Saturday, November 15, 2014

Communication and Culture

Communication is an important aspect of our lives. Without communication, nothing can be achieved. We use communication to express our feelings, wants, learn in our daily life. I work in a diverse environment with diverse group of children, families and colleagues. Everyone share unique cultures and it is important to be open-minded about our differences. Culture is an incredibly powerful context of communication: it has a profound effect on the way we perceive ourselves and the people around us (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012). There are colleagues who share similar culture with me and also majority who have different culture than me. I am aware of these differences and depending on the situation, I use the best mean of communication. According to O’Hair and Wienmann, “To communicate effectively and appropriately in today’s world, you must possess an understanding of and appreciation for people who perceive differently than you do” (2012).

I find myself communicating differently with different colleagues based on the culture. For an example, when communicating with my Asian colleague, I am more comfortable sharing my feelings and problems related to work as well as personal matters. It is because I am also Asian and we do have some common grounds, whereas when I communicate with my other colleagues, it is usually work related matters. Overall, I communicate effectively with all the colleagues. I personally find the following strategies most effective when communicating with people:

1.    Understand the other people’s cultural background and use appropriate usage of words and nonverbal communication cues. For an example, if you are communicating with people whose English is not their first language, then use simple words and talk slowly.
2.    Listen to the other person and understand what he or she is conveying instead of just sharing your opinions.
3.    Be mindful of choices of words when communicating with others, so we do not intentionally or intentionally hurt their feelings.

O’Hair, D. & Wiemann, M (2012) Real communication: An introduction 2nd ed. Boston, New York:  Bedford/St. Martins


  1. Hello Lhakpa,

    I like your attached quote about communication. It relates to the information in our text that also discusses that nonverbal cues are more important than verbal cues. Communication is intertwined with emotions and feelings, which is why a lot of what is said is misinterpreted and/or misunderstood. If you feel confident about what you know, then you are more likely to convey your message to others in a more acceptable manner than if you didn't feel confident about what you know. I also think being an effective and responsive listener is a key component to communicating more efficiently.

    Tabitha Abney

  2. I too think that our communication may be based upon commonality of culture or experience. I love the Jim Rohn quote I have read all of his books on leadership and have tried to incorporate his perspective in my communication style as well.

  3. Hi Lhapka,
    I, like you, feel more comfortable communicating with those that share my same culture. For some reason, I feel that they may understand what I am saying or how I am feeling in certain situations. I also liked your strategies for communicating effectively. Great Post!