Have you ever watched someone who doesn’t speak the local language trying to make themselves understood? It’s a scene where they get louder and slower, yet the recipient of their message remains clueless.

Recently, during a journey along one of the many Camino trails through Portugal and Spain with my husband, we observed such an interaction. These Camino stops at cafes or restaurants serve as sanctuaries where one can grab a bite, rest weary feet, and quench thirst. One day in rural Spain, pit-stops were sparse. So, when we stumbled upon a quaint beach spot, it felt like an oasis. It was evident they catered to travellers – with a coffee machine humming, a range of snacks, the wifi password displayed prominently, and pristine bathrooms.

The coffee queue held a woman ahead of my husband, attempting to order a soymilk coffee. She continuously repeated the word ‘soy’ with increasing frustration, not realising that in Spanish ‘soy’ translates to ‘I am’. So, in essence, she kept saying, ‘I am milk’.

Then, my husband decided to intervene.

He recollected ‘leche’ being the term for milk. And knowing that Romance languages often place the adjective after the noun, he tried, “leche de soya?” Although not correct, it made more sense to the barista who promptly responded with the unavailability of soymilk. But she didn’t leave it at that. A brief search in the fridge, and she presented almond milk – a satisfactory substitute.

You might wonder, why am I narrating this incident? What does it have to do with project teams?

Simply put, if your message isn’t resonating, maybe it’s time to rethink its delivery.

If your attempts at communication are falling flat, it’s time to be innovative. Dive deep into understanding the perspective of your listener. Merely repeating the same word or phrase or point of view won’t suffice. And while raising your voice or slowing down your speech might be helpful if someone is hard of hearing, remember, communication is a two-way process. For a richer perspective on the nuances of effective communication, delve into this article about storytelling and communication.

The complexity of communication grows as you add more individuals, establishing multiple communication channels. Expand your horizons by adopting different modes and styles, considering frameworks like the DISC profile. Every mode, be it vibrant colours, emotive expressions, detailed dot points, or executive summary, plays a part when addressing a diverse group. The intricacies of these layers of communication are further explored here.

When navigating foreign territories, even if English is your mainstay, having a handful of local phrases can be a game-changer. Similarly, in IT projects, the terrain is strewn with jargon. When a term baffles you, do some research! Try to consult with multiple sources, be it reading materials or YouTube videos, can help. Or, lean on the age-old method – ask an expert. For more insights on avoiding jargon, especially in dispersed teams, refer here.

A traveller’s keen eyes often spot nuances that locals overlook, drawn by the allure of novelty. This fresh perspective can be invaluable. When you’re new, take meticulous notes. Early observations in a new environment or project can offer unique insights that might fade with familiarity. That’s why business leaders would do well to involve newcomers in change projects. They often spot anomalies that veterans might miss.

Partner with 6R Retail: Your Route to Effective Change & Enhanced Business Processes

Navigating the complex retail, wholesale, and manufacturing world can often feel like traversing a foreign land without the right guide. That’s where the team from 6R can help. As specialists in project management, our team is dedicated to working alongside retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers. Our expertise spans the intricacies of system implementation—covering ERP, PLM, PIM, e-commerce platforms, as well as CRM and marketing technology—to develop robust business improvement strategies and spearhead change within organisations.

Understanding your unique needs, challenges, and objectives is our core strength. Through adept change management and vendor management practices, we aim to ensure that our clients not only reach but exceed their strategic goals.

We believe that the path to improvement, especially in communication, starts the moment you take action. That’s why we urge you to take the first step today.

Book time with 6R Retail and embark on a transformative journey. Together, we can optimise your business for today’s fast-paced retail environment, ensuring effective communication every step of the way.

Book a Call and let’s redefine success together!