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Cultural Diversity and Communication Barriers



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    Cultural diversity is the power which motivates the development of the thing that makes us different. Cultural diversity is the economic growth, which means leading a more fulfilling emotional, moral and spiritual life. It captures the culture principles, which provide a sturdy basis for the promotion of cultural diversity. Cultural diversity is an asset that is necessary for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development. Cultural diversity, communication and barriers to effective communication works hand in hand.

    Barriers of effective communication can sometimes be simple or complicated. Effective communication on the other hand is simply a matter of listening courteously, in the way we would like others to listen to us. On the other hand, we each have our own plans, which hinder our ability to fully listen to someone with conflicting rationales. Can cultural diversity and communication lead to barriers to effective communication? Effective communication in the workplace can be in an inferior position by certain barriers, including the closed office door or mistrust between people.

    In this paper I will look at the how does cultural diversity affected communication, what are the barriers to effective communication and can cultural diversity affect barriers to effective communication? How cultural diversity does affected communication, it affects communication by changing the way; different cultures interact in a conversation. Diversity can be the result of different types of communication, making understanding each other challenging. Cultural diversity is about learning and understanding the things that make us different and finding a way to communicate without conflict.

    According Michelle Lebaron, “Communication Tools for Understanding Culture The tools we will examine here relate to communication and ways of seeing the self in relation to others. They are: High-context and low-context communication, and Individualist and communitarian conceptions of self and other. Since all of these tools are used in the service of understanding culture, a working definition of culture is useful. Donal Carbaugh defines culture as “a system of expressive practices fraught with feelings, a system of symbols, premises, rules, forms, and the domains and dimensions of mutual meanings associated with these. [4] He also suggests culture is “a learned set of shared interpretations about beliefs, values, and norms, which affect the behaviors of a relatively large group of people. “[5]

    In each of these definitions, culture is linked to communication and a wide range of human experience including feelings, identity, and meaning-making. Communication is the vehicle by which meanings are conveyed, identity is composed and reinforced, and feelings are expressed. As we communicate using different cultural habits and meaning systems, both conflict and harmony are possible outcomes of any interaction. (http://www. beyondintractability. org/essay/communication_tools/) What are the barriers to effective communication, the first thing we should do to understand the communication process. We have to try to identify which barrier is affecting our ability to communicate. The person sending the message has to transmit the message clearly. Whenever the receiver, receives the message they must be able to acquire the meaning from it to provide a feedback. There are several barriers of effective communication.

    There are many ways that barriers are significance to diversity, it can be use to explain problems that occur between men and women of different culture, ages, race, ethic group and moral values. Barrier One: is the idea and Beliefs that encourage wrong Information and the misunderstanding between perceptions of one’s behavior and the way you actual behaviors. Barrier Two: Stereotypes that limits individual contributions to a group. Barrier Three: Prejudices is the negative reaction towards others. Barrier Four: Our individual personal differences and relationships. Barrier Five: faking attention.

    Barrier Six: is the misuse of speed and speech. Barrier Seven: Not Listening. According to the text, “Finally, use of technology can be a barrier to effective decision making and problem solving. Inadequate access to technology, varying degrees of willingness to participate in telemediated communication, negative and evaluative tones in computer-mediated exchanges, and a host of other variables related to technology use can interfere with quality decision making. ”(Shockley-Zalabak. Fundamentals of Organizational Communication: Knowledge, Sensitivity, Skills, Values, 7th Edition.

    Pearson Learning Solutions 9. 10. 3. 1). Can cultural diversity affect barriers to effective communication? Cultural diversity can definitely affect communication due to language barrier. I am stationed in Korea and I have four KATUSA soldiers, sometimes they don’t understand what I am asking them to do but they still tell me they do. Ineffective delivery of the message will result in high failure rate of getting the job done. With the diversity in the unit, language, culture and gender make communication more complex. It is hard for us to communicate because the cultures have different custom.

    Whenever some introduces you an elder Korea you have to bow to showed respect and you have to use to hands whenever taking anything from them because it shows respect. Communicating effectively with people from different cultures can sometime be difficult because people from different cultures think, see, hear and interpret the world differently. Word can be the same but mean something different base on what part of the world you’re from. According to the Stella Ting-Toomey, “describes three ways in which culture interferes with effective cross-cultural understanding.

    First is what she calls “cognitive constraints. ” These are the frames of reference or world views that provide a backdrop that all new information is compared to or inserted into. Second are “behavior constraints. ” Each culture has its own rules about proper behavior which affect verbal and nonverbal communication. Whether one looks the other person in the eye-or not; whether one says what one means overtly or talks around the issue; how close the people stand to each other when they are talking–all of these and many more are rules of politeness which differ from culture to culture.

    Ting-Toomey’s third factor is “emotional constraints. ” Different cultures regulate the display of emotion differently. Some cultures get very emotional when they are debating an issue. They yell, they cry, they exhibit their anger, fear, frustration, and other feelings openly. Other cultures try to keep their emotions hidden, exhibiting or sharing only the “rational” or factual aspects of the situation. ” (http://www. colorado. edu/conflict/peace/problem/cultrbar. tm) Cultural diversity and communication in the work place contribute to the prosperity of the company. Cultural diversity in the work place generates great idea because of the different back ground each person comes from. Diversity in companies has been growing at a rapid rate. Companies are experiencing rapid growth of cultural diversity and they’re realizing that many organizational successes come from the diversity of the company. While cultural diversity has it benefits, barriers to effective communication can sometime be hard because of our background.

    We can sometime experience physical barriers, physical barrier exist when workers are located in a different building or site. We can sometime experience system design which surfaces when a problem with structure occurs. System design is a structure that is not clear and makes us confuse and we don’t know who to communicate with. For example at work I supervise several Clerk but it is unclear to them if I am the supervisor because we share the job or if their team chief is there supervisor because their assign to that team.

    Attitudinal barriers occur when there is a problem with staff. Poor management, no consultation with employee and personality conflict can occur as a result of attitudinal barriers. In conclusion, cultural diversity does affected communication because of the way we interact with each other. Misunderstanding plays a big part in effective communication. We have to be able to send and receive messages clearly through effective communication. People have to be able to receive and translate message to communicate effectively, when we are dealing with cultural diversity.

    There are many different reasons for barriers to effective communication as stated in the paragraph above. Cultural diversity and communication can lead to barriers of effective communication. Because we are different we fail to understand that two words could be the same but mean something different depending on what part of the world you’re from. As long as the existence of man there have being barrier whether it was because of language or the fact that we do not share the same views. Man will always have misunderstanding but it is our duty to try to resolve them without conflict.

    References: Shockley-Zalabak. Fundamentals of Organizational Communication: Knowledge, Sensitivity, Skills, Values, 7th Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions Bert Spector. Implimenting Organizational Change: Theory Intro Practice, Second Edition. Prentice Hall, NJ 2010.

    Cultural Diversity and Communication Barriers. (2017, Mar 24). Retrieved from

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