4 July 2023
Does this quote sound familiar? When working with colleagues from different cultures, it is crucial to understand and adapt to their preferred communication styles, especially when it comes to providing feedback. Some cultures value direct and explicit feedback, while others prefer a more indirect and high-context approach. Here's some strategies to handle these differences effectively.
Direct Feedback Cultures:
Certain cultures, such as Israel, Netherlands, France, Germany and Australia, tend to value directness in communication. In these cultures, direct negative feedback is often seen as constructive and necessary for improvement. Our recommendation for providing feedback in direct cultures is:
1) Be explicit and concise: Clearly state the feedback without unnecessary elaboration. Use specific examples to illustrate your points.
2) Focus on the issue, not the person: Emphasise the behaviour or outcome that needs improvement rather than criticising the individual. This approach helps maintain a respectful and professional atmosphere.
3) Offer solutions and guidance: Suggest actionable steps or alternative approaches to address the issue effectively.
“I have enjoyed quite a lot these lessons and also improved quite a lot my pronunciation and communication. Thank you very much.”
Accent Modification Programme
Royal Haskoning DHV
“The tutor prepares the classes based on our needs and interests – it’s definitely not a standard class just based on our proficiency level.”
Business English for Brazilian Expats