Cross-cultural Communication


WEEK 1 Your company’s leaders are considering sending you as a representative to a conference with a large international attendance. The leaders want to make sure you handle the task appropriately, so they have asked you to provide them with a summary of your cross-cultural communication knowledge and skills.

Write a 700- to 1,050-word e-mail to leadership, in which you do the following:
Identify the principles of cross-cultural communication.
Identify barriers to cross-cultural communication.
Provide examples of how to properly address barriers.


Name of Student

Name of Professor

Cultural and Ethnic Studies Paper

01 April 2015.

Cross-cultural Communication


Introduction. 1

Principles of Cross-Cultural Communication. 1

Barriers to Cross-Cultural Communication. 2

Examples of How to Properly Address the Barriers. 3

Conclusion. 3

Works Cited. 4


The ability to communicate effectively in a cross-cultural context is important for every leader, particularly in today’s multicultural world. To excel in cross-cultural communication, these leaders must possess the requisite knowledge and skills relating to cross-cultural communication. Against this backdrop, this email outlines principles of cross-cultural communication, barriers to cross-cultural communication, and examples of how those barriers can be properly addressed.


Principles of Cross-Cultural Communication

There are five principles of cross-cultural communication that leaders should always promote; they include non-verbal communication, the ability to differentiate between high- and low-context cultures, the ability to adapt to new knowledge regarding people of other cultures, respect for cultural differences, and ability to emphasize on cultural similarities. Non-verbal communication involves the use of gestures and body language to make up for cultural differences and lack of linguistic intelligibility. Moreover, a person should be able to draw the distinction between high- and low-context cultures and respond accordingly through social interactions and mannerisms. In high-context cultures, for example, the Arab culture, a lot of emphases is on non-verbal messages, meaning that people expect cultural norms to determine the way messages and feedbacks are communicated. In contrast, low-context cultures, for example, the American culture, are characterized by a direct approach to communication, whereby no constraints are imposed by cultural considerations and expectations.


Moreover, an individual should adapt to new cultural information as soon as it becomes available by dismissing previously held culture-specific beliefs, misconceptions, and attitudes. Similarly, respect for cultural differences should also be promoted, such that an individual should not perceive his culture to be superior to other cultures. In other words, cultural differences should be celebrated and not tolerated. Lastly, the ability to emphasize cultural similarities while at the same time suppressing differences greatly helps to enhance cross-cultural communication.

Barriers to Cross-Cultural Communication

The most important barriers to cross-cultural communication that everyone should be wary of are cultural prejudice, culture shock, and ethnocentrism. Cultural prejudice arises when an individual develops a negative attitude towards another individual simply by associating him or her to members of a certain cultural group (Spencer-Rodgers and McGovern 614). On the other hand, culture shock occurs when an individual finds it extremely difficult, almost impossible, to rise up to the challenges arising from cultural differences, in most cases leading to enormous emotional and psychological suffering. In ethnocentrism, an individual belongs to one cultural group tends to judge everyone else using his or her own cultural standards, thereby jeopardizing cross-cultural communication with members of all other cultural groups.

Examples of How to Properly Address the Barriers

There are several ways of addressing barriers to effective cross-cultural communication. Cultural prejudices can be tackled by taking several measures. One of them is traveling widely in order to meet people of diverse cultural backgrounds. Lengthy interactions in cross-cultural contexts can challenge an individual to rethink his or her assumptions and misconceptions about people who belong to other cultural groups. The pursuit of education can also enable individuals to understand the evils that have been caused by cultural prejudice such as racism. This kind of knowledge can easily help communicants to overcome cultural prejudice in order to become effective in cross-cultural communication.


            In conclusion, this email has identified five principles of cross-cultural communication: non-verbal communication, high- versus low-context cultures, adapt to new cultural knowledge, respect for cultural differences, and emphasis on cultural similarities. On the other hand, the main barriers to effective communication across cultures are cultural prejudice, culture shock, and ethnocentrism. Lastly, the best ways of addressing these barriers are traveling widely and getting an education on the negative effects of prejudice and ethnocentrism on society.

Works Cited

Spencer-Rodgers, Julie., and McGovern, Timothy. “Attitudes toward the culturally different: The role of intercultural communication barriers, affective responses, consensual stereotypes, and perceived threat”. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 26.6(2002): 609–631.

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