Intercultural Communication in the Workplace

Topics: Culture, Communication, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 4 (1570 words) Published: February 16, 2009
Intercultural Communication in the Workplace Paper
SOC 315: Cultural Diversity
Intercultural Communication
In today’s world, more companies are selection to go global to conduct business. Regardless of the company one is a part of he or she is likely to interact with people who from numerous national, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. Communicating across language and cultural barriers can be a challenge to ones skills. It has become more common in ones own country to encounter people from a multitude of backgrounds in the workplace. The growth of interdependence of people and cultures in the global society of the 21st century has forced us to pay even more attention to intercultural issues. In order to live and function in this multicultural environment as effectively and meaningfully as possible, people must be competent in intercultural communication, which includes verbal and nonverbal communication.

Communicating with people from other cultures can be challenging regardless of where one works. At the same time, ones ability to foster successful communication between people of differing cultures will bolster ones success in business and career. In order to overcome the cultural barriers to effective communication, one must first learn what culture means. Culture is a shared system of symbols, beliefs, attitudes, values, expectations, and norms for behavior. I do have a couple of specific example to discuss but working in human resources, I have to be sensitive to many different cultures and will focus on the different situations I have encountered.

The first instance of intercultural communication that comes to mind is a situation where I was trying to explain a policy to an employee. The particular employee who is from India originally but has been in the United States for some time yet is difficult to understand with her strong accent. The employee sent me an e-mail with a question regarding the use of annual and sick leave time and...
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