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Cultural Considerations in Conveying Bad News Essay


I am researching what are the cultural considerations needed, to convey bad news to people of different cultures.

Cultural Considerations in Conveying Bad News

Bad news is inevitable, but how we convey them is very important. Technology and globalization has made the world much smaller, and we are interacting and doing business with people from different cultures more frequently than we did in past years. Because of this, we also need to very much aware of how we deliver negative messages.

The following are some suggestions to delivering bad news across different cultures: “North Americans prefer to present bad news indirectly, to minimize disappointment. In Asian countries, people try to avoid disrupting the harmony with bad news. To avoid saying ‘no’ Japanese communicators may change the subject or may respond with counter question or with silence. Brazilians as well prefer high-context communication.

“Maybe” or “I will try” is understood as “No” in Brazilian culture. But German communicators tend to present bad news directly. Directness is an important aspect in business for Germans. British communicators also utilize the direct approach when it comes to bad news. In Latin countries, however, the question is whether to present bad news, because reporting bad news to superiors is impolite and disrespectful.”

From the above examples, we can see that cultural differences must be considered before the message can be sent, if we want the message to be received, and understood by the receivers.


Sandeep (March 19, 2011)

[Designed for Word 97.]

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