Interpersonal And Intercultural Communication

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Communication is commonly referred to as exchanging or imparting of information which is done by using different mediums. There are different ways to communication for different situations for different purpose. Here we are going to discuss about the different barriers to interpersonal and intercultural communication and how these barriers or obstacles can be removed from the business environment. Interpersonal communication is considered to be an exchange of information between two or more people and is also considered to be an area of study where observations are made to how humans use communication as a medium to achieve certain personal and relational goals. Whereas, intercultural communication is a study or observation made across different cultures and social groups to how they communicate within the group as well as outside of their social or cultural group. Intercultural communication also deals with the study to how in general different cultures effect communication as a whole. As we know communication is the key to many things and without proper and effective communication we wouldn’t have been able to evolve to become the most diverse, advance and intelligent species in the whole world. Communication has brought us all the way from being just animals to becoming social animals. But however there are always limitations to how much can you communicate and how effectively can you communicate. And the factors that limit us are more or less the barriers we face while communicating. These barriers may not seem that important to deal with but in the field of business these communication barriers can be of real importance as it can effect not just one person but even an entire organization.

Cultures are deep seated, pervasive and complex. According to Edgard Schein culture can be divided into three levels for the better understanding to culture itself. Artifacts, which are at the surface which can be easily recognized for hard to understand. Espoused values, which are considered as different philosophies, strategies and goals. Basic assumption and values, in which the core of culture is represented basic underlying assumptions and values, which are difficult to discern these exist in a large level and cannot be easily broken down to understand. (Value Based Management, 2016)

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Language and culture are like two sides of a same coin which coexists side by side on a constant level. Language and culture cannot exist without the existence of the other. Not only that, both language and culture are the most vital factors for communication itself. Language and culture are intertwined. A particular language usually points out to a specific group of people. When you interact with another language, it means that you are also interacting with the culture that speaks the language. You cannot understand one’s culture without accessing its language directly. (Day Translations, 2018). When you experience childhood in a particular society, it is unavoidable to gain proficiency with the looks, signals and little changes in voice or tone and other specialized devices to stress or modify what you need to do or say. These particular correspondence procedures of one culture are found out generally by mirroring and watching individuals, at first from guardians and close relatives and later from companions and individuals outside the nearby family circle. This later shapes our language, on how we communicate and the major factor remains the influence of culture.

When it comes to intercultural communication, there are different and many barriers which limits communication as a whole in all different areas including in business. Some of the common and major barriers to intercultural communication are Anxiety, which is a state of human condition where a person has a feeling of unease, nervousness or fear which is unrealistic. This limits the effectiveness of communication between two people or a group of people which leads to poor communication as during such events a person is unable to express himself to the fullest and therefore creates blind spots and gaps in the communication which leads to misinterpretation and so on. (Austin Coopman, 2012) Ethnocentrism, is a perception that an individual has for another person’s way of life and culture as being mediocre compared to his or her very own way of culture and heritage. The discernment essentially envelops a wide scope of presumptions seeing their culture as being ethically right and normal in all ways that could be available. During such events, even though communication is happening, it is completely ineffective as the statements or recommendations made by one side is dismissed by the other side and vice versa. In business, these situations can cause big issues which ultimately effect both sides. (Flinders, 2004) Language Barrier, is one of the major barriers when it comes to communication. When one individual is unable to understand another individual because of the difference in the language they speak which belongs the culture and background they belong to, communication is not possible because one is completely unable to understand the other. And without understand each other communication cannot be established. But Multinational corporations have implemented solutions for this. Such firms have standardized English as an international language which has reduced the problem of cross-cultural interaction. Now everyone joining a multinational firm learns the most accepted language which in exchange reduces the gap of communication in the international work environment. (Veronica, 2011)

The discussed barriers becomes a big problem in different sectors and fields including business. Business is a field where communication is of the most important factors. In business without effective communication, nothing can be accomplished and therefore communication plays a vital role in business. 


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