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Building effective communication skills and relationships within a single culture is often challenging Bridging the gap between different cultures makes building communication skills and relationships even more difficult I will discuss some of the challenges of cross-cultural communication and the pieces necessary to build effective working relationships Typically some of the basic assumptions we make when communicating with people from our own culture must be questioned and modified when communicating with people of another culture First on the list of items for review is verbal communication Parts of verbal communication such as tonality tense gender generalities and structure vary greatly from culture to culture A majority of these differences are based on core values and perceptions in different cultures therefore such differences must be acknowledged if effective communication and relationships are to occur A principle rule of mutual respect is the basis for success in communication and relationships Mutual respect should be based on the following criteria always allow for and assume differences until similarity is proved emphasize description rather than definition or judgment practice empathy treat your interpretation as a unproved theory until further understanding proves certainty Often cultural differences are easily identified and therefore easy to adapt to but others are significantly more difficult An example of a cultural difference with easy adaptability could be the matter of personal space Someone whose cultural background has defined their need for limited areas of personal space when working and communicating with others as opposed to someone who feels the need for a required yet undefined area of personal space The person who requires a certain sense of space may find himselfherself always backing up when working with the other person The lack of personal space may be just as uncomfortable for one person as the lack of desired closeness is for the other This personal space example demonstrates that some cultural differences are apparent and simple to accommodate Another contrast of
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