Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Multicultural Communication

Hi everyone! How is everything going? Time is again running so fast. We are already in the middle of week 2! I can already see the midterms around the corner... However, I'm really enjoying all my subjects this time! Yes, even accounting! Yesterday I had a great lecture in my Business Communication class about multicultural communication and I thought about sharing some of it here. One of the reasons I came to New York is because of its international atmosphere. Being surrounded by so many different cultures makes me feel like if I was traveling all the time. However, interacting with people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds is not always that easy. Especially when it comes to communication patterns. That's why I think it's very important for a business student to take that class, because in today's environment it's more than likely that you will have to deal with someone who doesn't speak your language, who has a different culture and a different value system.

The book that we are using in that class is "Business Communication" by Krizan, Merrier, Logan and Williams. I'm enjoying reading it as much as the lectures we have with the professor, but I'm especially interested in chapter 2, Multicultural and Global Communication. We have learned that the most important goal of any communication process is that the receiver understands the message delivered by the sender in the same way the sender intended it to be understood. Nevertheless, when communicating to different cultures, there are many factors that can change the meaning that the sender might not notice. For any communication process, it is important to start by reviewing the business communication principles and understanding the goals to achieve. In the case of a multicultural business environment,  the book I just mentioned suggests three basic guidelines to achieve a successful communication process. 


In order to have a successful communication process between different cultures, the sender must understand her or his own culture first. Not only the communication patterns of the culture, but also how others perceive this particular culture. The second step is to keep an open mind and respect diversity. It is essential to understand that the values and principles in our own culture, are not the only valid ones. To be able to understand how communication works in other cultures, the sender must have an open mind and be willing to accept the differences. Finally, the sender has to identify and adapt to language differences. He or she should learn as much as possible about the other culture's language. If the communication process is going to be in English, it is also important that the sender understands that a non English speaking culture will have it more difficult to understand, and should use English as simple as possible. 

If you are interested about it, I really recommend you to attend this class. I think communication is one of the essential parts of business, and in just two weeks I feel like I've learned a lot. If it's not possible, then I really recommend to read books about it (the one I mentioned is really good!). I'm also taking a course that is quite related to this one, it's called Public Speaking, which I'm sure I will talk about soon. I hope you are all doing well, see you soon!

2 comments:

  1. Jose, did you know that Berkeley College is starting an International Business Club? Actually, we are trying to get it off the ground. Any interest in joining and/or giving any ideas on how to get students to buy in?

    Let me know. Madeline Dielmann, Dir., Bus. Dev.
    mnd@berkeleycollege.edu

    PS check out the Career Services Blog at:
    Berkeleycollegecareerservices.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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