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An Idea A Day by David Thompson

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COMMUNICATION

CONSIDER THE CULTURE

Jim Blythe

WE ARE ALWAYS being told that we live in a multicultural society, yet most of us know relatively little about the other cultures we deal with. This is a particularly acute problem when we are dealing over the telephone, since it requires our telephone staff (sometimes an entire call center full of them) to be culturally sensitive in many different ways to many different cultures.

The problem is exacerbated further by the fact that call centers often have a high staff turnover rate: these are jobs that are stressful, so there is a constant pressure to leave. Making cultural gaffes and annoying the ...

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