Communication Lessons from the Road, Part 1

singapore

Greetings from Singapore, where I’m doing a week of corporate communication training for two of our favorite clients. This follows up a week in Shanghai for the same two clients. International travel is exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. It’s exhausting to travel this far from home, for two straight weeks of day-long workshops. When I get home later this week, I’ll be ready for a lot of sleep.

But at the same time, international training and coaching is completely exhilarating, because it provides great perspective. If your mind is open and if you listen carefully, you realize that the approach that might work at home may not necessarily work in another country. You realize that audiences are different for many reasons, especially because of culture. Things like eye contact, bluntness, communication with authority, and body language differ from country to country to country.

We talk about knowing your audience all the time. And we always will. Because when we list the biggest mistakes that mediocre communicators make, a lack of audience awareness is near the top of the list. Poor communicators think and speak from a selfish perspective, with a “one size fits all” approach to communication. Mediocre communicators take the same message and approach off the figurative shelf and recycle it over and over.

Great communicators will take the same message, but make adjustments to it based on those who will receive the information. Great communicators will adjust aspects of the message, the points of value, the delivery, the body language, the nuances of speech pattern and other things to make sure that the audience has the best chance of connecting with you and retaining your message.

Even if your audience is primarily a domestic one, it is critical to have audience sensitivity when communicating in a business setting. And even if your travels do not take you to Shanghai or Singapore, look for opportunities to broaden your perspective and communicate with different types of audiences. It will only serve you well.

Have a great day.

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