intercultural communication

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Positive Intercultural Communication

Culminating Signature AssignmentFosterJED50428-8Intercultural CommunicationNorthcentral University

Positive Intercultural Communication

Agenda

Intercultural Communication Best Practices

Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

Why is Diversity Important?

Today we are going to learn about promoting positive Intercultural Communication in the Workplace. Intercultural communication refers to the effective communication between people/ workers/ clients of different cultural background. It also includes managing thought patterns and nonverbal communication. Since we have a workforce from varying cultures and countries, it is important that we learn about its advantages. At the end of this presentation, it is expected that you will understand the following:

What strategies and best practices to use in the workplace that enhance positive Intercultural CommunicationWhat is cultural diversity in the workplace?Why diversity in the workplace is important and advantageous2

Agenda (continued)

Kohls & Hofstede Cultural Values

Avoiding Unhealthy Stereotypes

Nonverbal Strategies

(continued) At the end of this presentation, it is expected that you will understand the following:

4. What are Kohls 13 Values of American Culture and Hofstedes 6 Value Dimensions?5. What are unhealthy stereotypes and how to avoid them in the workplace6. What are some effective nonverbal communication practices to use in the workplace when dealing with people of diverse cultural backgrounds?

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Intercultural Communication Best Practices

These are some best practices that you should incorporate into your everyday interactions with co-workers of different cultural backgrounds:

1. Avoid assumptions and jokes which can be misunderstood2. Use symbols, diagrams, and pictures when explaining complicated concepts or uncommon words3. Avoid using slang and idioms, choosing words that will convey only the most specific denotative meaning4. Investigate the other cultures perception. It may be different than your own.5. Take cultural and local differences into account. Again, they may be different and your message may be received differently than you think.6. Make sure communication is in line with the audience; use understandable language. Use professional language. Dont be condescending.7. Find out about cultural facts, mannerisms, and beliefs. Create a mutual understanding to build trust and rapport.

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More Best Practices

In oral communication:

In written communication:Speak slowly and clearly Be careful with pronunciation Simplify speech Make one point at a time Adapt tone of voice, style and behavior to what is culturally acceptable to your audience Watch the other person for misunderstanding and be ready to provide feedback

Use short, simple sentences and short paragraphs Number points for clarity Reflect your relationship with the reader in your choice of words Be very careful with translationAvoid acronyms and idiomatic expressions- Bovee, C.L. & Thill, J.V. (2005)

Here are more best practices that you should incorporate. There are different strategies to use when having a face-to-face conversation or sending an email.

In oral communication: Speak slowly and clearly Be careful with pronunciation Simplify speech Make one point at a time Adapt tone of voice, style and behavior to what is culturally acceptable to your audience Watch the other person for misunderstanding and be ready to provide feedback

In written communication:Use short, simple sentences and short paragraphs Number points for clarity Reflect your relationship with the reader in your choice of words Be very careful with translationAvoid acronyms and idiomatic expressions

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Even More Best Practices

In order to become an effective communicator in a global workplace, the following is a list of things to work towards (adapted from Bovee, Thill and Schatzman, (2005):

Develop a sense of cultural awareness. First of all, be aware of what it means to be from your own country. Then, learn all you possibly can about the culture of the people with whom you need to communicate.Do away with ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is the tendency to judge all other groups according to your own groups standards, behaviors and customs and to see other groups as inferior by comparison. You have to give up your ethnocentricity in an intercultural communication context, because different cultures have different ways of behaving and interpreting behaviors so you must: Recognize differences. Just because people do things differently from you, it does not mean that they are inefficient or stupid. Being different should not always be seen as negative.Show respect for your counterparts. Learn to adapt. Be flexible and ready to adapt or adjust your behavior, but do not overdo your adjustment as then you may be perceived as insincere. Just try to act in a way appropriate to the target culture, be yourself and show sincerity. Be more tolerant. Because people of different cultures do things differently from one another, you must be tolerant of deviations from the norms - what you are used to in your own culture. Remember what may be the norm for you may not be the norm for other cultures. Listen carefully and empathize. Put yourself in the other persons shoes, consider his/her point of view and understand where he/she is coming from.Look beyond the superficial. Do not get distracted by dress, appearance, or environmental discomforts. Take responsibility for the communication. Do not assume it is the other persons responsibility to make the communication work. As a party in the communication process, you also have to do your part to ensure effective communication.

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Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

Just like a groups of cogs aligned and working together in a machine, cultural diversity in the workplace provides strength, creativity, and drive to an organization. It also challenges individuals to respond to their diverse work environments effectively. Valuing individual and group cultural differences is critical to achieving organizational goals. 7

Why is this important?

Success

321RespectBeing UniqueStereotypes are damagingWhat is Diversity?

Understanding diversity in the workplace means:

Respecting, appreciating, and understanding the varying characteristics of individualsEveryone is unique and no single person is a representative of a certain cultural groupStereotypes and other racial biases/prejudices are damaging to a business. They should be avoided. We will cover more about stereotypes later in the presentation.

Understanding all of this will help in the overall success of the company.8

Exploring Kohls & Hofstede

Kohls Values Americans Live By

Robert Kohl, Director of International Programs at San Francisco State University, listed 13 typical values that fit most Americans. The 13 values are very evident in the everyday operations of our company and in the behaviors of the people that work here. 1) Personal Control over the Environment. Most Americans find it impossible to accept that there are some things that lie beyond the power of humans to achieve. In the U.S., people hold a very strong sense that they can create their own success through hard work and dedication. The result of this belief is evident in my place of employment with managers and their employees constantly setting goals on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis in order to accomplish a certain outcome of success. Hard work is praised and usually rewarded monetarily through bonuses and salary increases.2) Change. Change is linked to development, improvement, progress, and growth. Many cultures consider change as a disruptive force. Such societies value stability, tradition, and an ancient heritagenone of which are valued as much in the United States. Progress and innovation are important and many Americans are often looking for the next best thing. I think this is one of the reasons that the U.S. has been a good place for entrepreneurs with big ideas in the past. The company I work for started 35 years ago when the founder and CEO decided he could create a better product on his own better than the company he was working for at the time. With hard work and some innovative changes, he built a company that is now the 4th largest in the country in this market. 3) Time and its Control. To a foreign visitor, Americans seem to be more concerned with getting things accomplished on time than they are with developing deep interpersonal relations. Schedules, for the American, are meant to be planned and then followed in detail. Time shouldn't be wasted. Time is money is just one of theseveral expressions used in American Englishabout how to fill time with profitable activities. Some cultures attend an event until it comes to a natural end. Americans, particularly the managers at my company, attend an event such as a meeting, until the clock indicates that the meeting is over and they move on to the next thing. They try to stay as efficient and progressive as possible at the expense of interpersonal relationships 4) Equality/Egalitarianism. Many high-ranking foreign visitors to the U.S. are insulted by the way they are treated by service personnel (waiters in restaurants, clerks in stores, taxi drivers, etc). This is somewhat ironic. Although the U.S. has more than its share of problems with racism, homophobia, sexism, etc., the U.S. is a society that does not recognize hierarchies as much as other countries. Fairness is a core value that is very important. There are ranks of employees at my place of employment starting from the CEO all the way down to the new customer service representati

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