Published 04 May 2017
When we communicate, we filter everything through our own cultural lens. Discuss how this may distort messages and be problematic in our personal and professional lives, giving specific examples. How can these barriers be removed?
Globalization have opened the ways by which people tend to re-invent themselves as they tend to continue in making it possible for them to allow themselves the chance of progressing as individuals who are trying to compete with the progress of the entire society (Bonvillain, 2002, 32). Most likely, it could be observed that through the systems used in global connection, there is a certain identification of the issue that primarily affects the human progress in connection with the communication progress that happens between people of different races in the society. As mentioned earlier, globalization movement affects most of the activities of the human society today. As a result, communication too is being dreadfully affected by the said cultural interconnection between different countries around the world (Zanger, 1993, 21). The ways by which people try to instill a fine bond between themselves for the sake of establishing an effective way of communicating outside the country have been noted to have a strong effect with the way the people begin to realize the fact that there is a need for understanding cultural diversity for the sake of establishing fine relationship between people of the different countries around the world. To be able to understand the role of communication in this particular global situation, this paper shall instill the values and the elements that include communication as either the connector or link between people or the breaking factor among humans in the global society.
Communication: The Key to Understanding or Breakage?
Communication through written or oral procedure both affects the present global connection of people around the world. It has been noticed that both procedures of communicating across the regions of the earth have been used by many people to be able to connect themselves with the systems that are recurring in the other countries. The motive behind the said connections could be identified as for business or political connections (Keyton, 2004, 32). For many years, communication has served as the best way of connecting people from different races. However, today, communication is at some point viewed as one of the largest hindrances that people particularly need to deal with when they are trying to make connections with those form other countries possessing other cultural divisions (Lull, 2000, 24).
How is this possible? As known to many, there are hundreds and thousands of different dialects around the globe. Most of these dialects serve as the mother tongue of the people who are further able to progress in their lives and thus afford to move to other countries later on. It could not be denied that as they transfer to other countries, they still carry with them their mother tongue. Hence, the tone, the rhythm of the speech, the strength of the language and the terms used by the said people in using a foreign language would actually be based upon their own understanding of the grammar of the language in connection with their own language’s grammar arrangement. Hence, as a result, the conversation procedure may not come out as furnished as it should be compared to someone native of the land who would be speaking the language (Samovar, 2006, 54). This particular situation then aggravates the fact that language at times makes it harder for people to reconnect with each other because of the differences that each culture has against each other. How could this be proven?
Culture and Communication: The Connection
As mentioned earlier, most of the people who are new to a foreign land would not easily be able to grasp the basics of the communication procedures used in those particular areas of the world. Mostly, people who are native and those who are foreign in a certain land would decode the messages that they receive from talking with others through the use of their cultural lenses. This is the way that indicates how they should interpret a certain message based form the body language, the facial expression and the tone of the one speaking the message. Most often than not, as the cultures are different among many nations, the ways of communicating with each other also differ so much in terms of the delivery of the message (Gudykunst, 1988, 21).
Because of the said differences, there occur some problems of understanding what the message really is all about. As for example, in America alone, there are different races of people who are living in a particular community. At some point when someone says “Shut-up”, the idea is not the same as to how the language itself posts the theme of the sentence or the phrase. To some, this means a way of reacting when he or she is surprised by certain news, while to some, this may appear as a way by which he or she is being stopped or ceased from speaking which simply denotes disrespect. From this example, it could be noted that the judgment of the listener upon what has been suddenly told him would be much depending on how he has been particularly used to in using that particular language.
This is the primary reason why it is certainly important to reduce too much judgment on the conversation based upon the cultural lens of the listener. This procedure would help reduce the problems that happen with regards the sending and the receiving of the idea or the message when one is in the middle of a conversation between a foreign national. True, regulating this situation is not that easy. In fact the said procedure of regulating the situation requires ample determination of an individual to establish a fine relationship with other people through the use of effective communication.
Breaking the Silence
In business, communication procedures are a primary part in transacting with investors as well as clients around the world. It should then be noted that the effective use of this particular process of reconnecting with other people should be constantly applied by those whoa re involved in the said conversational connection. At some point, there are those who are having a hard time disregarding their cultural judgment upon the speech of others that they are already subjected to disagreements between others who are simply trying to convey a message to them (Lull, 2000, 51). The disagreements could have occurred because of the tone used by each conversant. The ways by which each person receives the message is primarily the reason why it is indeed certain that the misunderstanding occurs. This is the reason why as globalization continues to invade the dealings of the major business organizations around the world, the ways of cultural adjustments and the ways by which breaking the barriers of communication is done should be well implemented especially among those who are dealing with professional transactions using whether oral or written procedure of communicating.
Breaking the Barriers
To be able to deal with the problem, it is necessary for the conversant to particularly see to it that the major elements of communication are being addressed within the changes that need to be applied in communicating with other people. The said elements may include tone, the regional defect of speech and grammar, the rhythm of the speech, the strength of the stressing points and the original culture of the person being talked to. It should be noted to that the following practices be carefully given attention to:
- Listen Closely to what is being talked about
- Consider adjusting to the regional or the national language of the other person
- Allow some time for the other person to respond to what has just been related to him. The time will allow him to reconstruct the message he wants to convey to be able to avoid misunderstanding later on.
- Look in the eyes and not on the expression of the face or the body language of the person as they may convey a different message that might cause the problem
From the four-point reminders presented herein, it could be observed that there are certain factors of communication that needs to be taken careful addressing when handling a conversation with another person. The idea is to really take responsibility of the adjustment and the wide-range understanding on what the other has to say regarding the issue being discussed in a particular conversation. This would help both parties establish a fine relationship between each other through the effective use of communication (Bonvillain, 2002, 27).
- Nancy Bonvillain. (2002). Language, Culture, and Communication: The Meaning of Messages. Prentice Hall; California; 4th edition.
- Larry A. Samovar. (2006). Communication Between Cultures (Wadsworth Series in Communication Studies). Wadsworth Publishing; Arkansas; 6 edition.
- Joann Keyton. (2004). Communication and Organizational Culture: A Key to Understanding Work Experiences. Sage Publications, Inc; Oklahoma.
- James Lull. (2000). Media, Communication, Culture. Columbia University Press; California; 2 edition.
- Virginia Vogel Zanger. (1993). Face to Face: Communication, Culture, and Collaboration, Second Edition. Heinle & Heinle Publishers; California; 2nd ed Rev edition.
- William B. Gudykunst. (1988). Culture and Interpersonal Communication. Sage Publications, Inc; Arkansas.