3.1. UNDERSTANDING THE CULTURAL UNDERPINNINGS OF GLOBAL COMMUNICATION

A critical beginning point for global organizations and staff who work in them is to understand the powerful role culture plays in communication. From how close we stand and how loudly we speak to our orientations to time and relationships, we are influenced by the cultures that have shaped us and given us what Hofstede refers to as "software of the mind." Just as computers would be useless without their operating systems and other software, all humans are dependent on cultural programming to give us the rules for interacting with others. How long to pause, when to interrupt, how to disagree, what topics are appropriate, and how to address others are parts of our "automatic ...

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