Identify a verbal communication concept addressed in the reading

Peter Blanco

Discussion Board #4

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Question: Identify a verbal communication concept (a rule, function, pattern, or style) addressed in the reading, and discuss how this could positively or negatively impact communication and gospel witness in an intercultural setting.

The question or discussion point asks us to elaborate on how a rule, function, pattern, or style may affect positively or negatively communication. Ting-Toomey and Chung present the vast array of premises that affect language and culture as a clear picture of how communication can be a double edge tool. If anyone is serious about communicating clearly it will be of great benefit to become a student of language and culture. The “checkpoints,” as described by Ting-Toomey et al, summarizes the areas of awareness to achieve the desired communication. These checkpoints help us “to communicate flexibly when you are using your native language (e.g., English) when communicating with a nonnative English-speaking audience or individuals with a different communication style.”[1] In summary the checkpoints serve as a survival cheat sheet; these are as follows: Understand linguacultural; practice verbal tracking; practice verbal patience; pay attention to nonverbal tone of voice; Use multiple modes of presentation; Master the cultural pragmatic rules; Understand the basic rules difference of low-context and high-context communication patterns; Practice verbal code-switching mindfully.

Within the United States of America, we have had such an influx of immigrants (myself included) that becoming proficient in such practices would make our lives so much fluid and harmonic. I remember a specific Army selection course I took where part of the selection criteria was to work in teams to achieve some grueling tasks. In my team there were a few “international” candidates (again, myself included). To make things clear, we were all US citizens at the time. We had to communicate clearly and work as a team under lots of stress, no food, no sleep, and tons of testosterone and dominant personalities; it was fun! I wish we all had taken this course back then. Even though we achieved our goal there was much self-restraint exercised among ourselves. This is just a side story, but it comes to mind while reading this week’s chapter.

The Cultural Worldview Function is an encompassing value which allows is to truly understand how to communicate and to comprehend where that group or individual is coming from in a conversation. “Worldview refers to our larger philosophical outlook or ways of perceiving the world and how this outlook, in turn, affects our thinking and reasoning patterns.”[2] As Christians, we MUST understand our worldview as Scripture presents it. Many viewpoints that may not be clearly defined have to be filtered through our doctrinal colander in order to establish a clear position on given issues. Nevertheless, we cannot assume that everyone we talk to has a Christian worldview. One of our goals is to figure out, either directly or indirectly, what his/her/their worldview is so we can adapt our language and message. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, when it is received at the heart level, transforms our worldview. Understanding someone’s worldview demonstrates empathy from our part and allows us to find different routes to present Jesus and allow Jesus to do the conversion.

[1] Stella Ting-Toomey and Leeva C. Chung, Understanding Intercultural Communication. Oxford, NY. Oxford University Press, 2012, p.128.

[2] Ibid., 118-119.

Ting-Toomey, Stella and Leeva C. Chung, Understanding Intercultural Communication 2nd Edition. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.

Samuel Bellegarde

DB 4: Verbal Communication

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The proper functioning of a verbal communication depends on the quality of the relationships within it. This truth is exacerbated in multinational organizations as well as in structures that must collaborate within intercultural individuals. Function can identify as a verbal communication concept that can positively or negatively impact communication and gospel witness in an intercultural setting. If “function” as the management of any organization as the level chain of command is respected in this case important then this concept can positively impact communication. The global mode of operation must adapt to this specificity by adopting intercultural management and intercultural communication. In case of difficulties, tensions or conflicts, it may sometimes be necessary to involve an intercultural mediator. Working with people from different geographical backgrounds not only introduces language barriers, but also involves more complex issues related to cultural differences. Hence the importance of giving a full place to interculturality within the company.

Having different cultures sometimes means having a different view of the world, but also having a specific body language, a way of expressing or not expressing certain things or a attitude towards complex situations, faced with tensions. and conflicts. Interculturality involves thinking about all these innate behaviors and evaluating their impact on someone from another culture to make professional exchanges more fluid and facilitate collaboration. Function as a Communication is a fundamental concept of interculturality. For two individuals from different cultures, it is a question of adopting an attitude, a vocabulary and a communication approach that adapts to one’s interlocutor in order to facilitate exchanges and avoid misunderstandings. In case of entrenched communication problems, intercultural mediation can be a solution. It refers to intervening between two people from different cultures to facilitate the transmission of knowledge and exchange. The intercultural mediator has linguistic and cultural skills and knowledge to serve as a facilitator of exchanges.

Function as an intercultural management will be an essential concept in companies that confront different cultures. The growing mobility and globalization of economies make this concept a pervasive issue in the life of today’s business. Although exchanges have intensified, this has not reduced cultural barriers and large international companies sometimes see their performance reduced because of mismanagement of interculturality, hence the importance of introducing intercultural management approach to make the most of each culture and ensure long-term collaboration between employees from diverse backgrounds. By setting up an intercultural management in your company, you will be able to adopt the good posture within the framework of exchanges involving interculturality as for example a partnership, a merger, the acquisition of an international subsidiary, the internal exchanges with entities from other countries … Are concerned by the issue of intercultural management all professionals with responsibilities at the international level, in charge of communication within a multinational group or who are simply confronted interculturality as part of their job.

References

Toomey, Stella T., and Leeva C. Chung. (2012). Understanding Intercultural Communication. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

GLST week 5: Presentation video by Dr. Melody Harper.

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