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Chapter 3: Communicating in a World of Diversity

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on 11 September 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 3: Communicating in a World of Diversity

Chapter 3: Communicating in a World of Diversity
The Value of Diversity
Defined as "all the characterisitcs and experiences that define each of us as individuals" (p. 66).

What are some of your characteristics and experiences? Acknowledge your age, gender, ethnic, and religious affiliations.

Cultural Concerns
Culture greatly impacts how people communicate because it influences beliefs, values, and emotions. (p. 68).

Culture is Everywhere
According to Bovee and Thill (2015), culture is a "shared system of symbols, beliefs, attitudes, values, expectations, and norms for behavior" (p. 69).
The more diversity, the more advantages.
Today's modern workplace is a place where intellectual commuication is a must.

While you think and encode in your culture, others decode in their culture.

Thus, strive for cultural competency, a set of attitudes, knowledge, and skills to adjust your communication style to send and receive successful messages across cultures.
You are already familiar with the expectations and assumptions of your culture.
How? You learned this from other cultural members both directly and indirectly.
Cultures tend to be coherent and complete.
Navigating Culture Successfully
Adaptation is Key.
Study Other Cultures
Conduct research and practice
Don't forget to ask questions
Learn common phrases
Remember that differences can exist in a similar language
Respect Communication Style Differences
Know what the receiving culture expects of/from you when communicating.
Make it a Point to
Carefully choose words
Speak and Listen Clearly
Languages vary in tone, pitch, speed, and volume
Make any necessary accommodations
Be aware of potential barriers
Use Interpreters, Translators, and Translation Software
The above can be valuable resources.

Back-translation is often utilized to enhance translation accuracy.

When in doubt, ask!
Be brief
Use transitions
Address international correspondence properly
Avoid slang, idioms, business jargon
Avoid humor and popular culture references
Help Others Adapt
Everyone can contribute to this goal.

Help others fit in and to adapt their communication style.
Challenges in Culture




Legal and Ethical
Context impacts communication.
High Context
Low Context
More value placed on nonverbals and environment
Goal is to build relationships
Focused on results of decision making
More value on verbal communication than circumstances
Highly explicit and direct
Goal is to exchange info
Focused on means/method by which decisions will be made
Differs from culture to culture

THUS... seek mutual ground

sent honest messages sans judgement

show respect for cultural differences
Follow formal and informal behavioral rules

Social norms vary culture to culture
When interacting with another culture, study it in advance and observe the following:
Personal space
Facial expressions
Eye contact
Old(er) versus Young(er)
3-4 generations are currently working side by side
Broken down by date of birth
Perception of gender varies culture to culture
Differences between communication styles
Men: focused on content and outcomes
Women: focused on relationship maintenance
Herein lies potential for controversy and conflict; this can interfere with business.

However, goal is inclusiveness.
Differences reside among physical and cognitive ability.
Assistive technology can help here.
But again, inclusiveness is the goal.
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