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Intercultural Communication

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Abstract There is no secret that today's workplace is rapidly becoming vast, as the business environment expands to include various geographic locations and span numerous cultures. What can be difficult however is to understand how to communicate effectively with individuals who speak another language or who rely on different means to reach a common goal? Intercultural Communication in the Workplace Today's businesses are growing rapidly every year. The reason for this growth is the vast growth of population in Australia. People from all over the world are coming to Australia to make a better life for their selves. Because this country is so diverse and multicultural, there has always been the importance of the job community changes with the times. This is great to the corporate community but, it also can be difficult too. The issues that occur with having a multi-culture workplace are the intercultural communication issues. One issue particular is linguistics. For example; I was working as a part-time employee for a popular supermarket store. I was an associate in the groceries department, and I had been working there for few months prior to the issue. Christmas was approaching, and due to the busy season, supermarket decides to hire more employees. ...read more.


When the lady grabbed my hand and pulled me is an example of this. I do not like to be touched that is my culture on the other hand she felt it was necessary to get her point across. Learning how to communicate among cultures is a necessary ability no matter what type of career field you enter. In this case I believe that a language barrier caused the intercultural communication issue. Deal with culture norms can be difficult because of the many culture and there norms. A norm may or may not have a rational justification or origin. Norms with common sense origins may, over time, lose their original context as society changes. An action that was once performed because it was necessary to survive may over the years become a social norm, even once the circumstances that made it necessary for survival are no longer applicable. There are at least two reasons for the stability of a norm. First, people are educated via their socialization process to follow a norm and most people will not oppose it. Second, even if a person does not feel like following a norm, he or she may do so because of social pressure. ...read more.


If a leader or manager of a team that is working across cultures or incorporates individuals who speak different languages, practice different religions, or are members of a society that requires a new understanding, he or she needs to work to convey this. Consider any special needs the individuals on your team may have. For instance, they may observe different holidays, or even have different hours of operation. Be mindful of time zone differences and work to keep everyone involved aware and respectful of such differences. Generally speaking, patience, courtesy and a bit of curiosity go a long way. And, if you are unsure of any differences that may exist, simply ask team members. Again, this may best be done in a one-on-one setting so that no one feels "put on the spot" or self-conscious, perhaps even embarrassed, about discussing their own needs or differences or needs. In conclusion I believe that there are many inter cultural communication issues that need to be resolved in the workplace. There should be classes on how to handle diversity situation, and how to communicate with the other. If this strategy were in every business in Australia then I strong believe that today's businesses would be more productive, and a happier place to work. Reference Fowler, K. Manktelow, J.(1995-2006) Effective Cross Cultural communication. http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/Cross-Cultural-communication.htm Diversity Edition (2001) Communicating in the Culturally Diverse Workplace. http://www.jobweb.com/Resources/Library/Workplace_Culture/Communicating_in_the_12_01.htm Wikipedia (2006) Norms, http://en.wikipedia.org ...read more.

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