Cross-Cultural Communication: A Writer’s Secret to Success

“Excellent communication skills.” It’s a phrase we see in job descriptions all the time. As a writer, I glaze over it, thinking, “I can pass as a good communicator. I’m an introvert, but my writing is where it’s at!”

Shopping in Lucknow

Photo credit: Lindsey Mellgren

The common phrase has come back to me, though, asked me to really work on my communication. And I realized – there’s much more to it than being able to say what you want to say.

When I first drafted this post, I’d been living in India for two months. I survived there knowing only English, but the new culture required new phrases, words, gestures, manners and tones than I would use in the U.S. Some might call them linguistically improper, wordy and indirect.

And those condemnations would be well-deserved – if I was communicating with Western culture.

Writers have a difficult task; they have to write content that affects multiple types of personalities. Every one has different goals, preferences and tendencies. How can you create writing, whether it’s a novel or a tweet, that reaches multitudes while maintaining personal connection? I found the answers in the place so many questions are asked:

1. Identify the real need.

2. Stay positive. Don’t exclude groups.

3. Go out of your way to be accessible.

So when it comes to building excellent communication skills, don’t brush it off. Create goals. Get the right attitude. And start communicating.

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