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Cross-cultural Communication Issues

I have been reading the attached chapters and don't fully understand these questions:

1) How many cultural influences lead to misunderstandings in communication of either verbal or nonverbal messages?

2) What are some differences between cultures or groups that you have noticed, and how might these differences affect teamwork or productivity in the workplace?


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Dear Student,
Hello. I understand how you might feel confused due to the volume of the readings and the fact that the questions and their answers are not directly enumerated in the passages. The passages, the 3 chapters provide an overload of information and you are expected not to 'spot' the answers but to provide the answers from a synthesis of the information provided. A quick review of question 1 and a reading of the chapters you provided pinpointed the answers in page 8 of chapter 1 and pages 59-62 of Chapter 4. So let's try and provide a synthesized answer:

? Cultural Influences and Communication Misunderstanding

o We live in a multicultural country and our diversity has led us towards internal conflict at times. Since it is through communication that we reach out to each other, it is also in communication that conflict happens - verbally and non-verbally. It is however important that conflict brought about by cultural influences has its origins in the specifics of singular culture expressed when a member of a particular culture communicates to another and when perspectives or views clash, conflict happens. What then are these influences? Attributes, also known as variables vary among subcultures within complex societies or population. Generally age, gender, religion, ethnicity, language, occupation, income, social status, education as well as philosophy and political preferences influence how we communicate. For example, a younger adult might communicate to an elder in such a way that the former finds perfectly acceptable while the latter finds horribly disrespectful. It is also important to remember that we express ourselves via Kinesics or nonverbal communication (an important tool for people in law enforcement when 'reading' suspects) as our body movements contradict, accent or complement what we mean. Each generation follows a certain trend and almost always, while as one society we have shared ideals creating a general cultural identity, specific subgroups find it difficult to communicate ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a comprehensive guide and advise that tackles the problems of miscommunication and misunderstanding of verbal and non-verbal messages as well as the effect of cultural gap and cultural differences in the efficiency and and productivity of teamwork in the workplace. Examples of certain situations are provided and discussed to explain and illustrate points. Additionally, gender & faith is also discussed as an element influencing cultural gap. references are listed for the purpose of expansion. A word version is attached for easy printing and download.