The Art and Science in Communication: Workplace (Cross-Cultural) Communication Skills and Competencies in the Modern Workforce

The Art and Science in Communication: Workplace (Cross-Cultural) Communication Skills and Competencies in the Modern Workforce

Ben Tran (Alliant International University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2568-4.ch003
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Abstract

One of the challenges facing the modern workforce is the increased diversity of the workforce and similarly complex prospective customers with disparate cultural backgrounds. Language barriers, cultural nuances, and value divergence can easily cause unintended misunderstandings and how low efficiency in internal communication in a multinational environment. It leads to conflict among employees and profit loss in organizational productivity. Therefore, effective communication by people from different cultures stands out significantly in the modern workforce who want to make inroads into international markets, take advantage of multiculturalism, and avoid possible side effects. The purpose of this chapter is on communication, specifically, the art and science in communication, resulting in communication skills and competencies in the modern workforce. The chapter will cover the meaning of communication, language, and history/philosophy of communication and will conclude with factors to be sensitive about when becoming effective cross cultural managers in the modern workforce.
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Communication

According to Tran (2016a, 2016b, 2016c), Scott (2005) defined communication as sending, receiving, and understanding information and meaning, and claimed that receiving and understanding are the most important operations in the communication process since the response of the receiver defines whether or not the communication attempts are successful. Communication, however, can be defined as the process of transmitting information and common understanding from one person to another (Keyton, 2011). The word communication is derived from the Latin word, communis which means common. The definition underscores the fact that unless a common understanding results from the exchange of information, there is actually no communication. The two elements in every communication exchange are the sender and the receiver. The sender initiates the communication. The receiver is the individual to whom the message is sent. The sender encodes the idea by selecting words, symbols, or gestures with which to compose a message. The message is the outcome of the encoding, which takes the form of oral or written verbal and nonverbal symbols (Tran, 2016b).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Message: Is the outcome of the encoding, which takes the form of oral or written verbal and nonverbal symbols.

Semiotics: Is the study of signs.

Strategic Communication: A communication method that uses the pushing and the delivering in such a way that being strategic means communicating the best message, through the right channels, measured against well-considered organizational and communications-specific goals.

Feedback: Any information that individuals receive about their behavior.

Culture: Is the manifold ways of perceiving and organizing the world that are held in common by a group of people and passed on interpersonally and inter-generationally.

Implicit Communication: Refers to the messages we give off through our deeds and actions. Implicit communication may or may not be intentional.

Explicit Communication: Refers to the things we say or write, often messages intended to influence the behavior of others. Explicit communication refers to specific information conveyed in written or spoken words.

Cross-Cultural Communication (also known as Intercultural Communication and Trans-Cultural Communication): Is a method that indicates the exchange of ideas, emotions, and information by means of language, words, and body language between people from different cultural backgrounds.

Communication: As sending, receiving, and understanding information and meaning.

Medium: May include such broad categories as speech and writing or print and broadcasting or relate to specific technical forms within the mass media or the media of interpersonal communication.

Nonverbal Communication: Is the sharing of information without using words to encode messages. There are four basic forms of nonverbal communication: proxemics, kinesics, facial and eye behavior, and paralanguage.

Verbal Communication: Relies on spoken or written words to share information with others.

Communication History: Is the studies of issues related to communication, be it interpersonal, group, organizational, or institutional: this means that all the different levels, means and forms of communication are taken into account.

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