Healthcare: Law, Ethics, And Policy; Accounting and Cultural Diversity
Barriers to communicating with others from diverse backgrounds
Communication is essential between people of different cultures as it enables them to exchange views, ideas, and understand the behavioral traits that distinguish different people. However, due to the variations in culture, there are bound to be barriers that make communication difficult. Some of these include:
Language barriers: Sometimes, misunderstandings occur during interactions between people speaking different languages. The same words may be assigned different meanings and words that are mispronounced may also distort the information being passed across. For example in Japanese, verbs are often positioned at the end of sentences. This could obviously distort the message being put across to someone who is not necessarily conversant with Japanese.
Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism: Ethnocentrism is the belief that one's cultural beliefs and values are better and superior to others. Cultural relativism, on the other hand, describes the situation where people of a certain culture judge others' sense of right and wrong. This may result in disrespect and downplaying of other people's views and opinions.
Nonverbal cues: Sometimes, assumptions are often negative and they may lead to bias and hostility that could make communication difficult.
Ways to overcome communication barriers and improve intercultural communication skills
To eliminate these barriers, appreciation of other people's cultures and sensitivity to their views and opinions is essential. There are three ways people can improve their intercultural communication skills:
Learning other languages
According to Samovar, Porter, and Mac Daniel (2009), world societies have become more integrated, which makes it important for people to learn more than one language. This will help people learn other cultures' verbal and nonverbal communication. Samovar, Porter and MacDaniel also state that it will help reduce misunderstandings that arise from language barriers, as it provides more insight into other people's beliefs and emotions.
Disregarding cultural assumptions and stereotypes
Stereotypes and assumptions have to be abandoned as they are often false and…
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