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Cross-cultural Communication Facilitators and Barriers by Anamika Viswanathan  What is Communication – components, channels, receiving  Noise in Communication.

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Presentation on theme: "Cross-cultural Communication Facilitators and Barriers by Anamika Viswanathan  What is Communication – components, channels, receiving  Noise in Communication."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cross-cultural Communication Facilitators and Barriers by Anamika Viswanathan  What is Communication – components, channels, receiving  Noise in Communication  Understanding Culture  What is Cultural Intelligence  Developing Cross-Cultural Competence  Brand Communication and Cultural Competence  Suggested framework for interacting with a new culture  Handling cross-cultural conference calls Psyconnections, March 2010

2 What is Communication  WHO says WHAT to WHOM with what PURPOSE in which SITUATION by WHAT MEANS and through what CHANNEL with what EFFECT, Harold Laswell  Besides transmission (process), there is exchange and production of meanings (semiotic)  Apart from the message and medium, context plays a vital part too Psyconnections, March 2010

3 Components of Communication Non-verbal behaviours are more emphasised in high-context cultures. NVC (55%) Tone (38%) “Spoken word” (7%) Psyconnections, March 2010

4 Channels of Communication  Verbal – Words, clauses, sentences  Prosodic – Intonation, rhythm, pauses  Paralinguistic – Ummm, ah, cry, whine, yawn  Kinesics – Face, head, body, posture and gesture  Standing features of interaction – Orientation, clothes, adornment and appearance  Proxemics – How space is used i.e intimate distance, personal distance, social distance, public distance (Hall)  Touch – How it is used to signal intensity (France & Mayo; Heslin and Alper) Ellis and Beattie, The Psychology of Language and Communication Psyconnections, March 2010

5 Receiving Communication The receiver perceives the message through five senses and ‘Cone of experience’ ranging from direct experience to indirect experience (Edgar Dale) Experiential levels of reality: Barber (2000) o Physical/ Sensory o Social/ Cultural o Emotional/ Transferential o Imaginative/ Projective o Transpersonal/ Intuitive Psyconnections, March 2010

6 Noise in Communication  Semantic Noise: different interpretations of words and abbreviations like grass, LOL  Syntactical Noise: caused by grammatical intricacies or errors i.e You don’t not want to be doing that.  Cultural Noise: caused by stereotypes i.e be loud and casual with Americans or laid back with French  Organisational Noise: ill-structured, ambiguous communication not sent through proper channels  Techno Noise: caused by inability to use certain new age communication tools  Information overload: too much information packed together  Psychological Noise: loaded words, high-strung emotions or psychiatric conditions  Physiological-Impairment Noise: deafness and blindness  Ambient noise: drilling, road works, loudspeakers Psyconnections, March 2010

7 Understanding Culture Hofstede(1980, 1985, 1990) defines it as mental programming for people within a nation, ‘software’ of the mind  Reflects a set of imperfectly shared rules for meanings and behaviour  A country may have several cultural subsets  Five characteristics of culture: o Power distance o Uncertainty avoidance o Individualism vs. Collectivism o Masculinity vs. feminity o Long vs. short term orientation Psyconnections, March 2010

8 What is Cultural Intelligence A person’s capability for successful adaptation to new cultural settings, that is, for unfamiliar settings attributable to cultural context. Earley & Ang, o Cognitive - Create new conceptualisations of culture-specific knowledge o Motivational – Engage with others in a new setting, feel enthused to find out more o Behavioural elements – Respond to show effective adaptation to cultural circumstance Psyconnections, March 2010

9 Developing Cross-Cultural Competency Cultural competence is dynamic and requires frequent learning and unlearning Learning new patterns of behaviour and effectively applying them in appropriate settings to increase the quality of services to produce better outcomes (David and Donald, 1997)  Cross-cultural training events were first commissioned by the US govt in 1960 s  Caters to various learning styles – classroom, theoretical or experiential Psyconnections, March 2010

10 Brand Communication and Cultural Competence Brand Communication A - Grab Attention I - Evoke Interest D- Prompt Decision A- Propel Action Cultural Competency A – Focus Attention on available knowledge I – Be Interested in the cultural context D- Decide on appropriate course of action A- Act to interact with the cultural context Psyconnections, March 2010

11 Interacting with a new culture 1. Understand cultural values Deploy research, talk to friends and relatives, even sample the cuisine before hand 2. Present yourself appropriately Be sensitive to the acceptable dress code 3. Matching gestures would signal conformity and further enhance comfort levels. 4. Active listening and observing opens up a wealth of verbal and non-verbal cues and helps with rapport-building. Psyconnections, March 2010

12 Interacting with a new culture (contd) 5. Being flexible/ adaptive - going with the host’s plans denotes appreciation and gratitude to the host to have planned the itinerary and made arrangements 6. Language proficiency/ aid helps International English spoken slowly and clearly can be followed in most parts of the world. If effort is made to learn some essential words, it will be perceived as going the extra mile to forge a bond. 7. Use non-verbal communication Show appreciation with a gesture Motivate the team with give-aways or dinner Beat the beat gestures Psyconnections, March 2010

13 Interacting with a new culture (contd) 8. Yes, no and sorry Use widely understood words/gestures. People across the globe are able to decode basic facial expressions universally as the emotion related to those are the same, Paul Ekman 9. Consciously avoid stereotyping We all live a story, read other people’s stories …the truth is far from these stories. Don Miguel Ruiz, The Voice of Knowledge Psyconnections, March 2010

14 Handling cross-cultural conference calls You can pick from the vast database of tonality. Research in paralanguage focuses on three broad voice characteristics – voice quality, vocalisation and vocal qualifiers (Victor 1992). Voice quality gives cues on agility, articulation, resonance and power (Appleman, 1967). Also whether the person is under the weather Volume denotes motivation/ enthusiasm i.e bright and upbeat, low and reticent. Confidence vs. arrogance Accent - natural or acquired Psyconnections, March 2010

15 Handling cross-cultural conference calls Pace could denote excitement levels, hurry or confusion Pauses, filler non-words or sounds like ummm, you know, like, clicking the tongue could denote giving time to others in some cultures while in some they would convey lack of substance. In high context cultures, silence is preferred to conversations. Turn taking and talking pace is also dictated by the cultural context Ambient noises and their impact on the call i.e phones ringing, voices calling out. Techno noise, Information overload Psyconnections, March 2010

16 The Learning Cycle Unconscious Incompetent Conscious Incompetent Conscious Competent Unconscious Competent S. Benton, Business Psychology Centre Psyconnections, March 2010

17 Focus on being authentic, not just accurate You can’t direct the wind but you can adjust your sails… Thank you Psyconnections, March 2010

18 Contact details – Anamika Viswanathan Psyconnections, March 2010


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