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“How You See Me”: the Intersection of Culture and Interpersonal Communication

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The media involves the representation of various individuals and multiple groups. The premise behind thenotion of diversity places an emphasis on accepting and respect-ing differences by recognizing that no one group is superior,intrinsically or extrinsically, to the other. Forpurposes of this book and research presented here, diversity isdefined in a broad sense as categorizations or groupings that canbe based on race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, learning styles, nationality, and disability

A wide definition of diversity that includes race, ethnicity, gender, religion,learning styles and language, disability, geography (e.g., rural) isnecessary and vital in order to force thoughts beyond those simply concerning race and/or gender.

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While assessing one’s personal communications there are important questions that need to be asked. In their text, Communicating Effectively, Hybels and Weaver present several questions to ask. First ask which communication skills am I most likely to need? While one should strive to improve communication on all levels, individuals according to their needs and desires will be required to improve certain skills more. For example, an international banker may be required to be skilled at intrapersonal communication, interpersonal communication, small-group, intercultural, computer-mediated, and public communication. The need arises exist because they would constantly be interacting on every medium

Whereas, a mechanic in a small town would not be challenged everyday to participate in intercultural communication, but that is not to say that the need would never occur. After this is established one must ask, which communication skills am I most lacking? This question encourages individuals to consider where they need to improve. If the mechanic decides to begin an online auto parts store he must consider that improving his computer-mediated and intercultural communication need to be improved. Individuals should constantly assess their skills and see where they are lacking. Now that it is understood where improvement is needed one must find how to get communication practice. If the mechanic decides to join an online forum for international entrepreneurs he would be seeking practice for improving the skills of where he realizes a need for improvement. There are several ways through formal schooling, internet and even practicing at the mall to improve communication skills. If one needs extra practice they must find where to get help. This question goes hand and hand with seeking practice. When engaging people during practice, if one explains that they need help, they will find it. Through networking the possibility exist to engage in new forms of communication but also to ask for advice. Once all of these questions have been answered a realistic time table should be set. It is an outline to follow for improvement. The outline provides practical guidance for improvement even though one must consider improvement can only be attained through practice and improving communication skills never stops. In conclusion, everyday individuals communicate with one another. Whether it is verbal or non-verbal it is taking place. Because communication plays such a large role in our life it is imperative improve the skills that make it effective. Only through understanding the principles and misconceptions in effective interpersonal communications and knowing the barriers to effective interpersonal interactions. Along with the ability to assess one’s personal communications and improve their communication competencies; can we greatly increase our ability to effectively communicate. Even with these skills it is important to remember that learning and improvement is continues. We must use every day, every interaction as an opportunity to practice. In turn, this will stimulate happiness, effectiveness and satisfaction in our personal and professional life.

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Good communication between employees and employers is very important as of it depends the success of the business. However, despite companies’ efforts to outline rules in order to improve communication, there are still fields where misunderstandings arise (Kic-Drgas, 2015). Moreover, during the communication process, the sent messages are exposed to the influence of the decoder’s cultural interpretation. Therefore, when people from different cultures communicate, received message may be different from the one that was sent by the encoder, causing misunderstandings (Deresky, 2011). Further studies on this topic should consider reaching a wider number of employees, or even all, which is possible through internal email contacts, after required permissions. Obtaining responses from a broader sample would make possible to realize a deeper and more accurate analysis

Moreover, by contacting all of the company’s employees, a random sampling method would be used, improving survey results. Furthermore, in order to perform an in-depth study of the topic, more companies may be included in the research, preferably from the same industry and with a similar size, gathering more insights from a broader range of participants. This would allow to compare answers from different companies and assess the real impact of corporate culture on employees’ behavior and communication.

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In sum, today intercultural communication as a discipline includes more theories than ever before, an increasing focus on studying the intercultural in different contexts, and an increasing debate as to what is the ‘intercultural’

To this end, this essay presents an overview of the state of the intercultural communication discipline. The purpose of this essay is three fold: first, it reviews where we have been as a discipline; second it discusses where we are going as a discipline, with a focus on how researchers are increasingly borrowing constructs and theories from other disciplines; and third it identifies key issues, challenges, and opportunities in intercultural communication.

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Bryant, E., Marmo, J. & Ramirez, A., 2011. A functional approach to social networking sites.
In Wright, K. & Webb, L. (Eds.), Computer-mediated communication in personal relationships: 3-20. New York: Peter Lang

Deresky, H., 2011. International Management Across Borders and Cultures: Text and cases, Harlow: Pearson

Hall, E. & Hall, M., 1990.Understanding Cultural Differences, London: Intercultural Press

Kic-Drgas, J., 2015. Communication conflicts in an international environment. Global Management Journal, 7(1):73-80

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