I have a great aunt with a lovely warm Scottish lilt to her voice. Every time I hear this accent on other people, it makes me smile and provides some lovely memories of time spent with her. I have far less positive thoughts about a broad Glaswegian accent, which I associate with a teacher I had great difficulty with.
My association with these accents runs deep and therefore irrespective of what a person is saying, I have a subconscious like or dislike of the person speaking with these accents. I have to work hard to overcome my bias and listen fairly to what the person is saying.
Regional and international accents reflect the diverse and multicultural world we live in. However it is important to recognise our own bias towards these accents. Also to recognise the impact they can have on our understanding and ability to ‘take on board’ what the person has said.
I would love to know what accents you have strong associations with and also how it affects your reaction to what is being said.
If you would like some help with the many issues associated with clear communication, including accents, I would love to talk to you.