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Verbal Communication Styles

Uploaded by Galaghard on Sep 24, 2002

Communication is integral for any relationship, be it a familial relationship, a friendship, a business association, a working relationship, or a romantic partnership. Not only is communication important for the success of any relationship, but the lack of it can absolutely ruin a relationship. The repercussions of poor communication include feelings of betrayal, fast propagating distrust, misinterpretation of signals and events, accumulation of problems, willing self-isolation, and the deterioration of relationships. Communication is an excellent means by which all involved parties can work on ailing relationships. (“About Communication skills” 1)

Everyone communicates with someone. It is a function that one learns to do as one travels through life. Part of the communication process involves using language. However, language in itself also has its own way of functioning. As Ronald B. Adler and Neil Towne put it, language “has its own unique style that distinguishes it from others” (Looking Out/Looking In: Ninth Edition 221). It is something that encompasses the use of devices as formality and informality; precision and vagueness; and brevity and detail. And in terms of verbal communication styles as it pertains to differences among various nations, it is something that may cause miscommunication due to the variable approaches in directness, succinctness, and formality. Insofar as the paper is concerned, topics to be covered include a discussion of low- and high-context cultures, the elaborateness or succinctness of the culture’s language, and additionally its formality or informality, including some suggestions on how to communicate with people who may have a communication style that varies from one’s own.

First, let one consider the idea of low- and high-context communication. These two terms differentiate the two ways in which a certain culture may communicate. As defined by the article entitled “High Context/Low Context Communication” published on the internet by About.com, low-context communication is that system “in which the speaker sends a very direct and explicit verbal message.” Conversely, where high-context communication is the system “in which the speaker expects the listener to interpret his intended meaning not only from the verbal message but also from the context of the conversation and other non-verbal channels” (1). To put things in perspective, consider a comparison among culturally diverse Americans that Marcelle E. DuPraw and Marya Axner speak of in their essay “Toward a More Perfect Union in an Age of Diversity: Working on Common Cross-cultural Communication Challenges.” They say that

[…] some white Americans typically consider raised...

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Uploaded by:   Galaghard

Date:   09/24/2002

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   8 pages (1,720 words)

Views:   1783

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