IMPORTANCE OF CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNICATIONS

C. Gibaldi

Harvard & St. John's University (UNITED STATES)
Given different cultural contexts, this brings new communication challenges to the workplace – whether it be for profit or not. Even when employees located in different locations or offices speak the same language (individuals in the US speaking to individuals in the UK), there are some cultural differences that should be considered in an effort to optimize communications between the two parties.

Effective communication strategy begins with the understanding that the sender of the message and the receiver of the message are from different cultures and backgrounds. Of course, this introduces a certain amount of uncertainty, making communications even more complex.

Without necessarily discussing cultures and subcultures, it is perhaps most important for people to realize that a basic understanding of cultural diversity is the key to effective cross-cultural communications. Without necessarily studying individual cultures and languages in detail, we must all learn how to better communicate with individuals and groups whose first language, or language of choice, does not match our own.

This paper will address how one can and must develop awareness of individual cultures by taking specific actions and employing certain strategies. The actions and strategies addressed will be of value to people at all levels and within all types of institutions/organizations.