Communication Barriers of Intercultural Communication

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What different cultures do you work with in the of your job What unique communication barriers arise from this intercultural interaction, and how do you deal with them

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Being in a job that has regional offices and deals with clients globally, it is inevitable to meet people of different culture. At work, there are bound to be colleagues of different gender, race, and nationality, including Indians, Chinese and Filipinos. Although the English language is considered a common language, people of different culture speak the language with their own accent. As such, it is sometimes difficult to decipher the words that are being said. The greetings that are expressed and the expressions that arise from situations differ greatly from people of different nationalities, age and even gender. Sometimes, gestures are also misinterpreted due to culture. Having worked with Filipinos for the first time, I thought it rude to be returned with raised eyebrows when greeting them. It turned out that it is their way of greeting people silently in their home country. It is also necessary to interact with international clients and communication barriers can arise due to accent, gestures and manner of doing businesses.
Thus, it is important to have communication between workmates in order to get to know each other better and become familiar with each other’s culture habits as this prevents from misinterpreting gestures and words. Besides this, learning to observe and respect the cultures can minimize conflict. Organizing events that will promote interaction can help improve the barriers that arise from cultures. Likewise, talking to clients will give us hints about their characters and habits. In addition, attending courses on intercultural communication is also useful in expanding knowledge on this issue.

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1. Milton Bennett (1998). Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication: Selected Readings.