We all have perceptual filters that make communication a complex process. Two people who hear the same message attach different meanings based on their different circumstances and history. The communication process becomes even more complex when messages span political, geographic and cultural boundaries. When you go to another country or region, you must deal with an overlay of other variables. You must consider different perceptions of time and space. Some cultures favor direct communication, while others favor indirect communication. Sometimes yes means no in the broader cultural context. In the cross-cultural communication courses I teach at Thundebird School of Global Management, we focus on 10 dimensions of culture that influence the communication process.
Dr. Eileen Borris, a licensed psychologist, is the author of “Finding Forgiveness” (McGraw-Hill). She is Director of Training for the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy in Washington, D.C., and teaches cross-cultural communication and negotiation at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. In addition to her work with full-time students, she teaches in the Thunderbird Online program, Executive Certificate in Global Negotiations.
Thunderbird Online: Develop your understanding of cross-cultural negotiation tactics and discover your power position and power approach. Learn more about the Executive Certificate in Global Negotiations, which begins the first Monday of every month.
Psychology of Business: Thunderbird Online instructor Dr. Eileen Borris talks Sept. 1, 2011, about the difference between communication and cross-cultural communication. View the video on YouTube (1:41).