If you have recently (or maybe not that recently) arrived in Australia you may be confused by our style of communicating. I am here to help. I’m a cultural expert and I’m an Aussie who has lived, worked and studied in various different places around the world, so let me help you.
Demystifying Aussie Communication – Part 1
You will notice that Australians are laid back and ready to have a laugh. I do admit humour can be confusing at times (if you are able to understand our accents). Humour is used in many different situations , to lighten the mood, to approach sensitive topics and to make other people feel better. Look out for Australians being self deprecating, putting themselves down in a funny way. We are trying to be humble (see my blog post on Tall Poppy Syndrome) and not brag, but don’t laugh too hard or you will hurt our feelings. We also use a humorous technique of sarcasm (dry wit), it’s hard for some foreigner to discern as the deadpan face (no expression) might not crack to let you know we are actually joking.
For the most part we are direct communicators who speak with honesty, but we also appreciate a little sensitivity. If you look at cultural theory, you will see that we sit right in the middle of the high context and low context framework. Germans are very low context (direct communicators and Japanese are very high context (indirect communicators).
Theory or no theory, just remember a smile is international.
If you like this little slice of cultural teachings be sure to let me know. ‘d love to share more of my cultural knowledge with you.
If you want to learn some Aussie slang, make sure you check out my Instagram where every week I will teach a new (hilarious) word or phrase.
Image by Ben White.