Wednesday, March 16, 2011
When lawyers deal with different cultural groups, they need to listen differently. At the Harvard Business Journal online, Roger O. Crockett offers an example:
Among some Americans or some Italians, for example, you might hear what Reid calls "an explosion of conversation." In these boisterous cultures, people often build rapid-fire strings of conversation in which one person adds onto another's thought before the first person finishes and vice versa. This pattern of conversing requires a different set of ears than what's necessary for conversations with a thought and then a pause. The beauty of learning to listen to different patterns of conversation from different cultures is that "you wind up with a more dexterous way of thinking," Reid says. "This type of listening dexterity is a hallmark of any great multicultural team."