Free Essay: The Role of Culture and Self-Awareness in Interpersonal Communication

Published: 2022-02-16 05:13:02
Free Essay: The Role of Culture and Self-Awareness in Interpersonal Communication
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories: Culture Interpersonal communication
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1617 words
14 min read
143 views

Culture refers to one's way of life; how people live, what they wear, how they work, how they speak and even what they are and are not allowed to do. Every individual has a different culture and being so they relate differently with other people around them. In the modern world, we live in, we are expected to fit in with and live in harmony with everyone around us despite our cultural differences. This means that we need to work on our interpersonal skills while working with other people in order to ensure communication is effective and efficient. In this paper, I will discuss how culture affects communication with other people around us as well as our own interpersonal skills.

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Impact of Culture on Communication

As expected, while working especially in service providing centers, one has to deal with different kinds of people. Some of them have totally different beliefs and languages from you which means that you have to work extra hard to be culturally sensitive. Culture sensitivity involves being considerate of the other parties' feelings and opinions of things while working with them or serving them. Cultural sensitivity is important as it allows us to interact with different people in various areas without disagreements and fights. It also allows for people working serving efficiently and effectively since there are no cultural barriers involved. When workers offering services do not understand their client's perspectives and culture there is a barrier in communication hence services will not be effectively delivered.

Cultural sensitivity can be expressed in various ways in work centers. One of these ways is by asking the client questions concerning their opinion on matters that you introduce to them. This will help to understand their point of view and avoid conflict or forcing your beliefs on the client. For example, if you are selling clothes in a certain town and a customer comes, you have to ask them how they dress and what suits their preference before going on to get them some clothes. This will allow you to bring to them only what they can wear or they are comfortable with hence avoid making them uncomfortable.

It can also be expressed by hiring or involving a professional translator in facilities such as hospitals. This will help to interpret the clients' message to the service provider with clarity and without discomfort or misunderstanding of any sort (Berger, 2016). In a hospital setting, for example, there should be translators of both genders available since the patients might have a problem they are embarrassed to speak about in front of a translator of a different gender. The doctor is then able to understand the patient and respond to them as need be.

Service providers should also avoid applying ethnocentric beliefs while interacting with their clients. This means that they should not assume that all clients are the same just because they come from the same place. For example in a country where there are many orchards, the people are believed to have a strong liking for wine. It would be considered highly offensive if a waiter just brings wine to the table without asking if they want wine just because they live in that country.

Assessment of Other Orientation

Other orientation generally involves being able to pay attention to what the other person is saying to you and showing genuine interest in it. This involves being empathetic and compassionate as well as being attentive to the other person. The questions that come up while assessing one's other orientation are: do you think about the other person and what they feel about something before you do it? Do you avoid fights at all costs and despise conflict? Do you put yourself in the other persons' shoes as you communicate with them? If so then it means you are other-oriented. After assessing myself, I find that I hate conflict, I am empathetic and compassionate but I also find myself insulting other people when I am angry with them. I am working on my anger management in order to interact well with the people around me.

Personal Strengths and Improvement

While communicating with others it is easy for me to pay genuine attention to what they are saying and grasp something out of it. I also try my best to make sure that others are happy and comfortable when we are having a conversation. I am very inquisitive and so I am interested in learning about other people's cultures. This being so, I ask questions and I make myself available to answer other people's questions about my culture or my language.

Despite this being true, there are some things I would like to improve about myself. For example, I find myself insulting people when I am angry with them or when I just do not feel like speaking to anyone. When someone strongly disagrees with me yet I do not see much reason behind it I get very angry and cannot continue the conversation anymore. I easily get bored when there is a language barrier between me and whoever I could be speaking to. Having this in mind I am slowly learning to deal with anger management so that my relationships with people can improve and so that I do not push people away from me.

Other Orientation and Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication refers to how people pass messages to each other on a one on one basis. This involves the skills one has to pass messages to other people as well as receiving them effectively and efficiently (Devito, 2019). For one to be able to pass and receive messages effectively they need to be other-oriented. This means they have to be equipped with the skills to genuinely pay attention to what is being said by the other party and give feedback.

In a bank setting, for example, the cashier will have to talk to the customer on one. The customer might not be familiar with all the terms used in the bank or might not be able to read and so they need the help of the cashier. If the cashier cannot be patient enough or be empathetic or compassionate enough to help the customer, the customer can easily walk out and go looking for another bank where they can be assisted without being made to feel like a burden. This simply shows that for one to be able to relate with others comfortably he needs to have good interpersonal skills and be able to communicate well.

Culture and Self-Awareness in Interpersonal Communication

In human service settings, people running businesses and facilities get to interact with people from all walks of life in need of the services they offer. The service providers need to be skilled in interpersonal communication in order to serve the organization's objectives with the people it serves (Herland, 2017). In the same way, their culture also affects how they relate to other people. If for example, they dress in a certain way that the customers do not like, then the customers will not be receptive of whatever they are saying to them since they already have an attitude towards them. The service providers also need to have self-awareness. They need to understand their limits with people so that they do not get offended or offend the clients.

Examples of Effective Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication Techniques

There are various techniques that can be used to show self-awareness and culture in human service settings. They could either be verbal or non-verbal techniques. Verbal techniques include active listening. This involves the service provider taking time to listen to the client and hence be able to understand what they want which shows appreciation for culture and opinion. Another technique is clarity of speech. The service provider needs to be clear in how they speak to the client. They should pass their message clearly and find out if the client understood it. Empathy is also another technique. One should show that they understand and put themselves in the shoes of the client.

Nonverbal techniques include one's fashion culture in that how you dress around a certain group of people could either make them listen to you or not pay attention to you. Some cultures are against a certain way of dressing for various reasons. It also includes body language. Some people find some type of body language offensive or rude and may turn down a conversation because they misinterpreted your body language (White, 2016). Eye contact is also a way of communication. If one is confident about what they are speaking about with another person, eye contact is vital in passing a message. Some people view shyness and not maintaining eye contact as disrespectful or take it to mean that you are lying to them.

Conclusion

Considering that every individual has a different way of doing things, it is necessary to learn how to accommodate the other party without judging or discrimination. Every person has a duty to respect the other person's culture and opinions since they also expect to be treated the same way. Once one has self-awareness they are able to deal with other people and understand their perspective of things. Everyone requires having communication skills in order to have effective and efficient communication with people, especially when offering services. In conclusion, communication is a two-way thing and it requires both parties to respect and listen to each other in order to pass the message effectively.

References

Berger, A. A. (2016). Interpersonal communication. In Messages (pp. 100-117). Routledge.

DeVito, J. A. (2019). The interpersonal communication book Herland, M. D. (2017). Instructor, 1, 18.White, C. H. (2016). Interpersonal interaction. The International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy, 1-11.

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