There are six principles of cross-cultural communication. The first principle states that the less someone understands about a culture and the more differences among one another the more difficulties they will have with communication. The second principle states that breakdowns occur due to cultural differences. The third principle is the belief that communicating across cultures helps people to better understand their own communication actions. They become more aware of the hand gestures and word choices they use. The fourth principle is that cultures vary with their different types of 'do's and taboos". This means that some cultures believe very strongly that one should follow the formal rules or they may not be able to interact with others within that certain culture. Being a cross-cultural communicator you would have to understand these “do's and taboos" as well as be respectful of them. The next principle, the fifth principle, states that you need to keep in mind that other cultures perspective of normal may be different than what you see as normal. It is important to understand the worldview or value systems of different groups since communication patterns are reflective of these orientations. The last principle to keep in mind is that if you see others as being friendly, cooperative, and trustworthy the barriers of communication will become easier to overlook. Feeling that you can cooperate and trust a person of a different culture makes them more comfortable and easier to work with. Any cultural differences can become a barrier between an individual and a patient. If a healthcare provider does not understand how the individual perceives the issue they are having, it will become difficult for them to understand their response as well. It is very important that all healthcare workers understand that each individual should be looked at from their own cultural beliefs. Being able to overcome the barriers that come with the everyday work of a healthcare provider requires empathy, curiosity, and respect of others opinions and beliefs. Healthcare providers do not have to agree with the beliefs of the patient; however they should recognize that different cultures come with their own options of treatment, and concerns regarding their health and illness.
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