Having just reported no problems consulting with an international clientele, I realized this was an error. I have not had problem regarding different cultural norms however communication is another story.
While most of my international clients speak English fluently this does not mean they can understand my speech which is rapid by nature. As far as Americans go I would be considered to have no accent but dealing internationally is a whole other scenario.
I wonder in hindsight if some clients I spoke with before I caught onto this were unable to understand some or most of what I said because I do talk very fast. On top of that my phrasing is often unusual when I really get cooking and I wonder if along the line I have not had clients who understood little of what I said but were too polite to say so.
I’ve learned to be very mindful of this. If I am talking to someone who I feel has a heavy accent, I keep in mind they are likely thinking the same thing and I work hard to slow my speech. I take pains to make sure I am actually communicating at the beginning of the consultation and this seems to work well.
It’s pretty easy to figure out where the lines and limits are once you know what you’re looking for and people are very open to this. They are calling because they want to talk to you and taking steps to make sure this gets accomplished is always very appreciated by the client and a lot easier on me as well.
“Are you tracking?” I ask.
“Tracking? Yes, I understand you, go ahead…”