Intercultural Communication? Definition, Importance, And Improvement

intercultural communication

 

What is communication?

Communication is an act of exchange of ideas, emotions, feelings, and opinions between two or more people.

This act involves a Sender, a receiver, and the message which has to be transformed from the sender to the receiver.

This process seems to be very simple but is not so easy and straightforward in real life.

Our emotions, feelings, opinions, cultural situation, and even our location tamper with the credibility of the message.

The receiver needs to receive the same message sent by the sender.

Any kind of discrepancy can lead to misunderstanding.

 

What is Intercultural Communication?

Intercultural Communication refers to an act of exchange of words, feelings, emotions, opinions between people of different cultures and social groups.

The plan behind any kind of Communication is to share information, and there is nothing different in Intercultural Communication.

In this kind of communication, you should have an idea about the language, rituals, customs, and practices of different religions and social groups.

Both Verbals and Non- Verbals are used in Intercultural Communication.

Inter means between, so intercultural communication means communication, which takes place between different cultures.

 

3 (Three) Elements of Intercultural Communication

1. Knowledge of Language and Culture

A total of 6,500 languages are spoken in the world.

When you initiate a conversation with people who belong to different cultures, you should have basic knowledge about their culture, practices, and rituals.

For striking a conversation, having knowledge of the language is a must, but to keep the conversation going, you should also have information about their culture.

When you are in the middle of a conversation, notice the non-Verbals too, it is the root of successful communication.

Communication comprises of both Verbals and Non- Verbals, ignoring even one of them can lead to ineffective communication.

 

2. Mediator in Intercultural Communication

Interaction between people of different cultures who speak different Languages is considered Intercultural Mediation.

What if you are not aware of the other person’s language, but having this conversation is very important for you.

For this purpose, Mediators and Translators come to the job.

Tourist Guides are the best example of Intercultural communication.

For example: If you have to establish your business in China, but you cannot speak Chinese. Here comes the role of a translator who will set up a conversation between people of different culture and help them communicate by translating for them what the other person is saying in the language which they are comfortable in.

 

3. Channels of Communication

1. Verbal mode of Communication

This mode of Communication is usually conscious.

Verbal communication is the language used while having a conversation between two or more people.

Sign language and Writing are also a part of Verbal Communication.

Every Communication is successful if whatever sender tries to convey is similarly interpreted by the receiver.

Usually, people bring their attitude, perception, emotions, and thoughts about the topic and hence creates a barrier in delivering the right meaning.

You should always keep the receiver in mind while having the conversation.

 

2. Non- Verbal mode of Communication

Communication is mostly of two types Verbal and Non-Verbal.

Gestures, Body language, are all part of Non- Verbal communication.

These can either be Intentional or Unintentional.

Non- verbal’s facilitates the process of Interpersonal communication to understand the intention of another person.

It is essential to notice both Verbal and Non- Verbal for successful Communication.

For example: when somebody is talking to you, and you start looking here and there, the other person will get an idea that you are not interested in the conversation.

Trembling of hands is an indication of Nervousness.



Steps for Successful Intercultural Communication

1. Have some knowledge beforehand about the language, culture, and rituals of the other person before striking a conversation.

2. You should also be aware of their general way of living, their history.

3. All this can influence their current behavior, and you should be prepared for it.

4. You should be sensitive about their Cultural Stereotypes.

 

Why is Intercultural Communication important?

Successful communication includes the compelling exchange of information and data.

As economies develop and turn out to be progressively interconnected, conveying across different countries turns out to be progressively significant.

In a severe business condition, intercultural communication permits the owners of the company to enhance the value of their companies and multiply their contacts.

Intercultural communication helps in building relationships across the world, and these relationships influence in expanding business over the globe.

 

How to improve communication in general

1. MAKE SURE YOUR MESSAGE IS CLEAR

While you are in the middle of a conversation, the utmost important point to keep in mind is that your message is clear and to the point.

Whatever you say should be clearly understood by the receiver. For example, if you are talking about an apple, then the receiver should get the message about an apple, not banana.

Use simple language and be straightforward to avoid any kind of misunderstanding.

Your communication will be complete if whatever you say is precisely the same interpreted by the receiver.

 

2. ASK FOR DOUBTS

Sometimes the receiver does not understand what you are trying to convey through your message.

At the end of the conversation, ask the receiver if he/she has understood what you have said, and if not, then you can repeat yourself.

If possible, ask your receiver to repeat what you have said so that you can get a clear idea if they have precisely interpreted your message or not.

This will make your conversation much more straightforward and will avoid any sort of misunderstanding.

 

3. MAKE EYE CONTACT

This is a significant point to be kept in mind while you are in the middle of any sort of conversation.

Making eye contact with your audience or even the person, you are speaking to show that you are attentive and confident.

This proves your credibility and shows that you care about your audience.

For example, you are in the middle of an interview, and you are not maintaining eye contact with the interviewer, you are looking here and there.

This will give your interviewer the impression that you are not serious about things and take them very lightly.

And now reverse the scenario, you are maintaining constant eye contact, have a confident tone and responding correctly, your interviewer will get a pleasing response from your side and hence your chances of selection will be increased.

 

4. PROPER BODY LANGUAGE

After eye contact, body language is the second most crucial factor.

Not just words, but your body moments also portray a lot about your personality.

Rubbing your hands, trembling voice are all signs of nervousness.

You also have to notice the body language of the receiver, to understand if they have understood your message or not.

If they shake their head or not, thumbs up or not are some signs that will help you understand.

If you are having a talk and your audience is yawing or dozing off, understand immediately that your audience is getting bored and try and improve automatically.

 

5. DEVELOP YOUR LISTENING SKILLS

When you have completed what you have said, listen to your receiver patiently.

Do not hurry! Do not think what to say next; concentrate on what your receiver has to say.

Try and listen to your receiver without any kind of judgment or any pre-saved notions about your receiver.

Both proper speaking and listening skills are required.

 

Summary

Intercultural Communication refers to an act of exchange of words, feelings, emotions, opinions between people of different cultures and social groups.

 

How to ensure successful Intercultural Communication

Have some knowledge beforehand about the language, culture, and rituals of the other person before striking a conversation.

You should also be aware of their general way of living, their history.

All this can influence their current behavior, and you should be prepared for it.

You should be sensitive about their Cultural Stereotypes.

Why is Intercultural Communication important?

Successful communication includes the compelling exchange of information and data.

As economies develop and turn out to be progressively interconnected, conveying across different countries turns out to be progressively significant.

In a severe business condition, intercultural communication permits the owners of the company to enhance the value of their companies and multiply their contacts.

 

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