Topic 4 Cross-cultural communication

Cross-cultural communication is the process of communication among individuals with different cultural background, styles of working, age, nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation etc. It is how people belonging to different cultures communicate with each other or who rely on different means to reach a common goal.

Nowadays via internet it is easier to be connected with different parts of the world. People interact with different cultural settings all the time so they should respect them. In addition, more and more works tend to have multicultural team members. Meeting people with different social background, culture and way of life can help you to build a rapport to foreigners and subsequently to respect them.

Sources of Miscommunication in Cross Cultural Exchanges

People tend to have a negative view to them who are different. They always judge in the way they behave and act.

Due to the different meaning that some words have sometimes the communication is difficult. The inability to understand what other say can lead to misunderstandings.

Preconceptions and stereotypes lead to wrongful expectations and attitudes due to perceptions that members of a group have specific characteristics or behaviors. This may be true but this may be also false. A preconceived opinion of another can lead to bias and discrimination It is preferable not to judge someone before we meet him.

Most of the time when you have to face someone with different lifestyle, social background, age etc. because they don’t know how to act or to behave and what is considered to be appropriate.

Our appearance, the way we behave, our body language, gestures also is a way to communicate. All these sometimes communicate something from that that we want. An example is the gesture that we use to communicate YES. In other cultures the nodding the head is considered to be No. So there is a simply way to miscommunicate.

Most of us tend to evaluate other behaviors, acts or attitudes based on ours. We should accept that every individual has a unique way to express the emotions, to act and generally to communicate.

Challenges of cross-cultural communication

Each individual has a different point of view for this world which depends basically on the culture we belong. It shapes our perception and generate stereotypes,  prejudices, etiquette rules etc. Cross-cultural communication has to face all these factors that make it more difficult as people find it hard to overtake them.