promote cultural diversity and inclusion in cross-cultural communication

Cross-cultural communication is more than just language. It’s about understanding and appreciating the diversity of cultures, beliefs, and perspectives that exist in the world.


As businesses increasingly operate on a global scale, the need for effective cross-cultural communication has never been more crucial. To promote cultural diversity and inclusion in cross-cultural communication, here are some strategies you can adopt:


  1. Cultivate Cultural Intelligence

    Cultural intelligence (CQ) refers to the ability to understand and appreciate different cultures and to effectively navigate intercultural situations. It involves being aware of your own cultural biases and assumptions, as well as the cultural norms and values of others.
    To develop your CQ, start by learning about the cultural backgrounds of your clients and colleagues. Engage in cross-cultural training and workshops to enhance your knowledge and understanding of different cultures.Especially, understanding the difference between High Context communication and Low Context communication, knowing your typical tendency, and adapting your communication approach to the other person is crucial.

    By doing so, you will be able to communicate more effectively, build stronger relationships and avoid cultural misunderstandings. 

    High Context communication and Low Context communication 

  2. Use Inclusive Language

    Inclusive language refers to language that avoids stereotypes, assumptions, and discrimination based on culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or any other factor that can lead to exclusion.
    When communicating with clients and colleagues from different cultures, it’s important to use inclusive language that acknowledges and respects diversity. Avoid using language that can be perceived as offensive or insensitive.Instead, use language that is inclusive and promotes mutual respect. Also important is using what I call, “global English”.

    If you are a native English speaker, you may be used to using slang or highly colloquial language that is hard to understand for non-native English speakers. I have a personal experience when I just came to the US. I didn’t understand what “what’s up” meant. I literally looked up to see what was there…! If that person said to me “How are you doing?”, I would have understood. 

  3. Be Open to Feedback

    Feedback is a valuable tool for improving cross-cultural communication. It allows you to gain insights into how your message is being received and to identify areas for improvement.
    To be open to feedback, create a safe space for clients and colleagues to express their thoughts and opinions. Encourage them to provide feedback on your communication style, language use, and overall approach.By doing so, you will be able to adjust your communication style and approach to better suit the needs of your clients and colleagues. Again, think “High Context” and “Low Context”.


  4. Seek to Understand, Not Just to Be Understood

    Effective cross-cultural communication is about more than just getting your message across. It’s about understanding the perspectives, values, and beliefs of others.
    To foster cultural diversity and inclusion in cross-cultural communication, make an effort to understand the cultural context of your clients and colleagues. Listen carefully to their ideas and opinions, and ask questions to clarify any misunderstandings.Especially, if they are from the High Context culture, they may not express their opinion until they have “permission” to do so.

    Asking questions encourages them to safely share their opinions. By seeking to understand, you will be able to build stronger relationships and promote mutual respect. 

  5. Embrace Diversity

    Diversity is a strength, not a weakness. Embracing diversity means acknowledging and valuing the differences that exist between people from different cultures. To promote diversity, create a workplace culture that values and celebrates differences. Encourage your clients and colleagues to share their cultural experiences and to learn from each other. By doing so, you will create a more inclusive and welcoming environment that fosters cross-cultural communication and understanding.As a professional speaker, I would like to emphasize that in today’s globalized world, promoting cultural diversity and inclusion is crucial for building robust relationships and achieving business success. To accomplish this, we must develop cultural intelligence, utilize inclusive language, be receptive to feedback, strive to comprehend others’ perspectives, and embrace diversity.

    By doing so, we can improve our communication and establish more meaningful relationships with colleagues and clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. So, let’s work together to cultivate these essential skills and build a more inclusive and effective global community.

To master the art of cross-cultural communication effectively, enroll in my e-learning program, ‘The Art of Persuasive Speaking in Global Business.’ It will help you understand how cultural differences impact your communication and how to make conscious decisions about persuasive communication through a range of proven strategies. 



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