Communication in Multicultural Environment
I work at Fairchild semiconductor and my work environment is very diverse. I have had one instance of a communication breakdown due to the person has an accent. The communication breakdown.
When I first started at Fairchild three years ago I meet one of my coworkers who has a sever speech impediment. I was informed by other coworkers that she would be very hard to understand at first but that I would learn how she communicates (Rock, Lori personal communication Jan 2010). My co worker does talk but she also uses sign language to communicate with others. A couple of months after I was hired a breakdown in our communication happened. The day we had our communication break down there had been a couple of hot lots (product) that where in the line that need a certain process and not another, unfortunately I was unable to understand my coworkers instructions about the lots processes and ended up processing theses couple of product lots through the wrong process which ended up ruining the lots which in turn ended up costing my company money. Since this very expensive incident my coworker and I have learned how to communicate in a more affective way. How we resolved this communication issue.
The way that we have resolved this communication issue is that I now make sure she speaks slowly so that I can watch her lips and if I still can’t understand her I ask her to write it down which she has a hard time with her spelling but I can understand what she is trying to say to me. I am thankful that she has been very patient with me in learning how to communicate with her instead of getting frustrated with me and causing more of a communication barrier between us. This has not been the only communication breakdown that I have been involved in at my work. There are quite a few communication breakdowns that happen between engineers and operators such as me. For example there will be specific instructions put on a product lot by an engineer which might create an issue, however if the there is a need to get a hold of the specific engineer he or she is usually not available when I am processing that particular product, which in turn creates a breakdown between me and that person. There is also huge communication breach between the different shifts for example one shift will leave one or two problem lots with no instruction on what is wrong with them or if they have been processed or not or if they are waiting for an engineer to look at them instead of telling us this information they have us guessing at what is going on with them. I have talked to several of my co workers and they feel the same as I do when it comes to this particular breakdown in communication and that is that all the shifts need to run the same and each shift should give face to face pass down before they leave for the night (Koford, Krystal personal communication Jan 2010). Conclusion
In conclusion when a communication breakdown happens to me at work I try to take a step back and ask the person that I am having the communication issue with to repeat themselves until I either know what is going on or I have someone else translate for me depending on the situation. I know long have trouble understanding the person that I had the first communication problem with. I have also come up with a better solution to the communication problem with the other shifts. I know stay 10 minutes after my shift is done to tell the next person who is coming on exactly what is going on and what they have set up for them this has seemed to work the best. I also go into work five to ten minutes early so that I can get pass down from the shift before me so that I am not left in the dark about problem lots. We have also implemented a pass down book where if the person is unable to stay they are able to write down what is going on in the book. References
Koford, Krystal (personal communication, Jan 2010)
Rock, Lori (personal communication, Jan 2010)
Wilder, Capricia (personal communication, Jan 2010)