Intercultural Communication Essay

1941 Words 8 Pages
Register to read the introduction… Non-verbal communication is basically the sending and receiving of messages without the use of verbal codes. Some of the time these messages are consciously sent and received, such as waving goodbye to a friend who is leaving on a plane for example, but most of the time the speakers/listeners are unaware of the messages. One must be careful when interpreting non-verbal communications from other cultures and be aware that specific gestures may mean something different if not completely opposite in a different culture. Take for example in New Zealand European culture direct eye-to-eye contact is seen as respectful and showing interest in the persons speaking, whereas in Maori and Pacific Island cultures eye contact is viewed as offensive or aggressive (Massey University, 2008), while in other cultures such as Japanese or African eye contact is avoided to show respect.
Another important aspect that can affect intercultural communication is proxemics. Proxemics deals with such things as personal space and seating arrangements. In different cultures ones own personal space ‘Bubble’ can vary from a couple of inches
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If someone from a particular culture (A) is trying to resolve a conflict situation in a way that is different to the accepted way of resolving conflict for person B then often it can do more harm than good. In New Zealand culture people are often encouraged to deal directly ‘face-to-face’ with conflicts that do arise as a way to work through whatever problems exist. This contrasts with many eastern cultures where open conflict is seen as embarrassing or demeaning. As a rule, to save face, problems are usually worked out quietly with a written exchange preferred as a means to address the situation (Axner et al

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