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updated 9 months ago

explain how individuals from different backgrounds may use communication methods in different ways

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updated 10 months ago

By different backgrounds, I understand cultural context that defines how a person act: habits, code of appropriate behavior, values, norms etc. Am I right? If so, the thing is that people with different cultural background may have troubles understanding each other. To make the question a little easier to discuss let’s divide different ways of communication. I suggest outlining verbal and nonverbal ways of communication that, and I should say it right away, rarely can be considered completely separately. Instead, they complement each other. But it’ll be easier from the methodological perspective.

So verbal communication is a basic type of transmitting your opinion (question, command etc) to another person - by words. I’d leave aside the situations when you need to understand each other with a person who speaks some other language. I consider only a case when you talk the same language but have a different background with your interlocutor.

Depending on the purpose of your communication you should pay attention to:

  • Use of jokes and idioms. You most likely don’t know your companion’s religious, political or personal views. So try not to touch any of these topics until you are sure what to say without offending a person.
  • If a person has any communication difficulties, make everything possible to adjust to this person’s needs.  

Nonverbal factors

  • Your voice tone. Loud, fast, illegible speaking can complicate your communication.
  • Proximity. Try to leave a space between you comfortable for both of your. For instance, on the first date with my current husband, I kissed him on the cheek at the moment we met. For him it seemed strange because in his family it is customary to keep a distance in communication. And I used to kiss a friend or a companion when we meet. So it’s important to not push on a person and learn first, what is acceptable for her/him.
  • Touch and gestures
  • Etiquette.

What I want to say is that communication is a complex process that requires not only knowing basic rules but some kind of intuition. And when you are trying to come to a mutual understanding with a person with another background, you should be more attentive and thoughtful about your way of saying things.

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