Professor Aubrey Williams
March 10th, 2013
Verbal and nonverbal communication a like can be difficult within the same culture; add in a mix of cultures and the difficulty level is off the charts. Communication is extremely important and must be done properly for optimum success. `Cultural differences have the potential to breed significant misunderstandings
Communication: The Culture Affect
Communication one of life's biggest assets yet also one of life’s greatest issues. Everyone uses communication – everyone in every walk of life, in every country, everywhere. There is no way around it. We depend on communication for nearly everything. "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” (LeBaron, 2003). Proper communication is one of the keys to success. One would think that given its importance, communication would be held in higher regard and more effort would be put forth in communicating correctly. Mary Guffey and Dana Lowey discuss the five key elements of culture in their book, Essentials of Business Communication, to help improve our understanding of cultural communication. Those five elements are as follows: context, individualism, formality, communication style, and time orientation. Guffey and Lowey say that "context is one the most important cultural dimensions, yet it is among the most difficult to define". In one idea, context can be considered to be the environment from which one's perceptions are attained. There are both low-context cultures, like the US and high-context cultures, like Asia. Low-context cultures tend to be more direct, and think everything needs to be explained. They do not mind confrontation or making demands....