How To Simplify Your Communication Across Nations

As an aspiring leader with global influence, simplifying your international communication is essential.

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As an aspiring leader with global influence, simplifying your international communication is essential.


How To Simplify Your Communication Across Nations

As an aspiring leader with global influence, simplifying your international communication is essential.

Share this article

Many of the problems that arise in life are linked to communication, either with another person, a group of people or even with yourself. These issues can be influenced by your perception of specific situations, impacting how you navigate and address them.

The solution I’m going to present here is simpler than you might expect. A point I regularly emphasise is that it’s crucial to chart a clear path for direction and intention. As aspiring leaders with global influence, simplifying your international communication is essential, especially considering the complexities we often encounter in our minds, let alone when communicating across nations.

According to the International Labor Union, 70% of global ventures fail due to cultural differences. Aon Hewitt’s 2011 study found that 33% of participants attributed deal failures to ‘cultural integration issues’. Similarly, in a study by Marsh Mercer Kroll, 50% of respondents identified ‘organisational cultural differences’ as the key post-

deal challenge. These findings underline the significance of effective and simplified cross-cultural communication in increasing influence and achieving greater results.

The SIMPLER acronym stands for:

  • Slow down
  • Intention
  • Multicultural Lens
  • Preconceptions
  • Language
  • Energetic engagement
  • Review and reframe

Let’s look at each step in more detail.

Slow down

This is one of the most important steps, hence it’s the first. You need to slow down your thinking and take time to formulate what you want to say based on the person and situation in front of you. Especially in a business environment, aim to be:

  • Accurate – convey information that is correct
  • Brief – be efficient with your words
  • Clear – make sure people understand


When you slow down, this will give you space. Use this to think about the impact you want to make or the result you would like to achieve after the communication has taken place. The I also stands for ‘I’ as in you. You are the person in charge of the process. If the outcome is not what you expected, you need to review and/or reframe (the final step in the SIMPLER method).

Multicultural lens

Start seeing your interactions through a broader lens, not expecting to know all the intricacies of every culture but being accepting and respectful of all the differences you perceive while also looking for similarities. Pay attention to what makes people tick, be curious and ask questions.

Be mindful of blind spots, which can still influence your perception, even with the best intentions. Acknowledging your own limitations and biases is a crucial step in developing a multicultural perspective. When you encounter unfamiliar customs or beliefs, approach them with humility and a willingness to learn.


Our experiences in life will have led us to form beliefs, values and opinions on events and people. My wife hates it when she meets people who bring up the drugs conversation or mention Pablo Escobar just because she is Colombian, or when people assume that I’m a good dancer because I was raised by the Caribbean Sea. In this latter case, it’s true and I don’t mind, but my point is that we are all unique, so focus on the person and be open to creating more informed conceptions.


Since English is the most spoken language in business worldwide, I’m assuming that the people you communicate with will be either a native or a non-native English speaker. If it’s the latter, pay attention to their proficiency level and be mindful of the use of slang, common sayings and other colloquial expressions. As a rule of thumb (there’s one!), keep it simple and

gauge the person’s level of understanding without appearing patronising. I left my first business meeting in the UK back in 2007 feeling quite overwhelmed because I’d only managed to understand a small portion of what was shared. Adapt your language and check their level of understanding. This also applies to native speakers from different countries, and those from the same country. In communication, less tends to be more, and simplicity can increase your influence when communicating internationally.

Energetic engagement

I just love this. People always say to me that they like my energy and engagement. I may have learned it from my grandad, who enjoyed talking to anyone and always managed to put a smile on their faces. We feel people’s energy and it helps us connect with them. Even before we say a word, our energy and presence have strongly influenced how we are being perceived by others. Remember that communication starts within, so be mindful of the thoughts you carry and inject some excitement when meeting anyone. Always be appreciative, respectful, humble and humorous and you will notice a change in your relationships. Think about how you can leave that person better off after interacting with you.

Review and reframe

Following an interaction, take some time to think about how it went and whether you could have done anything differently. This proactive habit of looking at things in hindsight will support you in developing your global influence. In cases where the communication is not working for you, reframing will help you to find new perspectives and resources. When you reframe a situation, you change the meaning you’ve given to it, to something that serves you and the relationship better.

Here is an example of a simple and quick reframe. When I lived in Spain, it used to annoy me when people asked me where I was from, because I found it intrusive. To reframe this annoyance, I simply asked myself the question, ‘What else could this mean?’ The answer that came to mind was, ‘You speak differently, and they find you interesting.’ Voila! A better perspective.

Follow these seven steps to simplify your international communications, and you’ll soon find you’re communicating more effectively, creating an impact, and positively influencing those around you.

This is an adapted book extract from Global Influence by Jose Ucar.

Jose Ucar is an international influence and communication expert, with over a decade of experience working with businesses such as Procter & Gamble, SEAT-CUPRA, and Amazon. He is a Tedx Speaker, trainer and coach, who helps business leaders to build strong and successful international relationships with customers and colleagues alike. Jose’s mission is to enable organisations to communicate effectively internationally in a way that gives them a competitive edge.

Jose’s new book Global Influence is an essential read for leaders looking to amplify their global impact and create meaningful connections with others, regardless of culture.

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How To Simplify Your Communication Across Nations

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