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Cross Cultural Communication

Autor:   •  June 14, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,126 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,997 Views

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Cross-Cultural Communication

Cross cultural communication is the communication between individuals of different cultures. In order to communicate effectively across cultures you will need to become aware of cultural differences as well as the similarities. It is important to understand and learn more about another's culture so that you will be able to effectively communicate with them

How cultures communicate differently

Culture is "everything that people have, think, and do as members of their society" (O'Rourke, 2010). People come from different cultures and therefore have different beliefs and communicate based off of what is custom in their culture. There are six differences in the way in which cultures communicate differently. The first difference is that there are different communication styles. Different communication styles include language usage and non-verbal communication. According to Marcelle DuPraw and Marya Axner, some words and phrases are used in different ways. For example, the meaning of the word "yes" can vary from "maybe, I'll consider it" to "definitely so" (DuPraw and Axner). Nonverbal communication can also have different meaning across cultures. Non-verbal communication can include facial expressions, gestures, seating arrangements, personal distance, and sense of time. Tone of voice can have different meaning in different cultures. Marcelle DuPraw and Marya Axner state that "some white Americans typically consider raised voices to be a sign that a fight has begun, while some black, Jewish and Italian Americans often feel that an increase in volume is a sign of an exciting conversation among friends" (DuPraw and Axner).

The second way in which cultures communicate differently is that there are different attitudes towards conflict. In some cultures conflict is viewed as positive whereas in other cultures conflict is something that is avoided (DuPraw and Axner). For example, in the United States conflict is not pleasing but we are encouraged to deal with conflict as in arises in face-to-face meetings. However in many Eastern countries open conflict is viewed at as embarrassing and differences are dealt with privately and in writing.

A third way in which cultures communicate differently is that they have different approaches to completing tasks. According to Marcelle DuPraw and Marya Axner, the reason cultures complete tasks differently is because they have different access to resources, different judgments of the rewards associated with task completion, different notions of time, and varied ideas about how relationship-building and task-oriented work should go together. For example, Asian and Hispanic cultures build relationships at the beginning of a project and then focus on the project completion whereas European-Amercians build relationships as they work on


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