Saturday, July 14, 2012

Diversity and Culture

  • Do you find yourself communicating differently with people from different groups and cultures?

  •             Because of this class, I have been more mindful of how I am communicating recently.  Last week I was in the mall having a pedicure.  The man giving me the pedicure was Asian although at first I didn't know exactly where he was from.  His English was heavily accented and I found myself leaning in closer and listening more carefully to his words, trying to understand his meanings.  I also noticed that I was very aware of his non verbal cues.  There was a TV playing off to the side and the show International House Hunters was on.  When the show began talking about houses in Vietnam his face lit up and he said something the the woman next to him in their home language.  I asked him if he was from Vietnam.  He said yes he was and spent the rest of the time telling me about his home country and how much he missed it.  It was an interesting conversation and one I would not have had id I was not watching his non verbal cues.

  • If yes, in what ways do you communicate differently

  • I think when it comes to language barriers, I listen more closely and watch for non-verbal cues to help understand the conversation.  When speaking with someone whose language is the same but cultural views are different, I am more mindful of the content of speech.  I would never want to intentionally insult someone of hurt their feelings or discount their beliefs.  In that I sometimes keep my own opinions and beliefs out of the conversation, depending on the relationship I have with the person.


    Patricia Robinson said...

    Noticing nonverbal cues are an effective way to communicate. One thing to keep in mind from the reading this week is that our meaning of those cues may not mean the same to a different group.

    Barbara2 said...

    Stacie, Many times we do have to listen closer, and in those times I think that we loose the urge to interrupt or add our 'two cents".

    audreywinters said...

    Totally awesome great examples for this weeks assignment. I liked how your relied on the non-verbal communication. And Asian people I realized from your comments really miss their homeland. I always thought, if they relocated to the United States they were really happy. I find that not to always be the case. Thanks again!

    Ginny said...

    I had a similar encounter getting my nails done this week. I always like to talk to the people who do my nails and usually it is a pleasant conversation. This week I found it more meaningful as I was truly trying to understand what they were telling me. I also had dinner at one of my favorite Habachi places in town and the owner and his family are from Vietnam. My husband and I have gotten to know them very well over the years. The stories they have about their country and families is usually a dark contrast to ours. I even found myself talking with them more than I usually do as I went in there this week. I'm sure the conversation you were able to have at the nail salon was very meaningful to you and the employee. It seems to me being in there all day with customers you can't communicate with could get rather boring.