What are the major stumbling blocks in intercultural communication?


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Elica Zadeh Profile
Elica Zadeh answered

There are a plethora of stumbling blocks that could occur during intercultural communication. Some of which are as followed:

  • Language barriers

The first and most obvious would be problems with verbal communication. If you do not speak one common language, it can be difficult to understand one another and thus evoke frequent misconceptions and misunderstandings.

  • Stereotypes

Often, expecting someone to be or behave a type of way due to stereotypical or archetypal preconceptions of their race can thwart us from interacting with them in an appropriate manner. If you treat somebody by a standard that you have bestowed upon them due to preconceived notions,  things can quickly go awry.

  • Culture

It is always important to consider that people of different cultures have different moral, religious, societal and spiritual beliefs. It is important to stay open minded to this, and understand that 'right' and 'wrong' are relative terms.

  • Misreading non-verbal communication

We all have certain gestures, hand signals and facial expressions that we believe to be universally understood, however this may not be the case. Different races and cultures may have their own idiosyncratic interpretations of such non-verbal gestures.

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