Cross Cultural Communication Barriers:

·         Language
·         Evaluation
·         Non-verbal communication
·         Stereotype
·         Stress

There are ways to cross these barriers:

-          Language.- Be culturally competent. Know what to say, how, when, where and why. Ask for clarification when you don’t understand, learn the language or find help.

-          Non-verbal communication.- Do not assume you understand any verbal signals of behaviors. Don’t take it personally; develop awareness of your own nonverbal communication that might be insulting for others.

-          Stereotyping.- Increase awareness of your own preconceptions. Learn about other cultures and avoid judging. It can become a vicious circle of prejudice, racism, violence, and end up in war and genocide.

-          Evaluation.- Maintain appropriate distance, recognize that you cannot change a culture, do not judge values until you have come to know them.

-          Stress.- Accept ambiguity, reduce other intercultural barriers, be forgiving.   

It is very difficult to understand other cultures and it is more difficult when you have to maintain relationships or even life inside other culture. I think that the way to avoid having any sort of problems is to be patient, to have an open mind. It is important, especially in this times of diversity and constant contact with different cultures, that we develop awareness and that we learn to understand and respect others. My advice is to be open to changes, to understand and even learn from other cultures. We have to appreciate the opportunity that we have with open communication and all the facilities of internet and information, to learn from other cultures. Each culture has something different, something special and something very interesting that instead of judging and discriminating we should take it, learn from it for our personal benefit, to nurture our spiritual growth.
Dimensions of National Culture

    •          Gender
         •          Extreme Masculinity .- material success and progress, wining, gender diferentiation
         •          Extreme Feminity .- caring for others

    •          Hierarchy
         •          Extreme High Power Distance .- respect for status
         •          Extreme Low Power Distance .- equality between people

    •          Identity
         •          Extreme Individualism .- individual freedom
         •          Extrene Collectivism .- group harmony

    •          Truth
         •          Extreme Uncertainty Acoidance .- certainty, different is dengerous, time is money
         •          Extreme Uncertainty Tolerance .- exploration

    •          Virtue
         •          Extreme Long-Term Orientation .- long-term benefits, working hard, saving
         •          Extreme Short-Term Orientation .- saving face, social preasure
Culture.- “Social heritage of a community, including material expression, its ideological expressions and its structural or institutional expressions; socially learned/constructed, therefore contingent and variable.” - Michael Karlberg

Culture is the identity of a society but also of each person. I think that the culture you have from the society to which you belong is just the basis of your own personal culture. Something that you personally develop and is what makes your personality, your ways of thinking and acting. The culture is something that is constantly changing and creating different points of view in a person’s life. Each person has a different culture and it should be respected no matter what, even if it is not shared. Diversity is what makes us interesting and unique parts of the whole world, it needs to be appreciated and respected.