Openness and genuine curiosity – by that I mean, a warm, caring curiosity rather than its nosy twin

2) Asking questions instead of assuming you know all the answers – perhaps a touch of humility

3) Flexibility and adaptability

4) Leave your ego at home (but not your values, you don’t have to agree and condone everything you see)

5) Patience – it can take a long time to break down barriers

6) Resilience – to recover from leaving your friends as soon as you’ve made them and to find ways to keep in touch even so.

7) Be prepared – do your homework before you go to another country. 

BUT be prepared to be surprised – no matter how well you do your homework!

8) Humour – ability to laugh at yourself and at others, although you don’t have to share your jokes with foreign audiences.

Anything else I should have mentioned?  What has been the character trait or quality that has kept you sane when travelling, moving, negotiating or marrying abroad?

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