Effective Communication
in a Diverse World

Two flowers

Relationship ~ Cultural Awareness

Effective communication requires an open mind, an attitude of a life-long learner, and an understanding of self as a cultural being.

…who has a particular…

Mind-Set

Understanding the concept of a cultural self.

Each of us has an internalized pattern of values, beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes, which are common to our own group of people.

Become aware of your cultural self. How?

Become mindful of your patterns of behavior.

Ask yourself…

  • What am I assuming?
  • What values do I reflect?
  • What beliefs do I hold?

Examples

Dominant US Cultural Belief
Man controls nature
Native American Cultural Belief
Humans live in harmony with nature

Learn that your culture is not the only valid one.

There are realities other than your own that are equally as valid as your own.

Skill-Set

The development of cultural communication skills.

One skill is the ability to view any particular situation from another person’s perspective- to shift one’s frame of reference so as to empathize.

Once I can empathize, then what?

Learn to “styleflex” which is the capability to adapt your communication style to the style of others.

Example

If direct eye contact is considered rude by the person you are talking with, adapt to that person’s style of indirect eye contact.

Why is this important?

We each have special gifts to offer others. By showing respect and adapting to another’s style, you allow for better and deeper communication.

Am I supposed to do all the work?

No! Everyone is involved in mutual adaptation. The result is the creation of something new, and the ability to grow and learn while maintaining your original culture.

Heart-Set

An attitude of mutual respect and caring.

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