The 4 Universal Rules of Communicating

In international business, the way you communicate is just as important as the way you have your documents professionally translated.  These 4 Universal Rules of Communicating provided by 24 Hour Translation Services offer some valuable pointers on making sure your information is communicated appropriately and sensitively.


Be Honest

The first universal rule of communication is to be honest. Never lie or say anything that may not be truthful. If being honest could be hurtful or alarming, try to find a kind or compassionate way to be honest.   The worst thing you can do is state the truth in a verbally abusive manner and then say, “I’m only being honest.” Doing so causes sorrow, anger or pain—or all three..

Realize that when you communicate honestly, sometimes the results can have unexpected consequences.   Before you speak, think about how the person receiving the message will respond. Try to anticipate how your listener will hear your words, and then consider very carefully your communication approach. When you consider the listener’s feelings, he is less likely to feel threatened, hurt, or betrayed by your words.

When we communicate information that we think is honest and truthful, we need to remember that what we think is truth may actually be incomplete or based on bad information or hearsay. To avoid mistakes, always take care to research information before presenting it as factual.

Honesty is the foundation for strong relationship building. If relationships aren’t built on honesty, they will eventually wither and die. When unpleasant information must be communicated, strive to be compassionate and speak with kindness and understanding. Think of ways to convey the information so that it can be received and accepted without undue discomfort.

One strategy for communicating honestly in a difficult situation involves telling a story about someone who is in a predicament similar to the one under discussion. The idea here is to alert the listener to the notion that something unpleasant could be real. Once you tell the story, you might ask the other person his opinion to start him thinking. Usually the listener can piece details together and draw some sort of conclusion. If the other person seems oblivious or unmoved by your story, you might ask, “What are your thoughts? Do you think the other person would like to know the truth?” Generally, the listener will indicate that it is good to hear the truth.


Don’t Embellish

The second universal rule is to avoid overstating and embellishing. For instance, when someone creates a small problem, don’t overstate the problem and make it bigger than it really is. Similarly, when thinking to yourself, avoid magnifying a trivial slight into a major disaster. Maintaining a balanced, fair assessment of the words and actions of others lets you demonstrate leadership qualities void of personal anger and ego and lessens the likelihood of forming a negative perception of the other person. While it may seem inconsequential, it can have long-term effects on a relationship.

Be Unswerving

The third universal rule involves being consistent in what you tell others. Sometimes people speak about the same situation, but in conflicting ways in order to gain an advantage. Always speak about a situation the same way; otherwise you risk endangering your credibility and trustworthiness. Always strive for honesty and never alter communication for personal gain.

Use Peaceful Language

The fourth universal rule is always to avoid language that is defamatory, critical, insulting, embarrassing, condemning or hypercritical. Strive for respect, generosity and accuracy in all of your communication.

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