Interpersonal Communication Essay

1450 words - 6 pages

Intercultural communication is something that we encounter on a daily basis. There are many people who come from different cultures, but there is one thing that will always be universal, which is communication. Forms of communication can be in many languages and interpreted differently. Communication can also be in forms of having no audible sounds, such as nonverbal communication or body language. The point of communication is to convey a message to a receiver in the most comprehensible way. With intercultural communication there are concepts that help us understand how certain cultures communicate with each other. These concepts are a type of generalization or categorization for the ways ...view middle of the document...

Cultures have certain orientations and concepts on how they act in everyday situations. Most cultures are unaware of their orientations because they believe that is just how things are supposed to be. Cultures that have conflict may not realize that their conflict is the dissimilarity of orientation and just assume the problem is the individual.
First the individualist and collective culture, in individualist cultures the emphasis is to teach the importance of individual success. To be successful means you must be a distinct individual that outshines the competition. Traits such as individual power and personal achievement are great examples. A person must strive to be the best, and work towards personal goals and benefits. In a simpler statement, individualistic cultures live by the notion that it is “survival of the fittest.” United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom are individualistic countries.
Collective cultures contrast the importance of individual success. Collective cultures emphasize the power of group success and working together to achieve goals. This culture tries to teach that you should work together as a unit, and your success is a contribution to one large achievement. With collective cultures, a person would most likely want to fit in and be similar to others. A few examples of collective countries are Columbia, China, and Peru.
Understanding that these cultures have different focuses can make the difference in communicating with someone who is self-driven for personal gain or someone who contributes and is a team player. For example: in relation to work and business, an individualist would focus on only his success and his job in order to achieve promotions. While collectivist would focus on making sure everyone is up to speed on their task.
Of course there are people who are not extreme individualist or extreme collectivist and have made their own middle orientation, in which they strive to stand out, but work helpfully and gladly with others. I myself am in this middle ground orientation in which I understand the emphasis on individual achievement but I rather be working together for our benefits. When you acknowledge the type of culture a person is from you will be able to act accordingly to enhance your communication.
Moving onto high and low context cultures, context refers to the information that is stated or known. High context cultures behave in such a way where much of the context is from the person. Past experiences and previous conversations convey assumptions and information which everyone should know and is usually not stated. Coming from an Asian family, I would believe that there are high context. There are instances where we have to know how someone is feeling by their actions. When a person is upset or sad, they do not say why they are acting that way but insist that we should already know.
In low context cultures, information that is shared must be stated or said verbally. High context...

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