Intercultural communication. Glossary. Communication: A process involving one or more persons sending and receiving messages during some kind of social interaction. This process is not as simple as it first appears because the process has many layers. How do people communicate?.
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Verbal communication is language, spoken or written. However it only accounts for about 35% of actual communication.
Non verbal cues make up about 50% of the message.
The meaning of the message is also influenced by tone, volume, levels of formality, speed and pauses.
(Can be caused by intercultural misunderstanding)
The response usually reveals whether the message has been understood
E.g. “Come here,” could be spoken in a firm, loud voice by a teacher on playground duty or in a soft, friendly manner by a family member in your household.
There are three main styles of communication that people use. These will effect the message being sent:
They often take a secondary position to other people and communicate this by stating that the receiver’s needs are of primary importance and that whatever the receiver of the message feels or wants is correct.
The aggressive sender believes strongly in his/her own rights and does not feel that other people’s rights are as important as their own.
The assertive person expresses his/her own needs while also effectively listening to the receiver’s responses.
E.G. Transnational corporations, the spread of world tourism and the emergence of global sport.
The key to effective intercultural communication is adopting a position of cultural relativism. This means that the way people from another society behave can only be understood in terms of their own values, beliefs and norms.
The ‘invisible’ aspects of a culture (unseen values, norms and beliefs, etc) will provide the foundation for their observable behaviour. In this way culture is similar to an iceberg.
What you need to know and can actually see
Language Customs Rituals
Continuity Roles Social structure Institutions
Social change Acculturation Enculturation
Attitudes Status Tradition Mores Values
Religion Rules Organisations Government
What you need to know but is less visible
Be aware that ‘culture shock’
may result in ill-considered
decisions and misunderstandings
Be willing to share
your own culture with the other person
Learn as much
as you can about the culture with which you will be communicating,
including values, customs
Learn some useful
words and phrases in the other person’s language.
This opens doors and