Answer in English for Nkokhelo #252160
Culture influences the manner in which different people organise their lives in terms of language, religious beliefs, social and moral values (Bagraim et al, 2007). Cross-cultural communication occurs when messages are sent and received effectively between members of different cultures. Given that both countries and organisations contain culturally diverse populations, discuss barriers to effective cross-cultural communication?
We all have a natural propensity to see other cultures through the eyes of our own. When we instinctively assume that our way of doing things and perceiving things is the only and correct way, we are said to be ethnocentrists. As a result, we judge behaviors that do not fit our worldview negatively. Other people’s actions strike us as strange and inappropriate. Ethnocentrism can also foster a “we vs. them” mentality, which can be harmful. I’ve heard the French grumble ethnocentrically about the Americans and vice versa in a prior firm where I worked.
You must be willing to change your management approach in order to successfully lead cross-cultural teams. It’s difficult to go against your natural instincts. People may feel untrustworthy and inept. I’m familiar with the instance of a French executive who relocated to the United States. He discovered that his normal French feedback technique, which focuses on what’s “wrong” rather to what’s “right,” was hurting his team’s trust. He recognized the issue, but he felt forced to act in a “American” manner. He returned to France as soon as he was able.
All teams speak the same language, but when some members are more fluent than others, social gap develops. People who are less fluent in English tend to retreat from communication in global teams, which means the team may not acquire all of the information it need. When people speak too quickly or use too much slang, it can be difficult to understand what they’re saying. This could have an impact on how people are seen in terms of their competence and performance. I worked at a company where non-native English speakers felt their professional advancement chances were limited compared to native English speakers.