Intercultural Communication In The Workplace

1415 words - 6 pages

IntroductionIndividuals employed in today's workforce have seen the results associated with organizations that have a different diverse outlook on their future goals. More organizations have begun expanding their services across the waters to distant countries attempting to strengthen their standings amongst their competitors for total domination. These changes caused added concerns for both the organization as well as the employees they employ. Intercultural communication both abroad and in-house continues to be a problematic concern due to the increased cultural differences.The intent of this paper is to review a scenario in which intercultural communication is an issue. In the proce ...view middle of the document...

Sied on the other hand, believed that these events represent a woman having an interest in him and associated this interest with dating and eventually marriage. Sied's culture recognizes these events as a woman having an interest in the men. Since Jones was unaware of her actions, she did not realize that Sied perceived it to be differently from what Jones had intended (Business Intelligence Lowdown, 2007).Jones was American born; her cultural norms were different from Sied's. What she was doing was customary in America. In her eyes, she was being friendly to the new soldier who was assigned to the unit and she believed that nothing else should have become of the situation. In America, "what is said is not what is meant" and Sied did not understand this way of things (Business Training Works, 2008). Sied had developed the notion that since Jones was being extremely kind to him she has an interest in him.In India their comfort zone does not consist of the customs, which are acceptable in the United States. When Jones began speaking with Sied he noticed her friendliness, smiles, and attention toward him. Although Jones did not mention that she had a husband she wears a ring on her left hand however, Sied did not notice it or if it was noticed, he did not pay much attention to the ring. Sied believed was coming on to him. Sied was very attentive to Jones behavior due to his cultural beliefs and possibly due to his lack of romance.Jones explained to him she has no interest in him and that she is happily married. Sied became very confused as he began to realize that Jones had no interest in him and he began to get very frustrated. Because of this occurrence, Jones became very angry since she presumed this would have affected her at the unit if it were to be discovered. If both parties would have had, a better understanding of each other's cultural norms this incident will not have occurred.Strategies for addressing this communication issueThis is a classic scenario of how intercultural communication conflict can occur. Sied and Jones were both guilty of stereotyping, assuming, and being ignorant of each other's cultural beliefs. They both conveyed through verbal, nonverbal, and body language an interest in each other and they were both misunderstood. According to Jameson (2007) in order to have a better understanding of intercultural communication, one should "shift focus from understanding others to understanding oneself" (Jameson, 2007, p. 201).Intercultural conflict occurs because of an individual's lack of knowledge regarding external cultural norms and values. Neither of these individuals communicated effectively with each other and the messages conveyed were not as the communicator intended. This created a sense of vulnerability and frustration for both the parties involved. To operate effectively and successfully in a multicultural organization, managers are finding ways in which to educate personnel with understanding cultural differences...


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