Cross-Cultural Communication

Culture has a major role that it plays in the life of human beings. One of the aspects of life that is affected by culture is communication. Communication among different people of varying cultures is of fundamental importance and people should take time to evaluate themselves to ensure that cultural differences due to communication do not become a hindrance to communication, especially because the world has become a global village. The essay that follows will look at the way culture communicates differently and the impact it has at work places. Communication problems that arise due to culture should be treated with caution to ensure that dialogue is not impended as it forms a very essential part of human life. The essay will look at the way different cultures communicate and how differences in cultural communication affect work and how this can be improved so that people work in good working environments where they can tolerate each other irrespective of culture (LeBaron, 2003, para 4).

A good understand of what culture is will give us a brief insight of what it means for people to be of different cultures. According to Donal Carbaugh (n.d, para13) “culture is 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”. He also suggests that culture is “a learned set of shared interpretations about beliefs, values, and norms, which affect the behaviors of a relatively large group of people.” People from different cultures have different methods of communicating with each other. The culture of different people is made up by complex systems. There are different quantities that help to define how different cultures communicate with each other. This includes thoughts, a record of the past, ecosystem, technology, the institutional system or network which means the social, political and economic systems of a place and finally the verbal and non-verbal cues used in communication. Therefore, cultures communicate differently depending on their systems that govern the six principles above (Hall, 1996, p34).

These elements are closely related to each other meaning that one element directly affects or is affected by the other. In an area such as technology, the differences become less pronounced since technology affects all cultures in almost similarly. Cultures therefore communicate differently according to how these elements are applied and used in the communities. The communities try to understand each other by evaluating how the other community uses these elements and how they vary from theirs to bring about mutual understanding (LeBaron, 2003, p14 ).

Employers working in a certain organizations more often than not come from diverse nations around the world. This kind of situation offers many challenges. One of the challenges that employers are faced with employing people from different nations includes ensuring that employee’s potential at work is not impended due to language and cultural differences. The ways in which different cultures communicate has an effect in the working place and determines the output of the employers. Because workplaces are created for the purpose of success, employers have to find a way to prevent these cultural differences in communication from interfering with the potential output of the employees (LeBaron, 2003, para 13).

People from different cultures have different ways of receiving information and sometimes it may narrow down to who is giving directions to the workers. Communicating plans to the employees involves some aspect of dialogue. Therefore, when a manager intends to convey messages to the employees, he must first consider the cultural practices that are employed in communications and dialogues among the employees that he has so that communication might become effective. For example, people from a certain cultural background have the tendency to distrust instructions that come straight from the manager. In such a case, they prefer if the instructions are presented to them from a leader who is in a lower position than the manager is and closer to them like the headman among others (Ribbink, 2003, para 5).

Another way to ensure that there is effective dialogue in a workplace where there is diverse culture is to ensure that the foreign employees are trained as soon as possible and quite often to enhance the effectiveness of dialogue between different people without considering cultural differences (Ribbink, 2003, para 7).

Natives should also be taught ways in which dialogue can be conducted when talking to fellow colleagues and the clients who are from different cultural backgrounds. The use of effective dialogue regardless of cultural difference is a good communication tool, which will ensure good working relationships between the workers and clients in the work place. These will in turn guarantee success when all other things are held constant (LeBaron, 2003, para 14).

In summary, cultural communication offers a point of diversity in the worldly makeup. Keeping in mind that the world has become a global village people should be able to come to terms with the fact that interactions with people of different ethnic background cannot be eluded. They should therefore come up with ways to ensure that dialogue between people from different communities is effective for the benefit of all people. Cultural communication differences are also vital and should be put into considerations in different work places to ensure that there is effective dialogue between the staff and the clients.


Hall, T. (1966). The silent language. New York: Doubleday.

LeBaron, M. (2003). Communication Tools for Understanding Cultural Differences. Web.

LeBaron, M. (2003). Bridging Cultural Conflicts: New Approaches for a Changing World. San Francisco: Jossey Bass

Ribbink, K. (2003). Seven Ways to Better Communicate in Today’s Diverse Workplace – Seven Tips for Communicating In Today’s Diverse Workplace. Web.

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