Post your intercultural experiences here. Feel free to share insights. Find out a bit about yourself in the process and how other cultures tick. That’s the magic and beauty of experiences that educate and enrich.
Visit my website: http://www.cross-culturalsynergies.com/
Friday, June 13, 2014
High Context (Western) versus Low Context (Asian) communication Part 1
In a global economy,
understanding and embracing cultural differences is
more than a good idea. It’s a
competitive advantage. From sales to
manufacturing and customer
service, it’s no secret that better communication
equals better business.
People of western heritage tend to believe that words
are the most
important part of a communication
process and are said to belong to a
‘low context’ culture where the mass of
information is vested in the
explicit code or the actual
spoken words. But in a ‘high context’
words alone do not convey the
whole meaning to a spoken message,
most of the information is
embedded in the speaker or the circumstances
(context) of the situation and
remain implicit or unspoken.
Four weeks ago, I talked to my
brother, living in Penang,
on the phone and we discussed
puzzling aspects of the missing
Malaysian Airlines plane MH 370.
Naturally, I checked with him to see
if anyone we knew (relatives,
friends, acquaintances) might have been
on that fateful plane.
do you know if anyone we know was on that flight?
Brother: None, no one we know.
how can you be sure of that?
Brother (surprised at this question): What ………the newspapers are full of it.
you mean the airline has released the
names of people on that plane?
Brother: Of course.All the names of
passengers have been published.
looked through the full list. No one we know.
see ……………..good that they’ve done that. Watching it on CNN,
no idea the local papers had released the names of the passengers.
relieved to hear you say that.
My brother being typically ‘high context’ didn’t offer complete
front until he was prodded to do so. He seemed to
assume that the plane’s list
of passengers would have been
released around the world. It was up to me to
elicit the additional information
with a couple of extra questions.
Cross-Cultural Synergies combines global
cultural awareness of communication
differences such as described above, with proven adult
learning methods to
deliver immediate results in the workplace. There is a
growing body of data to
support what we see time and time again: diversity
training has the potential to
increase productivity, sales, retention and customer
satisfaction. And these
benefits ultimately translate into a stronger top and bottom
line. email@example.com www.cross-culturalsynergies.com