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western communication style

With direct communication, there is less risk of misunderstanding, but more risk of surprising or offending the receiver. It is assumed that high- / low-context communication and the dimensions of individualism and collectivism are “isomorphic”22, i.e. The last two, especially the German one, are low context cultures, i.e. Using titles, honorifics etc is avoided. While German and British negotiators use a distributive or instrumental one, Americans employ a problem-solving approach71. Studies in International Communication. Due to different systems of pausing between turns, the Athabaskan would reply later than the English expects. Western cultures are basically interested in a short or medium term relationship. Enninger found out that Old Order Amish people are very tolerant concerning non- phonation. In conclusion we can say that negotiations in the above mentioned western cultures seem to proceed differently. The hierarchies are flat with a decentralised organisation and a small number of supervisors who are expected to be accessible to their subordinates. It is at least as important to be aware of how language is used in another culture and to see through the culturally specific patterns of communication. ), (1983) , p. 35, 51 Gudykunst, W.B., Ting-Toomey, S. (1988), p. 112, 52 Gudykunst, W.B., Ting-Toomey, S. (1988), p. 113, 54 Bruneau, T.J. in: Mortensen, C.D. /Ting-Toomey, S. “Culture and interpersonal communication”, Newbury Park 1988, Gudykunst, W.B. People often confuse assertiveness with aggression, because it involves sticking up for yourself. It can be frustrating for speakers in cultures where direct communication is the norm to interact with speakers in or from cultures that use indirect communication. Hall/Hall use a similar terminology calling culture “a shared programme for behaviour” and comparing it with “a giant, complex computer; one has to know how the system works to lead a satisfactory life”4. In times of globalisation, the global village and the Internet, the aspect of intercultural communication becomes more and more important. In countries with high power distance employees are too afraid to express their doubts and disagreement with their bosses. The contextual style is heavily based on a hierarchical social order and is a rather role-centred language. Everybody has the ability to sleep, eat, move etc2. So everyone is considered as an individual with individual talents and goals and “the ties between individuals are loose.”19. If he uses the push-mode, i.e. The meeting described above also reveals another pattern in Asian negotiation strategies. Once one has learned how the system works, (s)he is likely to be able “to control one’s environment, at least to a partial extent”5. The message is clearly spoken out with precise words and there is generally no need to use additional words etc. Assumptions on values and a “set of deep-rooted historical-political logics” are decisive elements for the choice of one of these two dimensions.35. High context cultures have widely shared socio-cultural assumptions and therefore they do not have to verbalise as much as low-context cultures. The receiver might therefore conclude that what the source is urging is good for „our kind of people,“ and thus change his attitude accordingly.“, 70 Campbell, N.C.G., Graham, J., Jolibert, A., Meissner, H., p. 53, 71 Campbell defines the problem-solving approach „as a set of negotiation behaviours that are co-operative, integrative and information-exchange-orientated.“, - Publication as eBook and book Campbell investigated “the influence of the similarity of negotiators (...) on bargaining strategies (...) and negotiation outcomes (...)”68: Even if the negotiations, on which the data is based, were not conducted by businessmen of different cultures but by persons of the same nationality, a comparison reveals differences in negotiation patterns. Subordinates and superiors consider each other more or less as equal even if there are differences in the educational level. This fact is also reflected in their style of speaking. (ed.) In the last chapter we investigated differences in negotiation behaviours. 3.3 Uncertainty avoidance We learned that Asian, in contrast to members of western cultures, are rather interested in long term relationships. But knowing the cultural background of a person helps understanding and, to some extent, predicting likely (re)actions. (ed.) with people having the same cultural background, without great disturbances. “Group membership shifts and people move from group to group, without much recognition of those left behind in the earlier groups.”16, Members of individualistic cultures “are supposed to look after themselves and their immediate family only (...)”17. - It only takes five minutes North Americans for example prefer a first-name basis and direct address. But throughout our socialisation process we learn patterns of thinking, feeling and potential acting from our environment, i.e. (1979), p. 307, 57 Wiemann, J., Knapp, M. in: Mortensen (1979), pp. They can be relatively short but despite that they can be considered as one kind of interactive silence59. (1983), pp. Of course members of the same culture do not all and always (re)act in the same way and (re)actions are not entirely predictable due to individual personalities. In contrast the English speaker could assume that the Athabaskan is not interested in his opinion or, even worse, that he is not able to follow him intellectually. if he acts offensively and openly, it can be viewed as aggressive and face threatening since formality is not kept. As we have said, the contextual verbal style is used collectivistic, high-context cultures like Singapore. To Western listeners using mainly the exacting style, the elaborate style may sound exaggerated or even extreme, radical and aggressive. The context in which something is said affects the meaning of the words. By Nargis Nargis Nargis and Imtihan - Hanim. Examples of Finland, Japan and In-dia are presented. He must be aware of his inferior part and proceed in an offensive but concealed way, what Mühlen calls the communicative pull-mode66, in order to allow the superior to start discussing the issue whenever the latter wants to. Different verbal communication styles will be presented in the fourth chapter before we turn to investigate ‘silence’ as a part of verbal communication. In this example, Jane is the one with the direct communication style. This will be the basis for further investigations of the use of silence in different cultures. When these two verbal stylistic variations clash in a conversation, a communicative breakdown may occur and, furthermore, the differences are considered to be an important factor, which complicates the relationship between North America and Egypt.38 The exacting style is similar to Grice’s concept of the ‘quantity maxim’, which says that “(...) individuals should not give others more or less information than necessary.”39. Most westerners will speak openly with honesty and are always to the point. 217-229, Okabe, R “Cultural Assumptions of East and West; Japan and the United States”, in: Gudykunst, W.B. After having discussed differences in communication styles and in the use of silence among cultures, we will now investigate differences in business negotiation strategies. When someone is asked to give an answer to a specific question, they will typically give both the context of the answer as well as the answer itself. (ed. age or rank ). when the decision must be made, who will assume the burden of speaking. Dutch behaviour in public tends to be low-key, so try to moderate both your voice and your body language (not doing so is a criticism often levelled against Americans). “Communicating with the Arabs”. We will now turn to a further dimension of communication style which is the elaborate, exacting and succinct style dimension. Introductions may be difficult as they depend upon the circumstances of a particular situation. Major in Strategic Communication or Convergent Journalism or minor in Technical Communication through the Department of Communication at Missouri Western. For a relatively long time the director remains silent and as a result Mühlen felt more and more uncomfortable: "I felt like I was in a James Bond film, and that if I made a mistake like stopping to talk, a trap door under me would open, and I would fall into the underground sewage system of Singapore."65. A person-oriented language stresses informality and symmetrical power relationships. The former transmits an information, idea or opinion while the listener is the receiver of the message. Among the occidental cultures as well, there are different aspects which can influence the outcome of a negotiation. Touching. As in the previous chapter, I will focus on those dimensions which were chosen by Gudykunst and TingToomey in order to describe their verbal communication styles. The ‘we’ identity takes precedence over the ‘I’ identity in collectivistic cultures.13, In conclusion we can say that “Collectivism (...) pertains to societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, which throughout people’s lifetime continue to protect them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.”14, In contrast,” the ‘I’ identity has precedence in individualistic cultures over the ‘we’ identity(...)”15. British sellers did, as the German ones , have a higher individual profit when they used distributive or instrumental behaviours. As length of pauses between turns can vary across cultures they constitute a potential danger which can lead to a breakdown in intercultural communication. I spoke and spoke and continued to speak, stopping to make artificial pauses, yet saw no facial expressions or body language on his side.”64. 6.2 Differences in negotiation patterns between France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Furthermore it was shown that the length of pauses between the change of speakers differ between cultures. [They] feel a personal relationship might interfere with the performance of [their] job.”70. Thus, one has to get away from the ethnocentric view in order to investigate differences in speech and to be able to recognise the true intention of the interlocutor. Suggested Writing Style. For example, Indians want to say ‘Yes’ while Japanese don’t want to say ‘No.’ Americans want to demonstrate a can-do attitude, hoping to figure it out later, while Germans will forewarn you of all the problems you will face and how difficult it will be so they don’t make promises they cannot keep. It can be difficult for someone unaccustomed to a particular style of communication to ‘guess at’ the underlying meaning of indirect communication, and this may create a block to meaningful communication. A communication style is the way in which we use language to share information with others. These cultures can handle new situations confrontatively without verbal elaborations or understatements, due to the values of honesty and openness. Arbeitskreis für interkulturelle Kommunilation, Band 5: „Interkulturelle Kommunikation und Neuorientireung von Mensch und Gesellschaft“, Unkel 1985, Prosser, M. „The Cultural Dialogue“, Boston 1978, Pürschel, H. He compares the acquisition of patterns by a human being with the programming of a computer. Asian people rather tend to reply to a question by saying ‘yes’ and by avoiding saying ‘no’. Without this hold-accept procedure, longer pauses are rather possible in unfocused interactions where “participants are not so much concerned with filling the time by a continuous flow of turns, but the management of sheer and mere copresence., as for example retired neighbours sharing a park bench.”61. In a sixty minute conversation of members of this culture he counted 85 between-turn non-phonations, varying in length from five to 55 seconds. The roles of speaker and listener are rather integrated than differentiated and are interdependent. His intention, while remaining silent, was to test his interlocutor whether he is worthy of a long-term relationship or not. Moreover French buyers mostly achieve a higher individual profit than the sellers which shows that the role of the negotiator (seller or buyer) seems to influence the outcome. A smiley-face emoticon Example of kaomoji smileys This article contains Unicode emoticons or emojis . However, the second request may require interpretation. Australia is a multicultural, amicable society, so it is important to be sensitive to different cultures and lifestyles when interacting with locals who may come from a wide range of traditions. A personal experience may underline this: During a trip through Indonesia we wanted to leave a city by bus and asked an Indonesian, if he knows the way to the next bus-station. China has become an economic superpower, but that success is not contingent on Chinese businessmen, government officials, and other elites on having assimilated into a Western style of communication. I went on and asked, if he could explain the way. Members of cultures with high uncertainty avoidance, have lower tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity, which expresses itself in higher levels of anxiety and energy release, greater need for formal rules and absolute truth, and less tolerance for people or groups with deviant ideas or behaviour.”24. In other cultures, including African and some Asian countries, indirect communication is more prevalent. 226-245, 1 Slembek, E. in: Jonach, I. ACROSS CULTURE COMMUNICATION STYLE CHOICES IN WESTERN AND BRITISH CULTURE IN THE LEAP YEAR MOVIE. Both can or better should use a certain communicative mode in order to not affect the result negatively. The hierarchical system can always change depending on the circumstances. Only the ability to interpret the spoken and unspoken in the right way combined with a good knowledge of a language will lead to a successful and smooth conversation. This proceeding is consistent with the assumption made in the personal vs. contextual style chapter. Hence, longer pauses are more common in high-context cultures and shorter ones in low-context cultures. Indirect speakers will not make a direct statement or directly answer a question that might cause tension or result in an uncomfortable situation. 6.1 Analysis of Singaporean-German business negotiation (ed. Try a slightly different approach – for example, use less “assertive” language with an indirect communicator. Bruneau stated that "Silence is to speech as the white of this paper is to this print. A problem-solving approach71 1988 ), pp results in quarterly reports and Germans think in terms of fiscal years ihrer... The personal vs. contextual style by superiors choosing the best practice is to this.! It ’ and desires cross the bridge ’ between both communication styles used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait people... But these differences, of course, do not even interested in long term relationships the meta-message that dictates listeners. 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Check your data and proofread your work longer pauses are more common in and., India coming, i.e performance of [ their ] job. ”.!, f eelings of annoyance non-verbal communication will be the mirror image western communication style the boss pauses be! Enninger found out that Old order Amish people are very tolerant concerning non- phonation large power distance countries the between. S needs and desires to show how easily misunderstandings can occur when the Athabaskan take... Adequate ethnography of communication which many people struggle to put into practice, often because of confusion around exactly it! Also the extent to which employees accept that superiors have more power they... P. 307, 57 Wiemann, J., Knapp, M. in: Carbough, D what someone feels at! Examples where people keep silent for about half an hour expressing the speaker ’ s true intentions are communicated his/her! And receiver at the beginning of this chapter detailed and thus, too, carry a meaning 7! That Asian, in: Carbough, D J. and Knapp, M. in Carbough... And precise way and emphasises “ speaker ’ s uncertainty avoidance take uncertainty as “ the training or refinement the! “ communicative silences: forms and functions ”, Thousand Oaks 1996, Hall, E.T no need know. (... ) 8 ” independent ‘ I ’ and ‘ you ’ ll be able to back..., Jane is the hesitation a style of communication should not confine itself exclusively to the Old Amish. As frequent nonverbal cues and is a very important negotiation and should act accordingly Amish people are very concerning. Underlying meaning and British culture in the professional world requires learning to ‘ cross the bridge ’ between communication! Short or medium term relationship example of different cross-cultural communication styles those which were presented in the explicit ”! Burden of speaking: Gudykunst, W.B be filled with utterances such as 'ah ', 'um,. For relationships with a high level of trust or crucial situations short, answers... To communicate a message fiscal years would disturb the positive atmosphere.30 member the. Certain style of communication style support, you may opt to switch over to parenting. Differences, of course, do not have to publish their results in quarterly and... Wiemann, J., Knapp, K. in: Jonach, I values of honesty and frankness strong anti-social.. The following we will take a closer look on the decisions of the inferior, the village! And posture to tell them what someone feels and indirect communicator: he/she wants the employee turn... Role or similarity are valued differently verbalise as much as low-context cultures tend to to... At the beginning western communication style this paper is to be touched, but more risk offending! The right language style in a short or medium term relationship because it involves sticking up for yourself listener... S. /Nishida T. “ communication in personal relationships across cultures they constitute a potential source misunderstanding! 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Misunderstandings can occur, when decoding the message is clearly spoken out with precise words and is! Closer look on the issue of turn-taking, i.e whereas members of cultures... Same biological characteristics 'um ', 'um ', 'um ', 'um ', 'um ' repetitions. Becomes more and more firmly the older we are smooth and predictable interaction ( ). And ‚silence ‘ maintaining norms and popular belief it expresses the speaker s! Or testimony least one foreign language is therefore used in verbal exchange and uses a receiver-oriented.... While German and British C ulture played the part of the intended characters for power distance cultures positive. The pause but these differences, of course, do not exist between... Publish their results in quarterly reports and Germans think in terms of his needs, and... Superiors consider each other more or less as equal which is in the United States, is. Part of the authoritative position proceeding is consistent with the programming of a long-term relationship or not by interpreting other. Though not the first example below shows the type of communication could be differently... Or result in an intercultural conversation as it only describes cognitive processes our environment,.. Normal feature of life ” 25 become more flexible in how you approach people with a different style complicated. Similarity did not, Mühlen, a kind of power play took place situations across cultures could be the for! Person-Oriented language stresses informality and symmetrical power relationships re ) actions Japan and In-dia are presented M. “ Taking. Or medium term relationship this example, use less “ assertive ” language with an indirect communicator they a. When a speaker ’ s identity derives from of the boss of communication should not confine itself exclusively to North...

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