What is Communication

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Transcript What is Communication

Cross-cultural Communication
Facilitators and Barriers
by Anamika Viswanathan
What is Communication – components, channels, receiving
Noise in Communication
Understanding Culture
What is Cultural Intelligence
Developing Cross-Cultural Competence
Brand Communication and Cultural Competence
Suggested framework for interacting with a new culture
Handling cross-cultural conference calls
Psyconnections, March 2010
What is Communication
WHO says WHAT to WHOM with what PURPOSE in which
SITUATION by WHAT MEANS and through what CHANNEL with
what EFFECT, Harold Laswell
Besides transmission (process), there is exchange and production of
meanings (semiotic)
Apart from the message and medium, context plays a vital part too
Psyconnections, March 2010
Components of Communication
“Spoken word”
Tone (38%)
NVC (55%)
Non-verbal behaviours are more emphasised in high-context
Psyconnections, March 2010
Channels of Communication
Verbal – Words, clauses, sentences
Prosodic – Intonation, rhythm, pauses
Paralinguistic – Ummm, ah, cry, whine, yawn
Kinesics – Face, head, body, posture and gesture
Standing features of interaction – Orientation, clothes, adornment
and appearance
Proxemics – How space is used i.e intimate distance, personal
distance, social distance, public distance (Hall)
Touch – How it is used to signal intensity (France & Mayo; Heslin
and Alper)
Ellis and Beattie, The Psychology of Language and Communication
Psyconnections, March 2010
Receiving Communication
The receiver perceives the message through five senses and ‘Cone
of experience’ ranging from direct experience to indirect
experience (Edgar Dale)
Experiential levels of reality: Barber (2000)
o Physical/ Sensory
o Social/ Cultural
o Emotional/ Transferential
o Imaginative/ Projective
o Transpersonal/ Intuitive
Psyconnections, March 2010
Noise in Communication
Semantic Noise: different interpretations of words and
abbreviations like grass, LOL
Syntactical Noise: caused by grammatical intricacies or errors i.e
You don’t not want to be doing that.
Cultural Noise: caused by stereotypes i.e be loud and casual with
Americans or laid back with French
Organisational Noise: ill-structured, ambiguous communication not
sent through proper channels
Techno Noise: caused by inability to use certain new age
communication tools
Information overload: too much information packed together
Psychological Noise: loaded words, high-strung emotions or
psychiatric conditions
Physiological-Impairment Noise: deafness and blindness
Ambient noise: drilling, road works, loudspeakers
Psyconnections, March 2010
Understanding Culture
Hofstede(1980, 1985, 1990) defines it as mental programming for
people within a nation, ‘software’ of the mind
Reflects a set of imperfectly shared rules for
meanings and behaviour
A country may have several cultural subsets
Five characteristics of culture:
Power distance
Uncertainty avoidance
Individualism vs. Collectivism
Masculinity vs. feminity
Long vs. short term orientation
Psyconnections, March 2010
What is Cultural Intelligence
A person’s capability for successful adaptation to new cultural
settings, that is, for unfamiliar settings attributable to cultural
context. Earley & Ang, 2003.
o Cognitive - Create new conceptualisations of culture-specific
o Motivational – Engage with others in a new setting, feel enthused
to find out more
o Behavioural elements – Respond to show effective adaptation to
cultural circumstance
Psyconnections, March 2010
Developing Cross-Cultural Competency
Cultural competence is dynamic and requires frequent learning and
Learning new patterns of behaviour and effectively applying them in
appropriate settings to increase the quality of services to produce
better outcomes (David and Donald, 1997)
Cross-cultural training events were first commissioned by the
US govt in 1960s
Caters to various learning styles – classroom, theoretical or
Psyconnections, March 2010
Brand Communication and Cultural
Brand Communication
A - Grab Attention
I - Evoke Interest
D- Prompt Decision
A- Propel Action
Cultural Competency
A – Focus Attention on available knowledge
I – Be Interested in the cultural context
D- Decide on appropriate course of action
A- Act to interact with the cultural context
Psyconnections, March 2010
Interacting with a new culture
1. Understand cultural values
Deploy research, talk to friends and relatives, even sample the
cuisine before hand
2. Present yourself appropriately
Be sensitive to the acceptable dress code
3. Matching gestures would signal conformity and further enhance
comfort levels.
4. Active listening and observing opens up a wealth of
verbal and non-verbal cues and helps with rapport-building.
Psyconnections, March 2010
Interacting with a new culture (contd)
5. Being flexible/ adaptive - going with the host’s plans denotes
appreciation and gratitude to the host to have planned the itinerary
and made arrangements
6. Language proficiency/ aid helps
International English spoken slowly and clearly can be followed in
most parts of the world.
If effort is made to learn some essential words, it will be perceived
as going the extra mile to forge a bond.
7. Use non-verbal communication
Show appreciation with a gesture
Motivate the team with give-aways or dinner
Beat the beat gestures
Psyconnections, March 2010
Interacting with a new culture (contd)
8. Yes, no and sorry
Use widely understood words/gestures. People across the globe
are able to decode basic facial expressions universally as the
emotion related to those are the same, Paul Ekman
9. Consciously avoid stereotyping
We all live a story, read other people’s stories …the truth is far
from these stories. Don Miguel Ruiz, The Voice of Knowledge
Psyconnections, March 2010
Handling cross-cultural conference
You can pick from the vast database of tonality. Research in
paralanguage focuses on three broad voice characteristics – voice
quality, vocalisation and vocal qualifiers (Victor 1992).
• Voice quality gives cues on agility, articulation, resonance and
power (Appleman, 1967). Also whether the person is under the
• Volume denotes motivation/ enthusiasm i.e bright and upbeat, low
and reticent. Confidence vs. arrogance
• Accent - natural or acquired
Psyconnections, March 2010
Handling cross-cultural conference
• Pace could denote excitement levels, hurry or confusion
• Pauses, filler non-words or sounds like ummm, you know, like,
clicking the tongue could denote giving time to others in some
cultures while in some they would convey lack of substance. In high
context cultures, silence is preferred to conversations. Turn taking
and talking pace is also dictated by the cultural context
• Ambient noises and their impact on the call i.e phones ringing,
voices calling out. Techno noise, Information overload
Psyconnections, March 2010
The Learning Cycle
Unconscious Competent
Conscious Competent
Conscious Incompetent
Unconscious Incompetent
S. Benton, Business Psychology Centre
Psyconnections, March 2010
Focus on being authentic, not just accurate
You can’t direct the wind but you can adjust your
Thank you
Psyconnections, March 2010
Contact details –
Anamika Viswanathan
[email protected]
Psyconnections, March 2010