Communication of communication processes that appear within
Communication is thetransfer of knowledge, skills, emotions, feelings and information from oneperson to another. Culture are the ideas, customs and social behaviour of aparticular people or society. Intercultural communication is a communicationwhich takes place across different cultures and social groups. It consists ofwide range of communication processes that appear within an organization madeup of individuals from different religious groups and educational backgrounds.
This enables us to understand how people from different countries or culturecommunicate and perceive around the world. Also, it involves understandingdifferent cultures, languages and customs of people from different countries. At some point, Interculturalcommunication is related to Cross-cultural communication. Cross-culturalcommunication refers to how people with different cultural backgroundscommunicate. In terms of business, cross-cultural business communication isreally helpful in building cultural intelligence through coaching, training andproviding customer service to people. The ability to communicate, negotiate andwork effectively with people from different culture is vital for internationalbusiness.
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In this case, a person may be able to develop cultural sensitivity,improve his/her listening and observation skills, building relationship withpeople from different culture and build his/her speaking skills. Intercultural communication requiresboth knowledge, skills, understanding and empathy. In order for a person todevelop or improve his/her intercultural communication, a person should haveknowledge of the cultures, history and general way of living with differentcommunities and nations. Also, awareness of your own and other people’s beliefsand values should be considered.
Once you have developed such kind of knowledgeand understanding, you can start to apply it in your communication acrosscultures. Some of the useful starting points are discussed as follows; Learningfew phrases in their language: If a person is really willingly to learnother culture’s language, he/she should demonstrate him/herself first. This iseasy if he/she is going on a holiday and business trips in a different country.Few phrases like “Good Morning”, “GoodAfternoon” and “Good Night” wouldwork a long way. Also, learning body gestures should be considered in thiscase. If a person is interested to know meaning of many words, plenty of freelanguage resources are available on the internet which makes for him/her tolearn in an easiest and quickest way.
Talkto people who know the culture: Before travelling, a person can find otherpeople who knows the region and ask for their advice about the country/regionhe/she is planning to travel to. This is also done by asking your friends orcolleague who is much familiar. Listen to them very carefully on what they sayabout other people’s culture regarding the norms and traditions. Adaptingbehaviour: A person should be adaptive in terms of behaviour, don’t alwaysexpect people from different culture to adapt you. It is so obvious that ifsomeone does something to a person unwillingly, he/she finds it difficult toaccept it. A person can always sit back and explain it politely to anotherperson in order to avoid misunderstanding and confusions.
Understanding:A person you check his understanding and that of others. The best way to avoidmisunderstanding in communication is to sit back and listen carefully. A personshould ask questions in case if he/she has not understood something in theconversation. Learnbehavioural issues and norms: A person can always learn the behaviouralissues and norms of different culture from television or any other mass media.This can enable a person to know and understand the useful insights on whatbehaviour is acceptable or not by different cultures. The problems in interculturalcommunication usually occurs due to the failure in transmission of messageproperly.
In communication between two people belonging to same culture, theperson who receives message interprets it based on his/her values and beliefsto those of the person who sent the message. In this case, the way the messageis interpreted by the receiver is most likely to be similar to what the senderintended. When the receiver of the message belongs to different culture, he/sheuses information from his/her culture to interpret the meaning of the message.The message that receiver interprets would be different from what the senderintended. Intercultural communication beginswith a better communication that is, it should be constructive and nomisunderstandings should creep into it. Effective intercultural communicationrequires intercultural awareness, an understanding of tradition, customs andnorms of different cultures and also, cultural backgrounds of differentcultures. When trust exists, there is a proper understanding withincommunication and problems in the society can be dealt more easily.
By, Milan K. Jethwa