Effective communication for business organizations
Business organizations, like other social systems, require effective communication in order to operate efficiently and meet their objectives. Intercultural communication is a communication process in which people from different cultures try to understand what others from different cultures try to communicate and what their messages mean (Ferraro 2010). The two major components of Intercultural communication are made up of verbal communication and non verbal communication. To ensure that effective cross-cultural communication occurs, is it more important to address issues and problems with respect to both verbal and nonverbal communication. It is important that both verbal and nonverbal communication contributes to effective cross cultural communication as they both complement each other to portray a complete message. Failure to consider the cultural context in an organization leads to misunderstandings, miscommunication, and generally undermining of organisational goals. This may lead to substantial problems in terms of either strengthening existing business relationships with term members or successfully negotiating to develop new business relationships with overseas firms or customers.
Selecting the right words in verbal communication can have a significant impact on the quality of intercultural communication. The main function in verbal communication traditionally is to express an individual's ideas, thoughts and message persuasively as possible. For example formality and the appropriate use of title are important in Chinese culture (Dwyer 2009). As mentioned above the speaker can influentially negotiate with the other party in getting the individual's objectives across. It is important to understand that even the use of effective words such yes and no differs across cultures. When negotiating, Japanese business people often use yes to mean "Yes, I understand what is being said" whereas foreign negotiators often assume they are stating "Yes I agree with you" (Griffin & Pustay 2009, p. 93). Thus when communicating across culture, being aware of meaning of words used in conversation can develop new business relationships with overseas firms or customers.
Implicit and explicit styles of verbal communications often lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications between business partners. Various cultures use various communication skills, for instant some use more verbal communication than others. It is very important to understand language competence in an international business circumstances, the closeness between language and culture with some additional feature such as slang can highly complicate a business environment. In European countries and the United States of America, using direct words and open way of expressing desires and meanings are more important. Whereas in countries like Japan , China, Korea and South Africa use indirect method of communication and non-verbal signals where things are left unspoken and never brought up in conversations ( Ferraro 2010).
Intercultural communication in verbal communication faces difficulties when words have different meaning. When there is a cultural difference in conveying messages and interpretation dimensions between business partners, understanding of each other's communication behaviour can be distorted and miscommunication. This is caused by differences in vocabularies or sentence structures, different languages, dialects and accents. The use of making direct statements, point of asking questions and even the unusual sounds when speaking can also create different meanings (Reisinger 2009). For example, what the Aussies refer to as soccer, the United Kingdom public refers to as football. There can be various ways of getting to one conclusion, therefore one must consider the words used when making business arrangements. Different intercultural communications can have different meanings and due to this, the objectives of each party will be difficult to get across to one another.
Differences in communication styles in verbal communication can often create communication barriers. When working in a business environment, employees need to develop abilities to be flexible with each in expatriates and disadvantaged working style. And also learn to recognize individual cultural differences to build stronger business relationships in term of its members. A study completed by Sriussadaporn (2006 ) stated how Thai supervisor had difficulties expressing ideas to the boss and another Thai junior employee reported as the individual was able to speak Japanese with the Japanese boss, the individual was more honoured and more advantaged than other Thai employees. Thus individuals need to be aware of communication problems among people of the same term have equal opportunities so relationships with term members can be strengthened
Knowing the nonverbal communication patterns is highly regarded as important in the business field. As verbal communications is to sending and receiving messages, non-verbal communications helps us interpret, reinforces and adds meanings to verbal messages. Factors that influence such significant differences in interpretation of nonverbal language include gazeing of eye, body movement, and facial expressions, the use of space, and postures and gestures. (Dwyer 2009). This ability to understand and use nonverbal communication is an essential tool that helps others understands an individual's point. For example, giving directions by pointing a finger to the right and repeating the word "right" to make it easy to understand, this method of intercultural communication improves business agendas in meetings and negotiations or conversations to develop new business relationships with overseas firms or customers.
Non verbal communication in forms of body language is important in relation to the business organizations. This method of communication can send signals to customers to produce a sense of interest, trust, or desire for connection. Effective use of nonverbal communication can reduce psychological distance and enhance effective intercultural communications between a customer and employee from a business organisation. Sundaram and Webster (2000) conducted a study on what types of nonverbal communication factors contribute to a specific idea in service encounters. These factors include: smiling, light laughter and frequent eye contact from a service providers enhance customers' perceptions of friendliness and courtesy. The physical attractiveness of the service provider is significantly being well groomed and colure and intensity of the clothes can give perceptions of friendliness, credibility, competence, empathy and courtesy to the customer. Understanding of how nonverbal communication styles from service employees affect customer's relationships in a business can result in increasing profits.
The ability to communicate clear nonverbal messages facilitates effective intercultural communication. It is important to consider all aspects of cultural factors when trying to understand the message and how the message is interpreted within the context as cultural differences influences the way individuals send and receive nonverbal messages. This method of communication feature express meaning, find the way to come up with a solution in challenging situations to build improved relationships internationally (Larson & Kleiner 2004). For example it is important to give straight eye contact when negotiating with a European and American and business partner, otherwise it is considered rude. Thus, valuable information in attempting to understand what an organisation is all about.
Differences in communication styles in nonverbal communication can often create barriers of misunderstandings and miscommunications between business partners. Cultural differences occur due to the fact in regard to the acceptable level of physical contact between individuals in their interpersonal interactions (Reisinger 2009). There are varies ways to convey meaning of hand gestures and facial expressions to express an idea or a message. For example, nodding of an individual head means "yes" in countries like Australia but "no" in Bulgaria (Griffin & Pustay 2009, p. 93). Thus, cultural context of nonverbal communication difference need to be studied before attending meeting to effectively communicate with a client from another culture.
Verbal communication conveys messages in coded words and nonverbal method of conveying massages to reveal feelings, liking, and preferences and honestly from a physical structure. Without complementing one another, they contradict the message, making understanding confusing. For example a business partner looking at the watch and baking away while tells the term member, "I' am very interested in what the speaker is saying" (Dwyer 2009, p. 94 ) . Therefore it is very important to use both verbal and nonverbal methods of communication to effectively communicate in an intercultural environment.
In conclusion, to ensure that effective cross-cultural communication occurs, is it more important to address issues and problems with respect to both verbal and nonverbal communication. There are two components in understanding a message efficiently, verbal and nonverbal expressions. Both methods lead to advantages and disadvantages of varies areas in intercultural communication. However both methods support each other to communicate the most effect intercultural communication.
- Dwyer, J 2009, 'Communication in business: strategies and skills', 4th edn, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
- Ferraro, GP 2010, 'The cultural dimension of international business', 6th edn, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
- Foong, YP & Richardson, S 2008, 'The perceptions of Malaysians in a Japanese company', Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol.15, no.3, pp.221-243.
- Griffin, R, Pustay, M 2009, 'The role of culture', in international Business, 6th edn, , Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Chapter 4, pp. 93-94.
- Larson, J, Kleiner, B 2004, 'How to read non verbal communication in organisations', Management Research News, Vol. 27, Iss. 4/5; pp. 6-17, viewed on 20 May, <http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=656765051&sid=5&Fmt=3&clientId=8429&RQT=309&VName=PQD>.
- Reisinger, Y 2009, 'Cultural influences on intercultural communication', in International tourism: cultures and behaviour, Butterworth-Heinemann, Jordan Hill, Oxford, United Kingdom, Chapter 7, pp. 165-198.
- Sriussadaporn, R 2006, 'Managing international business communication problems at work: a pilot study in foreign companies in Thailand', Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 13, no.4, pp. 330-344.
- Sundaram, D, Webster, C 2000,' The role of nonverbal communication in service encounters', The Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 14, Iss. 5, pg. 378. viewed on 20 May, <http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=9&did=115921724&SrchMode=1&sid=9&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1274777728&clientId=8429#indexing>.