How Culture Influences Communications.docx

How Culture Influences Communications.docx - How Culture...

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How Culture Influences Communications Introduction Culture and cultural perspectives have a direct and tangible impact on communications. This node will examine several cultural factors that can impact communications, including high- and low-context cultures and communication, perceptions of time, and how different cultures treat and demonstrate emotional states. Each of these can be a filter that may lead to confusion when encoding and decoding intercultural messages. Learning Materials Culture impacts communications in many ways, but there are three that are worth examining in detail here: High context versus low context Time (sequential versus synchronic) Emotions (on display or kept in the background) Cultural Context Cultures can be broken into two groups, high- and low-context. Think of them as existing along an arc or line with extremes on either end. Some cultures are purely high- or low-context, and others sit somewhere along the arc. Low-context cultures get down to business at the start, tend to value expertise, make detailed and specific agreements, and focus on efficient and structured communications. Agendas are common for meetings. High-context cultures are more focused on relationships. Trust and social relationships are paramount, and people tend to take their time building relationships accordingly. Negotiations and discussions tend to be slow and ritualistic, and agreements are based on trust rather than
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the words in a contract. In a low-context culture, the spoken word is dominant and
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