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Superstar Communicator podcast

Nov 29, 2023

Welcome back to another episode of the Superstar Communicator podcast, where we delve into the fascinating world of cross-cultural communication. In today's episode, our hosts, Susan Heaton-Wright and Nick Simon, are joined by special guest Michael Gates, a renowned authority on understanding different cultures. Michael brings over 30 years of experience in the field of cross-culture, and in this episode, he shares valuable insights on mastering cross-cultural communication.

Throughout the episode, Michael shares two real-life examples related to air travel that highlight the challenges and nuances of intercultural communication. From a delay caused by bad weather to a situation involving a Russian and a German passenger, these stories provide a glimpse into the complexities of cross-cultural interactions. But it's not just about air travel; Michael takes a deeper dive into the various cultural communication styles and how they impact our interactions. From linear professions like engineering and accounting to multi-active professions such as sales and marketing, he explores how different cultural backgrounds shape our communication strategies. Furthermore, Michael delves into the dangers of stereotyping and generalizations, recounting personal experiences teaching about India and challenging prevailing misconceptions. He emphasizes the importance of cultural assessment, teamwork, and effective communication in international projects. Join us as we explore the intricacies of cross-cultural communication and learn valuable strategies for navigating diverse cultural landscapes. Get ready for an enlightening conversation filled with practical tips and captivating stories. Let's dive right in!


Michael Gates is owner of Michael Gates CrossCulture and an associate fellow at the Said Business School, University of Oxford. He has been in the field of cross-culture for more than 30 years, following 5 years in radio in Manchester, and a couple of years teaching communication skills.



Key points from the interview

[00:00:02] Welcome to the Superstar Communicator podcast.

[00:05:08] Culture: collective programming of the mind, experiences, parents, history, language, religion.

[00:07:18] Dangers of stereotyping; limited personal experience.

[00:11:10] Flight delay blamed on bad weather in Munich.

[00:14:28] Stereotypes impact international team dynamics greatly.

[00:18:04] Multi active professions include sales and marketing. Multi active leaders are good at emotionally persuading people but may be disorganized or break rules. Reactives focus on listening and promoting harmony, especially in Far East cultures.

[00:20:53] Misunderstood ideas about Southeast Asia's communication style.

[00:24:14] Building trust through cross-cultural workshops and communication.

[00:29:50] Using AI for short answers in intercultural questions

[00:33:03] Culturally attuned language program in multiple languages.

[00:35:02] Keep it simple, no idioms, adapt style.

[00:40:18] Person considered proposal, hesitated due to grammar fears.

[00:41:04] Adapting to cultural differences: talk or observe.


Download the transcript of the interview


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