Barriers to Cross-Cultural Communication by Vadim Kotelnikov  

Culture is the "lens" through which one views the world. In communication, people respond to their experience, not to reality itself.

Culture is pervasive.  Cultural differences arise from different origins: birthplace; nationality; ethnicity; family status; gender; age; language; education; physical condition; sexual orientation; religion; profession; place of work, and so on.




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Cultural Blindness
Ignoring cultural differences, speaking and acting as though differences do not exist.
Cultural Incompetence
You cannot treat everybody the same regardless of culture without adverse consequences. Simple gestures that would be benign or complementary in one country could be a gross insult in another country. Acts that people from one culture perform every day and phrases that they use all the time with each other could be offensive and judged negatively by people from a different culture. For instance, North Americans view direct eye contact as a sign of honesty, while in many Asians view direct eye contact as a form of disrespect.
Generalizing about a representative of a culture while ignoring presence of individual difference; mindset “they are all like that."
Cultural Imposition
Believing that everyone should conform to a certain culture whose representatives think they know what's best for everyone,
Inability to accept another culture's world view and values; mindset “our way / style of democracy / values are the best."
Discriminatory treatment of a person or a cultural group due to minority status – actual, perceived or imposed.


Tagore quotes

The bird thinks it is an act of kindness to give the fish a lift in the air.

Rabindranath Tagore