The Importance Of Cross-Cultural Communication

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With the world embracing globalisation at a breakneck pace, there is increasing need for cross-cultural communication and sensitivity. After 45 minutes of roleplaying, I think that I managed to experience first-hand complications surrounding the idea of cross-cultural communications.

Right off the bat, many cultural differences came into contention. Country folk versus City dweller, Forward thinking versus Protecting traditions and culture, Path of Certainty versus Risk Taking, just to name a few. These various mind-sets spawned from the cultural differences determined the priorities of the involved parties and determined the outcomes they were looking for.

Everyone’s priorities came first and foremost in their minds,
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A possible change could be to base their measurements on geographical proximity instead. Though tougher to gather the required statistics, the accuracy of the measurements would be greatly improved.

Through my research, I have discovered 4 levels to cultural sensitivity:
1. Cultural Knowledge – knowing information about another cultural group
2. Cultural Awareness – Being open to the idea of changing cultural attitudes
3. Cultural Sensitivity – Withholding personal judgement with respect to the differences between cultures
4. Cultural Competence – Integrating the previous 3 stages with an added dimension of operational effectiveness.

Apart from this, I have uncovered countless ways to increase one’s cultural sensitivity, from education, to exposure, to encouraging discussions. Though all valid and useful, before any of these practical steps can be set into motion, there is one action that is paramount above all others. This I believe it to be “admitting what you do not know”. As the amount of information we have access to grows, our ego grows as well. With everything we need to know just a few clicks away, admitting one’s ignorance is unheard of. The problem is culture sensitivity is a very shapeless problem and cannot just be resolved with mere intellect as it is ever-changing and differs from person to person. In fact, in doing so we open ourselves us to a greater propensity to generate discord. “Misunderstandings arise when