Part II—Culture-General Activities
Section B. Communication
Communication is a major concern in most businesses today. The ways people communicate
with one another affect an organization’s business relationships. It has been shown that, in gen-
eral, quality in relationships inspires quality in the workplace.
Just as culture shapes individuals, so it influences their communication styles, content, and pri-
orities. People are often not aware of barriers to effective communication when they go about
sending and receiving messages. Since one’s culture often determines one’s values, assumptions,
and perceptions, the way one person receives a message can be different than the way the sender
has intended it to be. It is often difficult to look at responses from points of view other than one’s
own; cultural differences of expression, context, and nonverbal expression further complicate the
This section provides a number of activities that contain useful models for identifying and
examining breakdowns in intercultural communications. It proposes strategies and tools for
avoiding or at least minimizing them, as well as processes for taking advantage of the resources
that can be uncovered when our meetings cross cultural lines.