Barriers To Effective Communication

5 11 2011

Communication can be difficult. Communication across cultures is more difficult than communicating in one’s own culture, because people with different cultural backgrounds have less common information about how to communicate effectively. It is essential to understand the differences in the cultural background, in order to make the adjustments necessary that lead to effective communication. Cultures provide people with ways of thinking–ways of seeing, hearing, and interpreting the world. Thus the same words can mean different things to people from different cultures.

National and cultural context, which refers to the culturally based elements of a person’s background, need to be considered in communication. This national and cultural context can be:

-Beliefs about what is correct to communicate

-The status of the sender and the receiver

-Attitude toward the content of the message

-Stereotypes of the other culture

-Cultural preferences regarding the medium used

A number of national and cultural factors influence the effectiveness of communication across borders. It is important to make sure that everyone in the organization understands cultural differences in communication styles. The workplace is filled with diversity at all levels. It is important that everyone is able to communicate effectively, despite different backgrounds or communication styles. Increased awareness of differences is likely to be translated into more effective forms of communication within the organization.

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