Issue related to Communication

Peter Stuge peter at stuge.se
Fri Sep 20 17:07:25 UTC 2013


Dear Ronald,

I think you deserve respect and admiration for your interest in
different cultures and wanting to learn how to communicate better
across continents!

This mailing list often has focus only on technology, but everybody
here is interested in communication. I personally think that human
communication is far more important than technology - the technology
is only the tool we use to communicate between humans.


R M wrote:
> The clients are mostly European. One of them's surname is Welsh
> 
> I am having a real hard time understanding their accent. I want to
> tell them that I cant understand thier accent.

Let me ask this: Do you have some ideas for how to solve the problem?


> If I say so will it bad thing to say. That is, will they get offended by it ?

My *guess* is that this person will not be offended if you express
that because you are unused to their accent it is difficult for you
to understand what they say.

A smart person will appreciate that you mention this, because
identifying and expressing the problem is the first step before
finding a solution so that you can communicate more efficiently.

There is some risk that their accent is a sensitive subject, but in
my experience if you focus on wishing to reach better communication
then that will be respected and appreciated.

I would however make two suggestions:

1. Don't bring the accent up in a conference call and instead mention
it in a direct conversation, or if you prefer maybe via email.

If the accent is indeed a sensitive subject it is better to discuss
person-to-person than in a conference call, and if you are the only
one in the conference call who can not understand the accent then the
topic is irrelevant for everybody else, and a waste of their time.


2. Try to offer a constructive suggestion for how you can solve the
problem with the accent or maybe work around it.

If you only point out the problem without suggesting a solution then
the person may get the impression that you do not actually care very
much about the problem and that you are just complaining for no reason.

But if you mention the problem and immediately also offer a suggestion
which you think will help, then it is quite obvious that you want to
have better communication, which will hopefully be appreciated, just
as it is by me.


Good luck, and have a nice weekend

//Peter


PS. I can't understand welsh either.




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