The way in which we learn to do things is called culture. It is also a set of beliefs or values upheld by a group of people. Such values affect ways of thinking and acting of the people (Crowley &Heyer, 2015). They also influence the kind of benchmark used to judge others. Culture has great importance in understanding communication. By Understanding the way of life of the people you can help in delivering the message correctly. It helps to clear confusions in the conversation. Awareness of our culture is essential since it avoids us from projecting our values to other people. For instance, in some cultures, a raised voice or a simple eye gesture is disrespect while in others it is just a simple speaking.
Explain how understanding and assessing culture can improve your own communication. Describe your own culture and share with us what makes you who you are. Your culture can be related to your race, ethnicity, gender, age, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, media preferences, hobbies, religion, etc. Try not to focus on just one of these aspects of yourself, but instead utilize as many cultural elements as possible. Think about both style (how you speak) and content (what interests you).
Being aware of one's culture is the foremost step to achieving successful intercultural communication (Crowley &Heyer, 2015). It is essential to know how you are communicating. That is, whether you are direct or indirect, whether you agree with your listeners before making a statement or if you use gestures. When trying to solve an issue with people from other cultures, you need to have a good understanding of their culture. You need to find out the ideas of other people and give your own opinion. This finding helps you to have knowledge of how their views could be related to their culture and hence you can create a better solution considering both your way of life and theirs. My culture as a British citizen has also significantly affected my relations with people and my life in general. I do everything including language and sports the British way. Despite the tropical weather, men in my culture wear jackets and tie, both during day and night. Dishes are also British. We also value politeness, love, protocol and aesthetics as core values of life. Our way of life has played an enormous role in developing my life perspective (Gudykunst, Ting-Toomey & Chua, 1988).
The value of voicing and speaking my opinion has to be emphasised when am dealing with different people. That is not as much value placed on listening and observing. Through understanding different cultures, I have been able to communicate effectively with diverse communities and groups. My ability has been positively affected through nonverbal communication, observation of personal space and the purpose of tonal variation while speaking. In conclusion, every aspect of peoples' lives is affected by culture. It determines how you spend time, how you spend physical space and all your perspectives about the world through your senses. You take aspects of culture with you when interacting with people. Curiosity about other peoples' way of life is the best way to improve our intercultural communications.
Crowley, D., &Heyer, P. (2015).Communication in history: Technology, culture, society. Routledge.
Gudykunst, W. B., Ting-Toomey, S., & Chua, E. (1988). Culture and interpersonal communication. Sage Publications, Inc.
Samovar, L. A., Porter, R. E., McDaniel, E. R., & Roy, C. S. (2015). Communication between cultures.Nelson Education.
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