It is a fact that effective communication is the key to success in both personal and business relationships. In the absence of proper communication between two people, actions will not be in tandem with the actual motive. Many a time, the reason behind the lack of effective communication between two individuals is, the cultural differences between them. Be it an informal or a corporate setting, a gap is created in the communication between individuals coming from different cultures, as a result of which the message to be conveyed is misinterpreted or not understood. When we visit another country where a different language is spoken, it is obvious that it is necessary for someone to speak the other’s language in order to surmount this barrier and verbally communicate. What is not so obvious, however, is that cultural barriers are greater than language barriers and they frequently provoke reactions that are both negative and emotional. What is considerate behavior in one country may be rude in another. What is a sensitive issue to one culture, to another may not be a point of any consequence. Therefore, we really need to learn to “speak” the culture.
Communication specialist estimate that some two-thirds to three-fourths of our communication takes place nonverbally through behavior. Behavior itself is learned from our culture and all behavior communicates. Since we cannot stop behaving in one way or another, we cannot stop communicating. Therefore, during all of the waking hours that we spend with other human beings we "speak" volumes through the behavior our culture drilled into us.
Most of us assume that our own culture’s ways are the natural order of things and we tend to see cultures that are different as less evolved. We think that people would all act the same way if they were behaving properly. When we come in contact with people from other cultures, we may experience indignation or irritation when a person appears to be...
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