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Intercultural Communication Essay

779 words - 4 pages

Derek Speegle
February 20, 2015
Intercultural Communication: Speaking Understanding
Intercultural communication is very important in today’s workplace. Mastering the complexities of different cultures and socioeconomical statuses will enhance any business venture. To understand one’s buyers is a strategical way to sell more and learn about clients and competitors. There are many ways that different cultures use both verbal and non-verbal interaction. These forms of interacting may seem like someone is saying something one way but through the lenses of a different culture or social group, they may be trying to express something else entirely. Because of this, it is important to strategize ...view middle of the document...

The article also stated that to create a more welcoming atmosphere, one must understand things like “international nuances regarding the concept of personal space…., the connotation of punctuality in meetings and planned interactions; and the different perspectives on maintain eye contact.” It also states that even if one doesn’t interact perfectly to all traditions and customs, that most business people will appreciate the effort one’s team puts forth.
There are different ways that verbal and nonverbal communications impact cultures which in turn impacts how people communicate. One way that a culture might verbally impact communication is, for example, the way Chinese is spoken. In Chinese there are words that sound the same but different inflections and tones change the meaning. There is a word in Chinese that has four meaning depending on the inflections. Ma means horse, mother, hemp, and scold. These verbal tones might seem like yelling in English but it is important to know the differences and to watch one’s tone so as not insult their clients or business partners. When it comes to non-verbal cues simple things like smiles can be misinterpreted if one does not understand the differences. In Japan, it is custom to not burden anyone with their grief, so for instance if there is a death in the family, one would smile while explaining that, which may seem callous in other cultures. As the article Beyond Intractability explains, “We tend to look for nonverbal cues when verbal messages are...

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