Managing cross culture communication


In this report we describe the importance of Managing Cross Culture Communication and the brief ideas of how it has become a major source of research in the modern studies which is also known as intercultural communication. All communication is cultural -- it draws on ways we have learned to speak and give nonverbal communication. We do not always communicate the same way from day to day, since factors like context, individual personality, and mood interact with the variety of cultural influences we have internalized that influence our choices. Communication is interactive, so an important influence on its effectiveness is our relationship with others. Do they hear and understand what we are trying to say? Are they listening well? Are we listening well in response? Do their responses show that they understand the words and the meanings behind the words we have chosen? Is the mood positive and receptive? Is there trust between them and us? Are there differences that relate to ineffective communication, divergent goals or interests, or fundamentally different ways of seeing the world?


Cross-Cultural Communication module will outilne the basic structure regarding cultural awareness, cross-cultural communication, stereotypes and values. It is not possible to discuss about culture without making generalizations, i.e statements of likelihood or potential. At best, generalization can tell how people from one culture may behave in a given situation, not how they may or may not behave. Cultural generalizations can be helpful in the process of learning to understand other cultures, but be ready to set them aside when it is clear they have no meaning. Generalizations become dangerous when they result in negative stereotyping. The challenge is that even with all the good will in the world, miscommunication is likely to happen, especially when there are significant cultural differences between communicators. Miscommunication may lead to conflict, or aggravate conflict that already exists.

what is Culture?

The key to effective cross-cultural communication is knowledge. First of all, it is very essential that people understand the potential problems of cross-cultural communication, and make a predicate effort to overcome these problems. Secondlly, it is very important to assume that one's efforts will not always be successful, and adjust one's behavior appropriately. The most prominent systems of beliefs tend to be those associated with formal religions; however, any system of belief in which the interpretation of stories affects people's behaviour. A major component of a culture is its systems of values, beliefs, and material products.

Exploring Your Host Culture

Before going abroad It is very important to learn about your host culture. If you have some information about host culture so, it will be benifit to you. An organization also needs to have a global approach if it is involved in the international construction market, and be willing to modify communication strategies that are appropriate within the context of host cultures. In addition to providing general information about your host country, there are cultural insights provided by earlier interns.

Communication Styles

Communication is about sending and receiving messages. On a daily basis we communicate with people everyday of our livesat work, home and in various places within our community. Another major aspect of communication style is the degree of importance given to non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication includes not only facial expressions and communicate; it also involves seating arrangements, personal distance, and sense of time. when we are think about communicating well, we understand that someone has not understood what we were trying to say Our culture has a role in presenting us with those challenges: it has helped shape the way in which we approach dificulties, how we participate in groups.


For each of the following behaviours shows own cultural values, beliefs, or perceptions:

  1. A person comes late to a meeting.
  2. Someone makes the "okay" hand behaviour pattern at you
  3. Someone kicks a dog.
  4. Someone in a store says he or she wants to purchase a pair of pants.

In North America the word "okay" is used for way to saying things are going well, while in many other cultures it can be aimed rude or awful. In England the word pants means "underwear." People in England use the word trousers for what in North America is known as "pants." Local understandings like these make aspects of living in another culture awkward. It is easy to know about the material products of a particular country (e.g., food, music, clothing), but it is more difficult to figure out what the beliefs and values are, as those are hidden beneath the surface of the culture. people from the same culture often share a similar background, which leads to like perceptions, interpretations, and values. Culture can be universalthat is, there are right ways in which people in all groups are the sameand it can be personalthat is, there are ways in which each one of us is different from everyone else. You will find some things in your host country's culture to be similar to yours, while other things will be different. Sometimes, these differences are very accurate.

Communicating Across Culture

The following informatin are a starting point for Cross Culture Communication. Some Useful information as below;

  • Be complete, explict and pay attention to the other person's response.
  • Avoid metaphors, colloquialisms and jargon.
  • Pay attention for different meanings.
  • Avoid the over-simplification of term as it may seem insulting.
  • If a word or concept is not understood, reword your thoughts. Do not repeat it or increase your volume as if the listener has a hearing problem.
  • Consider the most appropriate mode of communication.
  • Ackowledge cultural differences without bias and be persistent. When you have difficulty, talk about it together.
  • Be sensitive to cultural stands on Social Issues like gender roles and drug use.
  • Do not ask questions that you would not answer yourself.
  • Research the cultural background of the person, if possible.
  • Take the risk ! Always remember that you will make mistakes as you learn.

Other Aspect of Communication Styles

Language Usage

One aspect of communication style is the customary or established use of words. As you read in the "What Is Culture?" section of this module, from one culture to the next some words and phrases are used to mean different things.

Non-Verbal Communication

Communication can be non-verbal. Gestures, posture, silence, emotional expressions, touch, and physical appearance are examples of non-verbal cues. One culture might assign a higher importance to non-verbal behaviour, or cues, than would another culture with a different communication style. Still, when we interact with different people, non-verbal cues can allow important information. The concept of personal space, for example, can be understood through non-verbal communication. In some parts of the world, people are accustomed to smaller personal spaces and tend to stand or sit close to each other when they are talking. If such a person is talking to someone who prefers more personal space, the person talking may notice his or her companion take a step or two away. A social difficulty can arise if either person misunderstands their companion's culture.

Reverse Culture Shock

Culture shock refers to the anxiety and feelings felt when people have to operate within a different and unknown cultural or social environment, such as a foreign country. It grows out of the difficulties in assimilating the new culture, causing difficulty in knowing what is appropriate and what is not. Why might you experience reverse culture shock? There are many reasons. Your values may have changed; you can see the flaws of your home country in a way you couldn't before; your relationships with people close to you have changed; you have left a part of yourself abroad; and no one understands what you experienced. Recognize that you may need some time to readjust.


This report has reviewed several basic concepts relating to culture, communication and language. Any change reflected in your score will give you a measure of what you have learned about culture and communication. Effective cross cultural communication is in essence about being comfortable. Giving encouragement to those with weak English gives them confidence, support and a trust in you.

Cross-cultural communication is an ongoing process. Being prepared for new working and living contexts can make it easier to adjust, minimize stress, and increase cross-cultural effectiveness on both personal and professional levels. Culture is a people's way of life, their design for living, their way of coping with their biological, physical and social environment. It consists of learned, patterned assumptions (worldview), concepts and behavior, plus the resulting artifacts.


  1. Michelle LeBaron , July 2003

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