There exist numerous mechanisms in which cultural diversity and working experience affect interpersonal communication between two individuals in a business setup. It is a logical fact that individuals in a business setup will exhibit numerous diversities with respect to culture. Evaluating the perceived impact of cultural differences on communication between, say two employees will necessitate an analysis of the major aspects of culture that affect communication (Sept, 1991, p. 17). It is important in this aspect to understand that both culture and communication are social aspects. Therefore, it is perceived that there will be a mix up in between the two aspects. Fundamentally, language is one particular factor that determines the success and nature of communication between the individuals involved (Ting-Toomey, et al., 1991, pp. 275-296).
Essentially, language happens to be one of the factors that depict an individual’s culture. Therefore, each person will tend to communicate with respect to the cultural manifestation in the language of communication. In case one does not fully understand the essentials of the other culture, misunderstandings are bound to occur. Take for instance, the influence of culture in the way people talk and interpret English. The two individuals might be communicating about a common subject, but the cultural impacts on their perceptions of language will totally confuse the meaning of the intended statement. Culture and communication cannot be separated. It is a logical fact that interpersonal communication requires a message, channel, context, and a feedback. All these factors have their share of impact from an individual’s culture.
Good communication requires excellent quality from all the fundamental aspects of communication named above. The cultural context of these aspects promotes their development in the direction of that particular culture. This means that people belonging to a common culture will find it easier to communicate as opposed to those emanating from diverse cultural backgrounds (Martin & Nakayama, 1999, pp. 1-25). Additionally, interpersonal communication is a dynamic process that is learnt, so is culture. Having these two social prospects bred on the same person will most probably create a perfect mixture of the two (culture and communication). Therefore, having two different people bred from divergent configurations of culture and communication affects the quality of the resultant interaction.
Fundamentally, each culture can be subdivided into co-cultures with a further classification with respect to ethnic and social orientations. This further widens the scope of influence culture has on the way we communicate and perceive messages. For an individual to perfectly fit in such a group in terms of communication, he/she has to adapt the relevant behavioral interceptions that shape their instincts in communication. Orientation and cultural contexts are additional spheres that determine the extent of impact culture has on interpersonal communication. There are individuals who prefer non-verbal communication. On the other hand, there exists diversity in meaning with respect to non-verbal communication in each culture. An individual trying to communicate using a non-verbal cue that signifies something totally different with the perception of the same sign in the other culture will automatically distort the objectified aim of the process (Singelis, 1995, pp. 354-389). Therefore, culture is learned by communication, after which the development of a good communication system shapes culture. It means that the two are co-related in perfect proportions but limits the propagation of this relationship across cultures. It is exactly how diversity in culture affects interpersonal communication in business and organizational interaction zones.
On the other hand, working experience also affects interpersonal communication between individuals within a business environment. For effective communication, the two individuals have to display or exhibit equal knowledge of the subject they are talking about. This is one of the factors that shape the fundamental aspects of communication already mentioned above. It is important that every individual in the chain of communication to understand all the aspects of communication and know how the subject is propagated from the sender to the recipient. Working experience creates a gradient that negatively affects the success and quality of interpersonal communication (Burleson, 2003, pp. 1-23). For instance, a manager communicating to a subordinate in managerial terms that are beyond the individual’s scope would completely paralyze the communication between the two individuals.
Take another example of a worker with good experience on the manner in which a certain production process is to be carried out explaining the overall concept to a new employee using unique terms will most probably leave the recruit hanging and getting nothing out of the communication. In this context, lack of experience or the presence of it from the sender inconveniences the relaying of information and its perception at the other end of the communication chain. In this context, there must be a perfect match of experience between two individuals to ensure good and quality communication is held. In fact, it is important for the messenger to relay information that can be understood by the recipient. When matters of experience are put into consideration, the lack of it greatly harms the communication process. Logically speaking, there are numerous avenues that interpersonal communication manifests, its quality and success in each setup requires the smallest possible gradient with respect to working experience.
Additionally, experience with respect to communication shapes the quality of interpersonal; communication. For instance, an American who speaks English as his native language will most probably have a lot of experience in the language as compared to an African who learns it at a later stage in life. Communication between these two individuals will be paralyzed as a result of the experience gradient (Ruben & Kealey, 1979, pp. 15-47). Moreover, a teacher who has taught sign language for about ten years or more will have more experience in non-verbal cues than a first time students who enrolls in her school to learn sign language. The teacher can try to communicate in a manner that is completely strange to the students.
It also proves that experience is a great aspect of language that affects the quality of interpersonal communication.
In conclusion, the impact of diversity of culture and work experience is felt in the contemporary social arena of interaction to different extents. It is important to note that, the extent of the impact with respect to each factor is determined by the gap and how diverse the aspects are. For instance, the more entrenched an individual is with respect to his/her culture, the more it hinders communication between the individual and others from different cultures. Additionally, the wider the experience gradient between the two individuals, the harder it is for them to communicate. Conclusively, language is a dynamic aspect of interaction and is affected to different extents by each aspect of life that shapes the social viability of an individual.
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Ruben, B. D., & Kealey, D. J. (1979). Behavioral assessment of communication competency and the prediction of cross-cultural adaptation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 3(1) , 15-47.
Sept, R. (1991). Culture and Interpersonal Communication. Canadian Journal of Communication, 16(1) , 17.
Singelis, T. M. (1995). Culture, self, and collectivist communication linking culture to individual behavior. Human Communication Research, 21(3) , 354-389.
Ting-Toomey, S., Gao, G., Trubisky, P., Yang, Z., Kim, H. S., Lin, S. L., et al. (1991). Culture, face maintenance, and styles of handling interpersonal conflict: A study in five cultures. International Journal of conflict management, 2(4) , 275-296.