Sunday, October 26, 2014

InterculturalCom: Effective Intercultural Communication (U9-P1) Fa14

I use to call this lecture unit "Dealing with Difference." 
However, now I've switched to calling it "Effective Intercultural Communication."

See any reason why I changed it?  Does "Dealing with Difference" imply anything?  A negative connotation?

Whatever you call it, in intercultural situations, how do we deal with or become more effective?

One place to start is to have a clear sense of exactly what is causing an intercultural misunderstanding.  Is it a language thing?  Is it prejudice?  What exactly is causing the intercultural ineffectiveness?  If we understand where exactly the problem is, then we can move on to hopefully fixing the problem.  


However, before we look specifically at intercultural communication, let's address some basic skills that should be in all types of interpersonal communication.

Even before developing effective intercultural communication skills, we need to learn and practice the basic interpersonal skills below.  These are fundamental.

Some Basic Interpersonal Skills Helpful in ICC

Core Skills
  • Positiveness: Expression of positive attitudes toward self and others.
  • Other-Orientation: Attentiveness, interest, and concern for others.
  • Empathy: Feeling as the other feels.

Meta Skills
  • Mindfulness: Being consciously aware of the above skills and carefully monitoring them.
  • Metacommunication: Being aware of what is happening in the communication. Being able to think and talk about the talk.

Now, with some basic interpersonal skills out of the way, let's return to intercultural communication.  To get a better understanding of intercultural communication effectiveness, it would be helpful to have a model that helps us spot where the potential problems that may arise in intercultural encounters.

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