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Leadership, Communication Styles, Culture, and Language

Often, we hear or read that "leadership is dependent on good communication." Do you agree? Write a report on leadership interaction and communication styles. To help you present your report, create a scenario depicting a meeting of business leaders from Japan, Nigeria, France, and India.

Your analysis should include a discussion on the relationship between language and culture, and the cultural differences in the interpretation of body language. You will evaluate the role of non-verbal communication in business relationships. Also cover the role of information systems in the continuing communication of these four geographically disparate business leaders.

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Nigeria: hundreds of ethnic groups, major ones are Hausa, Fulani, Igbo, Yoruba, Ifaw and Kanuri. There are twice as many languages, though English is the official language. City elites and other urbanites speak English, very few villages use English. This will pose a problem for working with some minor leaders. Religion is the other big interest with Muslims (mostly in the north), Christians (mostly in the south), and the beliefs of the indigenous tribes.

Nigerians are very proud of their country, the natural resources and their status as a super power within the African continent. They are a hierarchical society with elders and experience key to their decision making. The eldest is always deferred to and usually makes all decisions. This is in families and extends to businesses. Honoring of the eldest is of utmost importance, and in families, mutual caring is as important as anything.

In business, age and position are the main determinants of respect. These two circumstances demand respect. The eldest always is served first and deferred to on all decision-making processes.

Nigerians greet with a handshake and a smile. The men put their hands on the left shoulder of the person they are greeting. This handshake and warm smile is very important. The greeting process cannot be rushed. This is an African trait and is practiced in most African countries. Ask about the health, the family, the weather, friends, whatever is necessary to prolong, at least briefly, the greeting process. Nigerians do wait for women to extend their hand. Muslims do not shake hands with members of the opposite sex. Addresses are by professional or other honorific title and surname. Friends can use whatever name they are comfortable with. NEVER use another's first name until invited to do so. If the person you are greeting is much older, bow head slightly to show respect. Shake hands at start and completion of meeting.

You can exchange business cards, but it does not have ritual attached. Use any advanced university degrees on your business card for Nigerians and your title is displayed prominently. Do not write on the business card. If the information has changed, get new cards, and do not offer the old one. Study the business cards you have been given before putting them into your card holder.

Communication styles vary. If the person is from a tribal group they may use proverbs and sayings or songs to make their point. This is especially true when talking to someone in their native language. The Yoruba use humor to break up long meetings and serious discussions. Nigerians from the south speak more directly and they do it loudly. They can become emotionally excited as well. They also pay close attention to facial expressions, thinking an indifferent face means ignorance or the person is obnoxious. An open face and empathetic looks are signs of ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses leadership, communication styles, culture and language.