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Costly Mistakes Managers Should Avoid When Dealing With Hispanic Employees

 

It is common for managers of Hispanic employees to make communication mistakes that cause poor performance in Latino supervisors.

In my more than 20 years of teaching and coaching Spanish speaking employees, specializing in the development of effective Hispanic/Latino supervisors, in different industries here in the USA, I have learned a great deal about how management styles shape the productivity of a multicultural workforce.

Here I’m sharing some insights on how intercultural communication affects the productivity, loyalty, and cooperation of Hispanics/Latino labor force.

ABOUT THIS REPORT

In this article, I will describe some of the costly mistakes’ managers make and should take into consideration when dealing with Hispanic/Latino employees whose first language is Spanish.

These are not in a specific order, as the level of importance depends on the organization, the type of leadership in place, and on each person.

VERBAL COMMUNICATION AND BODY LANGUAGE

Many of the points I make here are applicable to many different individuals and situations, these issues are more sensitive when it comes to managing people from different cultures and can have high-cost effects to the efficiency of the company.

Take these points into consideration when dealing with your Spanish Speaking supervisors. These will help improve their productivity and achieve results faster and more efficiently.

1. FAILING TO BUILD A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP

In general, Hispanics are more interested in developing a long-term relationship; a relationship based on trust and respect.

This can take time.

Trust begins to develop from how they perceive your tone of voice, intentions, actions, and your true interest in helping them, as wells as your sensitivity to their needs and constraints as Hispanics/Latinos.

Everything is based on how well you make them feel when you interact with them.

What to do:

Take the time to talk and get to know each of your employees, ask about their family, friends, life, and remember important details.

Be sensitive and emphatic to their needs and limitations, and more importantly, make them feel valued.

2. TAKING PERSONAL CONTACT TOO PERSONALLY

Hispanics/Latinos generally like and seek personal contact; they tend to embrace more, reach out for handshakes, and stand closer to the person during a conversation.

What to do:

Greet your employees with handshakes (learn their “handshake”) and allow them to stand near you (of course, there is always a limit)

3. MISUNDERSTANDING THEIR LACK OF EYE CONTACT

Regarding eye contacts, culturally Hispanics/Latinos tend to avoid eye contact.

One reason is that they feel it is disrespectful, but don’t assume they’re hiding something, though, as always, there are exceptions.

 

What to do:

Do not force the person to look into your eyes and don’t react in a suspicious manner if they don’t look you into the eye.

Make them feel comfortable.

4. ASSUMING INSTEAD OF AFFIRMING

Hispanics/Latinos tend to move their head in an affirmative way during the conversation, but this does not necessarily mean that they understand.

The gesture is usually a sign that they are paying attention to you.

 

What to do:

To begin with, do not assume that they understood or agreed.

Ask them what they understood and what they think about it, to make sure that everything is clear and that they understood the information.

And if you were speaking to them in English, I suggest that in addition to the verbal instructions, also give them the instructions in written form or send them a text message, even if it’s in English, because if they did not understand and were afraid to ask, maybe they will ask someone else to help them translate the written message you gave them.

5. NOT ADJUSTING YOUR COMMUNICATION EFFECTIVELY

When communicating with Hispanic/Latino employees, always try to recognize the “Platinum Rule” which is: Treat people the way they want to be treated, and even better to combine it with the “Golden Rule”: Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

What to do:

Pay attention to their reaction through their tone of voice and body language when you say or act upon something, and if you notice a negative reaction, ask them directly what they did and did not like in your way of communication.

Take the time to learn about their culture and customs related to interpersonal communication.

Also, in a friendly manner, explain how you prefer them to communicate with you to prevent misunderstandings for a more cooperative relationship.

You will find these tips and guides completely explained in Spanish for your Hispanic employees in our online Supervisor Eficaz – SE (Effective Supervisor) training program. This online training program is:

  • accessible any time
  • easy to use
  • comprehensive
  • effective
  • affordable

Watch FREE the FULL First Video Lesson 

(in Spanish with subtitles in English)

Access full information & prices of the program

Also download the bilingual handouts, exercises and test + bonuses 

Bonuses: Short video-lesson in Spanish on The Mindset of an Effective Supervisor with subtitles in English

GET FREE ACCESS NOW!

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