How people communicate with one another varies wildly from culture to culture. I have had the fortunate opportunity to hold lectures, workshops, and consulting projects on this subject World Wide. Thinking proceeds from specific to general. The program uses a multidisciplinary approach to give students the skills needed to impact people through relief and development agencies, international government, church ministries, corporate relations and philanthropy, healthcare, project management, education or research. A one-week international practicum in El Salvador is included in the tuition. If the conversation partners do not have shared internalized understandings background information, customs and experiences and employ high context conversation, this can lead to mayor confusion and misunderstandings.
In developing a business relationship, it has to be understood that high-context cultures do not rely as much on written, or formal, information as low-context cultures. Verbal messages are explicit, and communication is seen as a way of exchanging information, ideas and opinions. These people find comfort in doing one. An ideal intercultural communicator is able to recognize examples of cultural differences in both verbal and nonverbal behaviors, and use that information to better communicate with others. How to add context to a virtual conversation Macduff makes the point about high-context communicators in online world needing to use more communication signals, to create the context of connection that is otherwise absent.
For example in a low context culture, successful project managers and the teams will be very clear with deadlines and deliverables, such as the 2 page summary report will be due on Tuesday at 1pm. High context communication cultures include China, Japan, Korea Italy, Greece, Spain, Russia, South America and Arab counties. Nonverbal behaviors are just as important as the words being used. High context implies that a lot of unspoken information is implicitly transferred during communication. Newcomers to high-context cultures may be viewed as suspicious.
Countries that fall into this categorization are Japan, , France, Spain, , and more. He argued that all peoples interpret and create messages in reference to shared information. You can leave certain things unspoken. Nonverbal and subtle behaviors are not considered when interpreting the message. What helps is asking how you can help your counter part in getting what they need. It comprises social elements such as customs, laws, dress style, architecture, literature, social standards and morals, religious beliefs, traditions, code of conduct, etc.
High-context communication tends to be more indirect and more formal. When employees from high and low context cultures work together there are often conflicts that happen when exchanging information like direction, quality and quantity. Differences can be derived from the extent to which meaning is transmitted through actual words used or implied by the context. It is a subconscious entity that exerts an invisible force or control over the people belonging to it. Decisions and activities focus around what needs to be done, division of responsibilities. China — and indeed most Asian cultures — is most definitely a high context culture.
One way to reach such an understanding is through the high and low context culture framework, developed by anthropologist. Moreover, the context is more important than words in these cultures. A full understanding of these differences will effectively improve both outward, client-focused communication as well as inter-business relationships. I think it is fair to say that experience also tells us that grand theories of human beings can lead us just as much down the stray path as no theories of human beings. Beckoning By beckoning palm up, it can be seen as offensive or a sexual invitation, hence beckoning is only done with the palm facing down.
This classification is an oversimplification, according to A. Another thing that is common in low context cultures are well written manuals. For example, in a high-context culture similarity is an important characteristic. Depending on the amount of information conveyed, cultures are classified as being high-context and low-context. Again, this is in relation to the level of familiarity that people within the respective cultures have with each other. When dealing with different cultures one myst be careful with interactions.
Similarly, Indian people speak in a loud and enthusiastic manner more so than Westerners and this can appear offensive. It depends on the actual words rather than the context. Here the behavior of the person is very casual as the members know each other have interactions for over years. This information includes values in the culture, which link members of the culture group and influence how they refer to their contexts when maintaining relationships. When Raymond enters the virtual arena, some of his high-context ways, simple words with deep meaning, relationship-based, community deference… can easily get lost. Low context implies that a lot of information is exchanged explicitly through the message itself and rarely is anything implicit or hidden. First of all, I will talk about the difference in how they talk.
Leave them at the end of this post! In low-context cultures, the opposite is true. High-Context Cultures A high-context culture relies on implicit communication and nonverbal cues. Be wary of this and ensure to not insult a high context speaker by emphasizing written agreements. Change is fast, and time is a commodity to be spent or saved. In an earlier post, I discussed what is and the difference with Collectivism. Otherwise check out the Resource page on this website: You do need to register for spam reasons.
To be an ideal intercultural communicator you must understand that there is not right way for a. Understanding whether your international colleagues are high context or low context will help you to adapt your communication style and build stronger relationships with them. In the end, both styles can be an effective way to communicate in the proper situation or context. As an individual and a professional, you should bear in mind that situations are becoming highly complex, constantly changing, and difficult to interpret for leaders. Hall 1976 came to the field of cross-cultural analysis from the discipline of anthropology.