Intercultural Competence - Assignment Example

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This paper is being carried out to evaluate and present the reasons why intercultural competence is far from the desired destination. It analyzes the reactions of different people in different cultural setups with the view of understanding their reactions…
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Intercultural Competence
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Intercultural Competence
Intercultural competence can be described as the occurrence of successful communication that is often carried out by people from different cultural backgrounds. This communication is carried out, and an understanding is reached upon by the individuals present. The above is often seen when people who have different cultural backgrounds interact, even if, it is not on a daily basis. The key to successful communication between them is, understanding. One has to understand that the difference in the manner in which the other party presents themselves is different from their own. This paper explains the reasons why intercultural competence is far from the desired destination. It analyzes the reactions of different people in different cultural set ups with the view to understanding their reactions.
Part I
An annoying behaviour that may make one think twice about knowing a person would be the fact that they do not want to hear that they might be wrong. Certain beliefs and their mannerisms could be disturbing. When mentioning it to the persons concerned, resistance and opposition play a huge role in the conversation (Lustig & Koester, 2010). A case where Arab customs are concerned is an example. This is where the people should not mix with foreigners. Not every American citizen is evil. The actions of a number of people cannot be used to judge a whole nation. When fighting the Holy war, Jihad, it is only fair to consider the people who do not take part in Jihadism. Just as, there are non-combatants in a war, there has to be many people who believe that what the Americans do is not right. This, therefore, does not warrant the bombing of a whole city, or, the bringing down of passenger planes just to warrant some attention. When talking to someone who is convinced that they are obliged to be doing what it is they are doing, it can be very annoying especially when they are learned, and consider themselves to be religious.
Part II
During an intercultural interaction, it is very easy to give or have a very poor first impression. In many instances, the parties present either do not know what to do or end up saying too much. During such interactions, no one party can come out as being perfect. It is, therefore, healthier for all the parties involved to know what they are dealing with before going into a conversation with people from different cultural backgrounds (Lustig & Koester, 2010).
Take an example, a conversation between an Arab and an American. The two are from very different cultural settings. One of them is brought in a very religious upbringing that is taught to believe in their doctrine even in the face of death. The other might disagree with such doctrines. The actual reason this is so is that, no man should take their life or any other for something another person has said or written. The difference in religion can put these two parties at crossroads with nobody ready to hear what the other is saying.
However, an alternative interpretation may have been applied in a situation like this would have resulted in different reactions. If there would be time to understand that not all people in the Arab nations advocate for the death of all or any Americans, then there would be some understanding in these intercultural interactions. This then creates new insight into such situations. The fact that people are different should be a factor to be celebrated. The ideas that people would bring along could help benefit everyone (Lustig & Koester, 2010). Being different is not always a bad thing. There has to be a positive outcome from such interactions. Reactions elicited from the example above could have been given the benefit of a doubt. This is if they had been expressed in a manner to suggest that they were not the opinions of an entire nation.

Part III
While using the basic dimension, it is clear that there had been some factors that were not focused on. During that period, it was clear that open mindedness was not playing any role in the interaction. The thought that only the entire Arab world thought ill of the Americans was something that should not have come into play. It is only fair to keep an open mind when going into such interactions (Lustig & Koester, 2010). It is important to describe the situation with the view of interpreting and evaluating the statements. This will lead to the conclusion that not everyone will have the same ideologies about something as the next person.
Cross-cultural cooperation is another factor that could help with such interactions in the future. Getting to understand what the other party’s culture is all about can imply that one can give benefit of doubt over some issues that do arise in some scenarios (Lustig & Koester, 2010). The implication of understanding whatever culture surrounds an individual could mean that, one has chosen to keep an open mind about the group, and all their practices.
In conclusion, it is clear that whatever has to be done to help improve on intercultural competence has a long way to go. This is in the sense that people have to let go of all the negative things they might have heard about different cultures, and hence, learn to embrace new ideas.

Koester, J. & Lustig, M. W. (2010). Intercultural Competence: Interpersonal Communication across Cultures. Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. Read More
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