Culture can be defined as shared patterns of interactions and behaviors, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. The base issue is that, there was very less socializing happening between international student and local student. They were not even participating in any group projects or even games. The possible solution here is to participate in game or any group activities together. As Nelson Mandela brought black and white together through the game of rugby, we can use the same powerful process to bring people together. Nelson model is legend and he was the first black president in South Africa, despite the white oppression he chose to be supporter of a Springboks (Rugby team), which has majority of it players were white and only one native African member. This is truly a great example of what a game can do to our thought process. Just by winning one game he brought whole country together.
Another way is to participate in any group project, that way a person must participate in team and points will depend on everyone’s participation. That way the strong member in the group will help weak member in the group to achieve better. I believe participation and socialization is the major key to connect people together and rest will follow by itself. I still remember some school arrange intercultural programs and in there lots of activities they do. That way people can get insight in their music, cloths, food and language. All three ideas are good to me, but I believe game participation will bring best result, because they are constantly together to achieve one single goal and because of that, they start doing long conversation and start socializing too. That will help to build confidence and trust in other culture, because our impression about certain people and cultures are mainly our experiences and our perception.
For my research project I have interviewed a person who works in product development. And due to his work, he travels a lot in different countries like India, China, Taiwan and South Korea. John was born in New York and studied in Columbia moreover his parents are from china, so he has that unique understanding of both the culture very well. He thinks that, this may be the one of the reasons why he was selected for this opportunity. But initially he has been travelling to china mostly and that has been changed when he got promoted. Now he is being appointed to look after more countries that I mentioned earlier in paragraphs. In his work he does lots of communication and many times he believes he is being misinterpreted and that has created many issues in the past. Since the company has many global locations it is very crucial to learn and understand how people from different cultures learn and perceive information. Because of globalization the workforce is very diverse and that create huge issue when information is misinterpreted. Although the cross-culture communication helps the company in international market many different problems arises when people from different countries, race and cultures work together.
First major issue is misunderstanding, and it is foremost barrier in cross culture communication. In other words, it is misinterpretation of information between two or more people. This can occur in verbal or non-verbal communication between two or more people. If it happened to be verbal, then tone of voice can influence the interpretation. And in nonverbal way is facial expression or body language can be misunderstood same way. In Asian culture this is seen quite often that people misunderstand information. This can be avoided by active listening practice and they can ask the other person what they hear. Moreover, repeat and conform your understanding is correct and both are on the same page.
Another is ethnocentrism; it refers to believe that one’s culture is superior in compare with other culture. And this might create barrier since is creates barrier because it creates social distance between people from different cultures. For examples for community with different races white tend to think they are superior compare to the Asians. Due to the various levels of ethnocentrism, people with high levels of ethnocentrism might tend to misperceive people from different groups. It is considered acceptable to believe in our own stands, but this could be deceptive because members or different culture perceives their own behavior logical since that works for them and they try to discard or judge another people’s culture that they think it does not suite them in their lifestyle. Here proper communication must be conducted carefully because ethnocentrisms can be express verbally, violently or through discrimination.
The next challenge is the norms of communications, communication norms can be learned in the family, functions and at ethnic functions. Norms are also considered as standard of patterns, especially a social behavior is typical in certain groups. In America eye contact if preferable but staring is not. While is Middle Eastern and Asian culture they get more direct eye contact. Like in America conversations are modulated in neutral tone, while in Indian and Middle Eastern cultures put more enthusiasm and energy while doing conversation. Moreover, in Asian culture interrupting during conversation is seen as rude behavior.
Another major issue in intercultural business communication is stereotyping. Stereotyping is preconceived notion of individual applies to group of people and many of them are offensive. That is based on negative references on person’s religion, culture and ethnicity and political back grounds. Because of these stereotyping getting to know one another and trusting seems very difficult. For example, if we start making assumption about another person’s behavior then it would make it difficult for them to work together. But if we put a side our stereotype at work place it would build trust and relationship and that would be great for productivity. There are some ways to embarking stereotyping by providing cross culture training, and there they can learn about different cultures values, believes and perceptions. These training will provide better understanding about intercultural communication as a result productivity can be improved at higher rate.
Final challenge here comes from values and believes, believes in informal and corporate settings the gap is created in the communication between the individual coming from different cultural backgrounds as a result the message to be conveyed to be miss interpreted or not understood. This can become obstacle to the communication since everyone has different views on religion and believes, such as believes about god, the way we should eat and how you should live our life. Due to disagreement of different values and believes, this could cause argument, frustration and even hate for one another. This can be resolved by creating training sessions for people from different countries. Secondly the employee should treat another person from different culture with respect, doing so will enable healthy communication between them and they way they can develop trust.
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