~Paul J. Meyer
Why is intercultural communication important in the business world?
Read the text:
Importance of Intercultural Communication in Business
By Zachary Fenell, eHow Contributor
Culture encompasses a particular social group?s accepted beliefs and behaviors. An increase in international business, caused by more efficient transportation and advanced communication technology, has led to an increased need for effective intercultural communication, also called global communication.
Effective intercultural communication helps to eliminate communication obstacles like language barriers and stereotypes from international business. Effective global communication can be achieved through learning about other cultures and implementing communication strategies such as reflective listening and being open-minded.
The need for effective intercultural communication can be found in all aspects of a business, from internal communication to marketing and advertising. Effective global communication allows workers from different cultures to work together as a group. Additionally, poor translations in marketing and advertising can lead to poor sales internationally.
Not practicing effective intercultural communication can lead to accidentally offending another individual. According to the Diplo Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving diplomacy between cultures, the consequences for such an accident can range from an embarrassing moment to the collapse of an entire business deal.
Read more: Importance of Intercultural Communication in Business | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_6933179_importance-intercultural-communication-business.html#ixzz2M0lgSGIT
Answer the questions:
What other term for intercultural communication is mentioned in the text?
What does effective intercultural communication help to eliminate?
How can effective intercultural communication be achieved?
LANGUAGE FOCUS 1 ? VOCABULARY PRACTICE
|1 encompass.||to make someone upset or angry|
|2 an obstacle||to fall down suddenly because of pressure or having no strength or support|
|3 to implement||to include, especially different types of things|
|4 to offend||to put a plan or system into operation|
|5 to collapse||something that blocks you so that movement, going forward or action are prevented or made more difficult|
encompass – to include, especially different types of things
an obstacle – something that blocks you so that movement, going forward or action are prevented or made more difficult
to implement – to put a plan or system into operation
to offend – to make someone upset or angry
to collapse – to fall down suddenly because of pressure or having no strength or support
Exercise 2 – Complete the sentences below with the words from the previous exercise. Some of the words have to be put in a correct grammar form.
1. The changes to the national health system will be next year.
2. I think she was a bit that she hadn’t been invited to the party.
3. This decision has removed the last to the hostages' release.
4. The festival is to everything from music, theatre and ballet to literature, cinema and the visual arts.
5. Thousands of buildings in the earthquake.
1. The changes to the national health system will be implemented next year.
2. I think she was a bit offended that she hadn’t been invited to the party.
3. This decision has removed the last obstacle to the hostages' release.
4. The festival is to encompass everything from music, theatre and ballet to literature, cinema and the visual arts.
5. Thousands of buildings collapsed in the earthquake.
LANGUAGE FOCUS 2 ? USEFUL EXPRESSIONS
In the text find an expression that could be useful while adding something to your opinion.
ADDITIONALLY is an adverb that can have a meaning of furthermore, together with or in addition to.
Look at the expressions in the box. Order them in a proper column.
|including / plus /at the same time / also / more than that
too / likewise / and / accompanying / side by side
|FURTHERMORE||IN ADDITION TO||TOGETHER WITH|
|FURTHERMORE||IN ADDITION TO||TOGETHER WITH|
Rewrite the sentences using the word ?additionally?.
1. The birds are protected in the reserves at Birsay.
2. The maintenance programme will seek to keep sites graffiti-free.
3. Over 3,000 products are available from the company’s interactive online stores.
4. You can pay bills over the Internet. You can check your balance or order statements.
5. He will sign a personal guarantee to secure the loan.
1. The birds are additionally protected in the reserves at Birsay.
2. The maintenance programme will additionally seek to keep sites graffiti-free.
3. Additionally, over 3,000 products are available from the company’s interactive online stores.
4. You can pay bills over the Internet. Additionally, you can check your balance or order statements.
5. He will sign a personal guarantee to additionally secure the loan.
SIX BARRIERS TO INTERCULTURAL COMUNICATION
Read the text.
Americans tend to have an ethnocentric perspective on language that, according to Dr. Sue Easton of the Rollins College Communication Department, leads them to view English as a universal language. Because many cultures around the globe speak English, Americans may forget that some businesses conduct transactions in other languages or that some individuals don’t understand English. According to Dr. Easton, a presumption that other cultures spoke English and observed common American practices led to a failure of American foreign ventures in the mid-20th century, though extensive education on intercultural communication has helped reduce this assumption.
Jargon and Slang
Each culture, even regional cultures within a larger culture, develops unique sets of jargon and slang. Though members of that culture may find these words commonplace and use them with abandon, newcomers to the culture may misunderstand the meanings behind them or fail to understand them altogether. In addition, some slang words appropriate for use in one culture may carry strong connotations in another, as explained in the publication „Diversity in the Workplace,” so intercultural communicators should limit use of jargon and slang words or phrases.
Different cultures can take significantly different approaches to personal space, and a lack of cultural understanding can make some individuals uncomfortable and insult others. While Western culture prefers an arm’s length of physical personal space while communicating, according to a 2006 article in the „Journal of Applied Social Psychology,” people from some Latin and Middle Eastern cultures stand considerably closer together when speaking. To a Westerner, this personal space violation can lead to discomfort, and the communicator may view a resulting step away as a sign of distrust.
Human nature, according to an intercultural communication article on the practical advice website Sideroad.com, can lead one to make assumptions about other people; some cultures use stereotypical images to reaffirm these assumptions. Though some stereotypes may stem from factual observations, many build on personal beliefs and fears that individuals may hold. To communicate effectively across cultural boundaries, communicators must put stereotypes and assumptions aside.
In the United States, communicators tend to maintain direct eye contact with others during one-on-one communication, and make sporadic eye contact with an audience when communicating with large groups. Though direct eye contact may symbolize respect in Western cultures, according to the communications book „Intercultural Communication: A Reader,” other cultures view it differently. Native American and some Eastern cultures, for example, consider direct eye contact disrespectful, and a failure to understand these cultural norms regarding eye contact can create significant intercultural communication obstacles.
Different cultures maintain markedly different approaches to time, and communicators who don’t understand a culture’s time orientation may experience difficulty building relationships in that culture. Though Americans view time as a commodity, other cultures take a much more lax approach to the subject; some Latin cultures, for example, expect parties to be as much as 30 minutes late when conducting business. Communicators from a culture that views time as a commodity must refrain from becoming upset when a party from another culture arrives late, as the late communicator may view such frustration as insensitive, demanding and offensive.
Source Six Barriers to Intercultural Communication | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6303080_six-barriers-intercultural-communication.html#ixzz2M5s8R7a9
Answer the following questions:
- What is ethnocentricity?
- How appropriate is it to use jargon and slang in intercultural business communication?
- What different approaches to personal space are taken by different cultures?
- Do national stereotypes play a role in intercultural communication?
- How different cultures understand the direct eye contact?
- What is an approach to time in different cultures?
- What does it mean that Americans treat time as a commodity?
Output 1 ? A meeting
You are an HR Manager in an international advertising company. Your headquarters are in the United States but you work in a local office in Spain. Your company cooperate with partners and clients from all over the world.
Recently your company has lost an important Client due to some misunderstandings in communication.
Organize a meeting with the members of Sales Department that is responsible for losing the Client. During the meeting discuss the following issues:
reasons why such a situation took place,
ways of preventing such situations in the future,
think of rules that all employees should obey in order to avoid such situations in the future.
Output 2 ? writing exercise
Write a meeting report in which you describe the issues discussed in the meeting.