Cultural differences in communication with groups and teams Essay
Cultural differences in communication with groups and teams
The process of passing information from one person to another is complex and a subject of discussion. This is because effective communication is essential for the development of any organization yet it has been marked with many problems, which have far reaching effects. Over time, communication has developed progressively from oral communication to written communication and now to the media and websites but still marked with the same complexity. It is in this interest that this paper is written.
It focuses on defining communication, identifying its problems and there causes and giving the possible solutions and recommendations to this problems. Definition Communication refers to an act of passing information from a given source to a recipient through a given medium (Hulkkonen, et al, 2010). It may also be defined as a connection that provides accessibility of two agents or places. For effective communication to occur there must be a source, a medium of transferring the information and a recipient.
All the parties involved in communication should have a common interest of passing and receiving information otherwise there will be poor presentation or misinterpretation between the two and the common goal of transferring information will not be achieved (Texas Christian University, 2010). One common mode of communication is oral communication which includes direct speeches, poetry and songs. Secondly, we have nonverbal communication which involves the transfer of wordless information.
This can be achieved through body languages such as facial expression and gestures or object communication such as symbols graphics and clothing. Lastly we have media communication which includes the radio, websites and telephones. The choice of the mode of communication to be used depends entirely on the type of information to be transferred, the number of recipients to be involved and the distance between the source and the recipient (Hulkkonen, et al, 2010).. Communication problems
Although communication is essential in any society or organizational groups and teams, which is conscious of achieving its goals, many people still continue to struggle to communicate and unfortunately finds they are unable to express their thoughts and ideas efficiently or even lack proper listening skills (Wood, 2009). This inability to communicate effectively can result to misunderstanding and can cause conflict and even war at its worst amongst members with different cultural backgrounds. Another problem of communication is incompetence.
Poor interpretation of instruction due to poor presentation of information can lead to misunderstanding in groups and teams or resulting into wrong actions being taken (Yarbrough & O’Rourke, 2009). Still, Poor communication can lead to endless and unnecessary arguments, which are time and energy consuming. The can result to dissatisfaction and lack of commitment among members of a given group or team. Lastly, mistrust among the members can amount to tension in groups and teams further leading to lack of coordination or total collapse of such groups and teams if proper action is not taken.. Causes of communication problem
One major cause of communication problem is fear. It is a common trend of human beings to protect their interest. This renders communication impossible because the need to protect our own interest is accompanied by lack of openness (Penn State University, 2007). This can amount to an endless and unnecessary argument because every body will be after his own interest. Another major cause of communication problem is misaligned expectation (Gupta, 2009). This occurs when different members of a given team have different opinions on how things should be done or handled and all thoughts are not properly taken into consideration or harmonized.
This can result to a conflict because no matter how they communicate they will never understand each other. Another cause of communication problem is incompetence. It is advisable to have the message clear and specific so that it can be accepted and acknowledged by the recipients. Lack of knowledge of the subject matter can lead to lack of this clarity and specification in the message and hence poor communication (Wood, 2009). Lastly is poor communication skill. Some effort must be put to make sure that the message is effectively passed to the recipient and that it cannot be misinterpreted
Alternative solutions to communication problems One way of preventing communicating problems is to build trust among group members. This is aimed at overcoming fear, which was described earlier on as major cause communication problem. Trust is built when one does exactly what he/she is expected to do. In addition to this, it is important to learn good communication skills, appreciate your differences and attain a consensus based on a common goal (Wiethoff, Lumsden, & Lumsden, 2009). Strategies for implementing and evaluating the chosen solutions
The above solutions will be declared effective if there will be efficient communication among the involved agents. There should be no misinterpretation of information, unnecessary arguments, any form of confusion or conflict. In addition to this, each and every member of a given team should be satisfied, committed and encouraged to participate for the common goal of the team (Texas Christian University, 2010). All this would be a sign of effective communication in teams and groups. Conclusion In conclusion therefore, effective communication is essential for the better running of any organization in the society.
It is therefore important to put more effort in developing good communication skills that will eliminate the above discussed problems and their causes References Gupta, P. (2009). Five Things You Can Do to Manage Cultural Differences in Virtual Teams. Retrieved July 22, 2010, from http://ezinearticles. com/? Five-Things-You-Can-Do-to-Manage-Cultural-Differences-in-Virtual-Teams&id=2634314 Hulkkonen, J. , et al. (2010). Cultural Differences in Multinational Team Communication in an IT Service Organization. Retrieved July 22, 2010, from http://www. outshore. org/LinkClick. aspx? fileticket=9uZxktWCVoc%3D&tabid=58&mid=387 Penn State University.
(2007). Building Blocks for Teams: Tips for Effective Communication. Retrieved July 22, 2010, from http://tlt. its. psu. edu/suggestions/teams/student/communicate. html Texas Christian University. (2010). Communication in Groups and Teams. Retrieved July 22, 2010, from http://www. cpeng. tcu. edu. tw/teaching/951/comm/1212-comm. ppt Wiethoff, C. , Lumsden, D. , & Lumsden, G. (2009). Communicating in Groups and Teams: Sharing Leadership. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Wood, J. (2009). Communication in Our Lives. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Yarbrough, B. , & O’Rourke, J. (2009). Leading Groups and Teams. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.