9 Tips on How to better communicate with Americans

Since I am an English teacher here in Germany, much of what I do is discuss intercultural communication. It is a wonderfully interesting topic that I one day would fully enjoy officially learning more about (and obtaining a certification in so as to appease the German culturist in me). This blog post, I feel, is about something we Americans and English speakers take for granted and that I often have to actually be reminded of anymore if I interact with Americans (especially one’s that are not used to German communication styles, as I find myself becoming more ‘German’ all the time in that regard), especially if I am on American soil!
The author makes some very good points with this post, otherwise I would not have reblogged it.

Southeast Schnitzel

When first-time expatriates arrive in the United States they are often underprepared for the North American way of communicating. This is especially true for Central Europeans who tend to assume that

i) they learned enough about American communication patterns via literature and media consumption, and/or

ii) communication styles are very similar and thus, differences can be neglected. puzzleUSAGERThe trouble typically begins when expats do not detect or even ignore the transatlantic gap. Unfortunately, many Americans also lack the communicative fine-tuning to realize that their new colleagues from Germany or Austria share information differently. That’s when intercultural team building efforts can hit a roadblock. However, companies and their employees can prepare for these obstacles.

I compiled what I consider the 9 key aspects of the US-American communication style worth internalizing. You can get them as a FREE white paper over at my company website. Just leave your name and…

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5 thoughts on “9 Tips on How to better communicate with Americans

  1. I know the gap between UK-US isn’t as big as Germany-US but one of the things that struck me was how people reacted to me swearing. Not that I swear every other word but when I occasionally did – I can’t think of a better way to describe it – they weren’t angry or annoyed but it was like I had done something naughty. Bearing in mind these are college students! I was in quite a conservative state though, maybe if I was in New York it would’ve been different.

    • Andy, do you mean you swearing in the US or in Germany? I find that when I swear here in Germany, generally for emphasis and not very often, student react a similar way.

      I’ve had conversations at one point or another about the language students use ( formal/informal & cursing/not cursing), attempting to explain that there is a time and a place for everything, but how they act or react with the language may give off the wrong impression orbs offensive to others; it depends on the crowd and situation.

      I think the same holds true for the US in general too. Neither are we all like Samuel L. Jackson nor Mary Poppins (sorry, couldn’t come up with a better comparison in the moment).

      • In the US, I’m British and recently came back from a semester studying abroad in Indiana. Amongst university students here in England it’s not really attention-worthy in almost any scenario. I’ve not met many Germans but maybe because you’re a teacher it might have been more surprising to hear you swear.

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