Upper Intermediate Stories

Culture and Communication Style
Listen and put in the missing words.
Effective communication across cultures can be quite challenging. Cultures have different ways of thinking and interpreting the world. The same words mean different things to people from different cultures, even when they talk the same language. When the languages are and translation is used to communicate, the potential for misunderstandings increases.

There are three ways which culture can interfere with effective communication. First, there are different views. They provide the background which all new learning is built and upon which information is understood and decisions are made.

Second, each culture has own rules about appropriate behaviour. Should you look another in the eye or is that rude? Should you say what mean directly or should you hint at it without actually saying it? How close should you stand to the person you are talking to? These are just some the rules and ideas which differ across cultures.

Thirdly, different cultures display differently. Some cultures get very when they are debating an issue. They yell, they cry, exhibit their anger, fear, frustration and other feelings openly. Other cultures try to their emotions hidden.

All of these differences lead to communication problems if we are not aware of the different cultural styles and expectations. Awareness is just the point. We must negotiate our interactions with people.


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