DISCUSS WHAT BARRIERS EXIST IN COMMUNICATION BETWEEN VARIOUS CULTURES AS WELL AS WHAT STEPS CAN BE TAKEN TO ALLEVIATE THESE BARRIERS The world is culturally diverse. On a day to day basis, people will come in contact

DISCUSS WHAT BARRIERS EXIST IN COMMUNICATION BETWEEN VARIOUS

CULTURES AS WELL AS WHAT STEPS CAN BE TAKEN TO ALLEVIATE THESE

BARRIERS

The world is culturally diverse. On a day to day basis, people will come in contact

with people from different race, nationality, and religion, which is why communication is so

important. Communication is the most valuable skill a person can possess. It could also be

beneficial as it can function as a way to stay ahead in the world. However, when people come

together from different cultures of the world, it could raise some challenging issues as well as

put them in uncomfortable situations. Cultures give people a sense of belonging as it also

provides people with a way a viewing, hearing, and interpreting the world. So when a person

from America interacts with a person from India, it would be difficult to communicate with each

other person simply because their upbringing is different which could cause a difference in views

and beliefs. The way a person from America communicates may have a different meaning for a

person from India, China, or Nigeria. Speaking is not the only form of communication; it could

also include gestures, eye contact, body language, personal space, timing, tone, and facial

expressions. In America, it is normal for people to display public affection by hugging, kissing,

or holding hands. In other countries or cultures, it is meant to be done in private. Not respecting

other cultures or their way of living could cause some cultural barriers. A person’s values,

etiquette, religion, body language, tone, or even gender expectations could also cause some

cultural barriers in communication as well as cognitive constraints, behavioral constraints, and

emotional constraints.

In communication, the most common cultural barrier is cognitive constraint. Cognitive

constraints “are the frames of reference or world views that provide a backdrop that all new

information is compared to or inserted into” (Conflict Research Consortium, 1998). The way

people viewed the world is based on their culture. The knowledge and perception a person has

about the world is based on what school they have attended, the area a person has lived in, or

even what church they have attended.

The second most common barrier is behavioral constraint. Behavioral constraints are

the ways a person react or behave in different cultures. An example of this, in Arabian cultures,

people will often speak their minds without a care as to how people feel. This is typical behavior

for them. However, in the United States, some people speak their minds as well, but they have to

practice being polite and having restraints.

The final cultural barrier is emotional constraints. Every culture has its restrictions about

how emotional a person can be. Some cultures, people are open with their emotions while others

are more reserved about their emotions. This could misconstrue as a sign of weakness, hence the

cultural barrier.

It is easy to run from or avoid cultural barriers but it is not always the best case. In order

to alleviate these cultural barriers and have great communication with people with different

cultures is first always show respect for one another. What a person feels about a certain

cultures may not be the same as how others feel, but respect. Next, researching cultures are

always helpful as it will increase a person’s knowledge about the culture and it will help them

interact with that person. Ask open-ended questions and listen as this is the key to an effective

communication process. Be sure to not over step boundaries as it could cause an awkward and

uncomfortable situation.

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