Diversity Affects Communication Essay

Diversity Affects Communication Victoria Moore University of Phoenix Introduction to Communication COM/100 Bruce Turner January 03, 2010 Diversity Affects Communication 1. What is cultural diversity? Why is an appreciation of diversity important in communication? Cultural diversity is having a group made up of people from various ethnicities, backgrounds, religions, etc. Having an appreciation of diversity is extremely important and essential for effective communication.

For example, if you are a person that makes a lot of gestures to express yourself but you are attempting to communicate with someone who comes from a culture that does not utilize gestures; you would want to take this into consideration so that you do not come across as rude or offensive to the person that you are communicating with. 2. How would you describe your cultural background? How do your values affect the way you communicate with others and the way they communicate with you?

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Culture can be defined as “system of shared ideas and meanings, explicit and implicit, which a people use to interpret the world and which serve to pattern their behavior’. That being said my cultural background is very diverse. I am a young, African-American woman. An immediate assumption would be that I am liberal in both actions and ideas; however, that is false. I actually tend to have very conservative view points since I am also moderately religious. My values and my upbringing affect almost every aspect of my everyday life including the way that I communicate with other.

The values that have been instilled in me is what tells me to be respectful to others and in return demand respect for myself. For example, I was in my very early twenties when I was a manager at the hotel that I work at. Most of the people that I managed were older than I was; however, they understood that I could be very personable and relate to them on a social level but I also could handle business. 3. How do gender differences affect communication? As I get older, and hopefully wiser, I learn more about how gender affects communication.

I have learned how to communicate with the opposite sex by learning what they are influenced/hindered by. For example, I know that the worst time to communicate with my boyfriend is when he is watching any type of sporting event. I have learned that during this time anything I say goes in one ear and out the other. I have also learned that like the saying goes “You attract more flies with honey than with sugar. What this means in terms of communication with the opposite sex is that sometimes you can flash a nice smile to get something you want.

Also, the ways that men and women communicate are very different. Usually men are more straightforward and to the point whereas women tend to elaborate more and tend to also be more emotional when communicating. 4. Describe three barriers to bridging differences. What strategies may you use to overcome them? Three barriers that were mentioned in the reading are: 1) Stereotyping and prejudice: These are opinions that are formed and are most likely wrong about a group of people. This can be overcome by simply not judging a book by its cover.

We should not rush to form opinions or imply certain things about people based on their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. 2) Assuming superiority: As the text mentioned, this is one of reasons that our country has terrorists attacks aimed at us. Our country is hated by numerous others because we infer that we are the best, the richest, the most powerful. This can be overcome by communicating more with other countries and not just imposing our will on them. 3) Assuming similarity: This is an assumption that other people think and act the way that you do.

This can be overcome by taking other peoples thoughts and ideas into consideration. 5. Identify three advantages and three challenges of working in a multicultural team. Three advantages of working in a multicultural team could be: 1) Unique viewpoints: Someone may have a new and unique way of looking at something or resolving an issue. 2) Opportunity to learn: Sometimes we get so stuck in our own box that we forget that there are other rich cultures out there that we could learn about. ) Opportunity for understanding: We may be able to understand more about a person or culture by understanding what they have gone through. Three challenges of working in a multicultural team could be: 1) Communication barriers: There may be a language or some other type of communication barrier that could be a hindrance to a team. 2) Inability to see past differences: Sometimes there may be so much cultural tension that you may not be willing to work through them. ) Different ways of working: Some cultures may have a mentality of getting things done as soon as possible while others may believe in taking their time. 6. Does diversity affect ethical decisions? Explain your answer. I think that diversity does affect ethical decisions because different cultures are going to have different ways of looking at ethical issues. For example, the issue of abortion may be more accepted in culture as opposed to another, therefore people from those cultures are going to have two very different opinions about it.


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