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Chapter 5: Achieving Communication Competence by Mark Butland and Phil Backlund

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LM Coppoletta

on 9 November 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 5: Achieving Communication Competence by Mark Butland and Phil Backlund

Communicating Prejudice
Verbal Abuse – engaging in jokes or comments that are insulting or demeaning to a targeted group
Discrimination - denying an individual or group of people their rights

• Each person’s communication guided by unique set of
• Values
• Beliefs
• Attitudes
• Will prepare you for differences in approaches to conversation

Impact of Cultural Diversity
1. Increased understanding of self
2. Appreciation for technological transformations
3. Influence of demographic transitions

Four Core Concepts of Communication Competence
1. Knowledge
• As we initiate new relationships, our goal is to reduce our level of uncertainty about the other person

• Passive strategies typically involve observation and social comparison. We observe members of other cultures and make assessments as to the differences that exist.

• Active strategies require us to engage in interactions with others to learn additional information about the other person.

• Interactive strategies typically involve a face-to-face encounter between two individuals to reduce uncertainty.

• Typically, partners engage in self-disclosure as a means of sharing information about themselves with others.

2. Understanding
• Understanding involves applying knowledge to specific situations
• An attempt to explain the behaviors that are occurring
3. Acceptance
• Acceptance refers to our awareness of the feelings and emotions involved in diverse approaches to relationships and communication.
• It encompasses our willingness to understand the behavior of others.
• Accepting differences in behavior enables us to be less judgmental and to reject ethnocentric thinking.
• Ethnocentrism refers to the tendency to perceive our own ways of behaving and thinking as being correct, or acceptable, and judging the behaviors of others as being “strange,” incorrect, or inferior.
• Challenges in our interactions are often attributed to external, rather than cultural factors.

4. Skills
• Skills are specific communication behaviors contributing to competent communication
• Chinese culture values silence, but because you are an extremely talkative person and are ineffective in practicing silence you may be perceived as being rude
• Practicing nonverbal skills can also assist in producing effective encounters
• In Japan the act of slurping is a behavior considered to be a compliment to the cook in Japan as it communicates that the food is delicious

Culture & Diversity

Culture as shared perceptions shaping communication
patterns and expectations of a group of people.

Diversity refers to the unique qualities or characteristics that distinguish individuals and groups from one another.

The following is a list of characteristics that contribute to diversity.
• Age
• Educational background
• Ethnicity
• Family status
• Gender
• Income
• Military experience
• National, regional, or other geographical areas of origin
• Ownership of property and assets
• Physical and mental ability
• Race
• Sexual orientation
• Social class
• Spiritual practice
• Work experience

Perception influences
and forms our values, beliefs, and attitudes. These shared perceptions are both consciously taught and unconsciously learned.

refers to the process of learning about one’s cultural norms and expectations.

Sources of
include parents, peers, teachers, celebrities, political leaders, workplace colleagues, educational materials, and mass media.

are highly imbedded in our consciousness; so much so that we may not realize that others see things differently.

Characteristics of Culture
1) It is learned
• Explicit learning
• Implicit learning
2) It is dynamic
3) It is pervasive

Diversity Impacts Relationships

Because of our cultural influences, we may
assign different meanings to behaviors

If we do not take the time or make the effort to see what is truly behind our interpretation, serious barriers to effective communication may occur

Personal Orientation System
Each individual has a set of predispositions serving as a guide for thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
• Needs
• Beliefs
• Values
• Attitudes & Prejudice
Racial Profiling

Cultural Value Orientations
High Context/Low Context
• Low-context - exhibit high verbal tendencies
• High-context - cues about intended
message are interpreted through nonverbal channels

• Individualistic cultures – focus on individual accomplishments
• Collectivistic cultures – value concern for group

Power Distance - distribution of power in personal relationships/within organizations
• Low power distance cultures - most individuals viewed as equals
• High power cultures - hierarchical structure distinct status differences

• Masculine - assertiveness, ambition, achievement.
• Feminine - responsiveness, nurturance, and cooperation

Uncertainty Avoidance
- willingness of cultures to approach or to avoid change

Chapter 5:
Full transcript