Purposive Communication.docx

Play by play and use the outcome to respond with

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play-by-play and use the outcome to respond with confidence and a plan for the next step. Telling an angry client he failed to understand something and caused his own problem is always counterproductive; leave out the blaming, no matter how justified it may be, and provide a concrete solution instead. It’s been suggested that communication is 20% content and 80% tone of voice. Professional communication is all about establishing an appropriate tone. No one enjoys confrontation, but with the proper word choices and professional tone, nearly any subject can be effectively handled without offense or escalation. Fortunately, most workplace interaction is pleasant, brief, and non-threatening, and a businesslike approach helps maintain a positive and productive atmosphere that benefits everyone. B. Business leaders know that intercultural savvy is vitally important – not just because they have to deal increasingly with globalization, but also because the work force within their own national borders is growing more and more diverse. Culture is, basically, a set of shared values that a group of people holds. Such values affect how you think and act and, more importantly, the kind of criteria by which you judge others. Cultural meanings render some behaviors as normal and right and others strange or wrong. ( The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help – or Hurt – How You Lead devotes two chapters to the nonverbal aspects of cross-cultural communication, and in my next blog I’ll cover some of the body language nuances of global business meetings.) Every culture has rules that its members take for granted. Few of us are aware of our own biases because cultural imprinting is begun at a very early age. And while some of culture’s knowledge, rules, beliefs, values, phobias and anxieties are taught explicitly, most is absorbed subconsciously. Of course, we are all individuals, and no two people belonging to the same culture are guaranteed to respond in exactly the same way. However, generalizations are valid to the extent that they provide clues on what you will most likely encounter – and how those differences impact communication. Here are three such generalizations. Cultures are either high-context or low-context Every aspect of global communication is influenced by cultural differences. Even the choice of medium used to communicate may have cultural overtones. For example, it has been noted that industrialized nations rely heavily on electronic technology and emphasize written messages over oral or face-to-face communication. Certainly the United States, Canada, the UK and Germany exemplify this trend. But Japan, which has access to the latest technologies, still relies more on face-to-face communications than on the written mode. The determining factor in medium preference may not be the
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degree of industrialization, but rather whether the country falls into a high- context or low-context culture.
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  • Fall '16
  • Jeff Smith

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