Goal 3. To understand the nonverbal cues and the cultural context in which communication unfolds

People rely on nonverbal cues in day to day life. A person can determine the mood of someone, or how someone is feeling based on nonverbal cues. If someone had a frown on their face you know they are sad, or if someones arms are crossed you might think they  are not being very open. Sometimes understanding nonverbal cues are just as important as understanding the verbal ones.

According to Augustine “in low-context countries, great emphasis is placed on words. Every effort is made to communicate unambiguously through the use of words. The message receiver is expected to derive most of the meaning from the written or verbalized statements and not from non-verbal behavior cues, or social and physical contexts.” But, ” in high-context societies, the importance and power of words are de-emphasized. The meaning of a message is less on the words. The perception of the message sender, nonverbal cues, social and physical contexts, are used to ascribe meaning to a transmitted verbal message. Statements may not be explicit and categorical. Blanks have to be filled in mentally by the message decoder”.

America is a lo-context culture and Korea is a high-context culture, so having two of these people trying to work together could cause a problem because they communicate in such a different way.

When meeting with my partner this week it was interesting to learn more about how a high-context cultures. I learned that in Korea people do not make eye contact between people of different gender, age, and social status. because it might be taken as a challenge. This is very different then in America where it is considered rude if you do not make eye contact when speaking to someone. In america people who don’t make eye contact may be considered shy, not confident, or rude.

In Korea slurping and or burping are seen as compliments and shows that you are satisfied with you meal. In America this is considered rude and impolite and would not be acceptable at a dinner table.

Lastly when businessmen meet someone they would shake hands with them after a bow. But when they shake hands they would support their right forearm with the left hand in order to show respect. They also bow before leaving. Bowing is done from the waist, standing straight, with knees closed. In America a businessman would simply shake someones hand before and after a meeting.



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