Intercultural Communication Essay

First Nations people met with representatives from local, regional, and national governments to introduce themselves and begin their work.

During this first meeting, First Nations people took time to tell the stories of their people and their relationships to the land over the past seven generations.

By Michelle Le Baron July 2003 All communication is cultural -- it draws on ways we have learned to speak and give nonverbal messages.

We do not always communicate the same way from day to day, since factors like context, individual personality, and mood interact with the variety of cultural influences we have internalized that influence our choices. Are there differences that relate to ineffective communication, divergent goals or interests, or fundamentally different ways of seeing the world?

Time stretches far beyond the human ego or lifetime.

There is a certain timeless quality to time, an aesthetic almost too intricate and vast for the human mind to comprehend.

In the West, time tends to be seen as quantitative, measured in units that reflect the march of progress.

Birth and death are not such absolute ends since the universe continues and humans, though changing form, continue as part of it.It is also true that cultural approaches to time or communication are not always applied in good faith, but may serve a variety of motives.Asserting power, superiority, advantage, or control over the course of the negotiations may be a motive wrapped up in certain cultural behaviors (for example, the government representatives' detailed emphasis on ratification procedures may have conveyed an implicit message of control, or the First Nations' attention to the past may have emphasized the advantages of being aware of history).Their notions of time were embedded in their understandings of the world, and these understandings informed their common sense about how to proceed in negotiations.Because neither side was completely aware of these different notions of time, it was difficult for the negotiations to proceed, and difficult for each side to trust the other.People may attend to many things happening at once in this approach to time, called polychronous.This may mean many conversations in a moment (such as a meeting in which people speak simultaneously, "talking over" each other as they discuss their subjects), or many times and peoples during one process (such as a ceremony in which those family members who have died are felt to be present as well as those yet to be born into the family).In this module, cross-cultural communication will be outlined and demonstrated by examples of ideas, attitudes, and behaviors involving four variables: As our familiarity with these different starting points increases, we are cultivating cultural fluency -- awareness of the ways cultures operate in communication and conflict, and the ability to respond effectively to these differences.Time is one of the most central differences that separate cultures and cultural ways of doing things.Novinger calls the United States a "chronocracy," in which there is such reverence for efficiency and the success of economic endeavors that the expression "time is money" is frequently heard.[2] This approach to time is called monochronic -- it is an approach that favors linear structure and focus on one event or interaction at a time.Robert's Rules of Order, observed in many Western meetings, enforce a monochronic idea of time.

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