The use of idiomatic English and business jargon can result in communication difficulties for skilled immigrants, which in turn can cause team members to question their competence. (Version français.)
These difficulties, as well as cultural-based assumptions about roles, are highlighted in the third episode of Cross-Cultural Teamwork, a series of training videos developed by TRIEC that follows the fictional experiences of two skilled immigrants and their colleagues at CQR Logistics.
In this episode, the manager wants someone to speak with the sales group and the team discusses ideas to increase the visibility of the website. We then see the segment, “Preferred Practices,” which suggests how the situation could have been better managed.
Tips for Employers:
- A challenge for many newcomers is to learn the art of “jumping in” to a discussion and getting one’s opinion heard. A newcomer who fails to contribute his or her voice to a business meeting might be misinterpreted as lacking in confidence or knowledge.
- Since language is based in culture, certain business idioms and jargon may not be obvious to both skilled immigrants and employers, leading to misunderstandings among team members.
Watch the next video in the series: Facilitating Contributions to Team Discussions.