Once I had a training from bussiness communication for global markets with Kyle Hegarty. Then I thought that this communication skills are not much needed as in Polish proverb: „I finished IT studies not to talk to people but to talk with the computers”;)
Unfortunately working in every company requires these soft skills, because sooner or later you will have to talk with your customers. Depends on the nation there are different communication styles – Germans are more direct and this makes the feeling of rudeness, Poles and Hungarian have heart on the hand and for question:”How are you?”, will respond with a story of their life;), people from India will greet you with:”God day” and will talk with you about the family, people from Malaysia will talk with you as equal to equal.
Having this knowledge I thought that I knew everything as last of my team consisted of people from 8 different countries: Switzerland, Serbia, France, Ireland, England, Pakistan, India, Poland.
This time after I have a team spread accross all the globe and must admit that it is not easy to talk in proper way with people from: India, Philipines, USA, China and of course Poland. Communication mistakes are just unvoidable and after having very confusing conversation with one of the team member, when I didn’t know whether the result was: yes or no for my question, which resulted in very unpleasant 5 other talks, I thought that I would give up and find another job [ fortunately in Tricity it is not so difficult;)].
Then I reminded about this K.Hegarty and his training and found his book on Amazon. I must admit that this book is interesting, easy to read, full of anecdotes and the most important full of useful knowledge. It consists also of set of excercises, which can be lead in team. I will read it for sure several times, to learn everything this time.
I really appreciate all of the stories about talking with people from Far East as indeed they communicate in more soft way. The kindness and hierarchy is the most important for them.
Americans are more direct but very confusing for Polish people in giving feedback. They say one thing and think the other, because everything is opaqued in these kind words. In Poland we would say that is „political correctness”. And their coaching for excelence can be very tiring for people, who are rather skeptical for psychological theories. For the question:”how are you?” they don’t expect very detailed answers;) However after adjusting to this behavioral differences, we found common language.
I strongly recommend this book as it seems that global teams will be more common these days not only in IT.