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The Race/Ethnic Group Of The Sender Is As Important As The Message Communicated In How The Message Is Understood.

1814 words - 7 pages

Understanding the race or ethnical background of the sender is a key to effective communication and as important as the message itself. We are going to prove this statement using some examples and relevant references. Verbal and non-verbal communication will be considered in details and its affecting by race, cultural and ethnical background of the sender. In the conclusion, we will overview all that stated before with emphasizing of the main idea of this essay.As we know, the most basic communication model is the SMCR model (sender, message, channel, receiver). The first stage of that model is when the sender wishes to communicate and tries to send his message to the receiver encoding the idea using symbols to represent it. According to Sligo, Fountaine, O?Neill, and Sayers (2000, p.27) ?Represent is the key word here. The words we use to convey some concept represent what is in our minds? Painting is the artist?s encoding process, music the composer?s, smoke signals the American Indian?s, Morse code the army signals operator?s, gestures the mime artist?s, words the writer?s and so on. Numerous different forms of encoding permit us to communicate.? Although, the receiver create meanings of the message inside his head on the basis of what he thinks the sender is trying to say. Sligo et al explain that in themselves, words have no meanings. Their function is to suggest meanings in the minds of receivers. You can send a message, but you cannot send meanings. Moreover, the more differences there are between people who are communicating, the more difficulties occur in their understanding of each other. In other words, misunderstandings are especially likely to occur when the people who are communicating have different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.The sender encodes a message in one context, using assumptions common to people in his or her culture; the listener decodes the message using a different set of assumptions. The result is confusion and, often, hard feelings. For example, take the case of the computer sales representative who was calling on a client in China. Hoping to make a good impression, the salesperson brought along a gift to break the ice, an expensive grandfather clock. Unfortunately, the Chinese client was deeply offended because, in China, giving clocks as gifts is considered bad luck for the recipient. Such problems arise because of our unconscious assumptions and non-verbal communication patterns. We ignore the fact that people from other cultures differ from us in many ways: in their religion and values, their ideas of status, their decision-making habits, their attitude toward time, their use of space, their body language, and their manners. We assume, wrongly, that other people are like us.The first step in learning to communicate with people from other cultures is to become aware of what culture means. Our awareness of intercultural differences is both useful and necessary in today's world of business. When we encounter...

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