Essay: Intercultural Communication Refers to the Connection

Pages: 4 (1120 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Communication  ·  Buy This Paper

Intercultural communication refers to the connection and interaction among people of different countries and cultures and their behaviors (Scribd 2013). It is now common experience that people of diverse cultures link up or are brought together by common interests like business and education. They bring their respective cultures, beliefs, lifestyles, economic resources and faiths into that link. The basic elements and root words are culture and communication. These and two others form what are called the building blocks of intercultural communication. The two others are context and power (Scribd).

The core concept in intercultural communication is culture (Scribd 2013). It is a system of information, beliefs and values used by society to relate with one another and with the world. That system or mechanism of existence is passed on from one generation to another through social learning. Culture includes and assumes multiple races, groups and nationalities. Culture is learned, shared and expressed in the form of behavior. Communication is a process whereby meaning is transmitted, received and negotiated among the members. It includes words, gestures and other verbal and non-verbal meanings, postures, eye expressions and other facial expressions, which convey meaning.

Context refers to the physical and social environment where communication takes place. It may be a physical place, such as an office, a town or any structure. And power is something that accompanies communication in society and occurs consciously or unconsciously (Scribd).

A number of benefits can be derived from the relationships that result from intercultural communication (Scribd 2013). One learns about the world from it. It eliminates stereotypes. It fosters new skills. Intercultural communication creates a sense of connection with others and bridges differences with other cultures (Scribd).

Guideposts and Strategies

Differences among cultures can be successfully bridged by observing the so-called 10 commandments of intercultural communication (Hahn 2013). These commandments enumerate the things that one should be aware of. These are differing social values; differing status symbols and how they are to be demonstrated; decision-making customs; concepts of time; personal space; cultural context; body language; social etiquettes or manners; legal and ethical behavior; and language barriers (Hahn).

Intercultural communication is especially important and critical in the workplace where diversity has become a concrete reality in our time (Brown 2010). Business organizations are now aware that their capacity to communicate both internally and externally is to a huge extent affected by culture. The effective manager or intercultural communicator must possess sufficient motivation and take the necessary steps to increase his level of effectiveness. These steps are crossing or going beyond one's culture; identifying preconceived notions about another person's culture; releasing ethnocentrism; and simplifying the meaning of culture. The intercultural communicator must consciously open himself up to understanding other cultures. This act of opening up necessarily exposes him to a change of identity. He must also avoid communication dissonance. In order to do so, he must ask himself if he has any biases that may disrupt the communication process. The next step is for him to try to do away with any ethnocentric feelings he may already have. He is likely to feel that he has no such feelings, wherein he tends to revere his own nationality, culture or ethnicity as better than another person's. When he finds himself in a multicultural setting and instinctively assumes that his gestures or communication style is the right one constitutes a form… [END OF PREVIEW]

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