Hall, explains that every culture is affected by the manner in which time, context, and space are handled. It is stunning that his discoveries are not included in most introductory social science texts. He and Mildred Reed Hall further elaborate on these measures of cultural difference in a book that analyzes differences between American, French and German notions of ideal interaction and best business practices, Understanding Cultural Differences
Add to this the nuances of differing cultures and we have a rather complex matter. Such nuances create certain barriers to communicating in a cross-cultural setting. Today, more than ever, leaders must find ways to influence people in varying cultures.
Edward Hall, considered one of the fathers of cross-cultural communication, wrote that human communication is non-verbal and always follows cultural and contextual patterns.
In his book The Silent Language he introduced the concepts of high-context vs. High-Context and Low-Context Cultures Hall presented the argument that in high context cultures ideas are not spelled out nor defined in detail and that in low-context cultures require details.
High-context cultures assume that the people we speak to understand the context of our message and that the implied ideas of our message are not spelled out in any detail.
High-context cultures such as China and Japan receive information about the meaning of messages based on the setting in which the message is communicated.
In high-context environments individuals who share common implied meanings prefer communicating in more indirect or covert ways through nonverbal communication and meanings. A low-context culture would consider high-context cultures to be somewhat passive aggressive in their communication styles.
Hall defined high-context cultures as: Low-context cultures such as Great Britain and Germany use their words to embed greater meaning and their messages are more direct when speaking. Hall defined low-context cultures as: Monochronic communication In a polychronic culture we find individuals more likely to engage in multiple activities at the same time.
They are more likely to become restless in the absence of differing stimuli. Typically Latin, African and Asian cultures are seen as polychronic.
According to Hall, polychronic cultures are evident by: Conversely, a monochronic culture will most likely have specific precisions related to time, agendas, and dealing with one thing at a time. When leaders fail to understand the communication styles as presented through the high-context and low-context cultures, serious difficulties can arise for them when dealing with individuals from differing cultures.
Global leaders must begin to find ways to understand and improve their communication skills. Improving Communication Skills To improve communication skills we must first understand the mechanics of communications. Inthe now famous research by Mehrabian and Ferris noted that communication is typically 7 percent verbal words38 percent vocal Para verbal and 55 percent facial body language.
When considering both high- and low-context cultures, they each hold different delivery and receptions of verbal and non-verbal messages. Likewise a polychronic culture might believe a monochronic culture to be strict in their approach to communication.
Additional considerations would be in how the culture approaches appointments and time. While some may find chronic lateness to be on time, other cultures might receive this as rude. Understanding these deeper nuances as the sum of the communication process is important to interpreting the messages being presented.
Given these complexities, we cannot simply define communication as the act of conveying information through the combined effect of simultaneous verbal, vocal, and facial attitude communications. Listening skills are essential to good communication, but we must consider how the interpretations of such conveyed information is achieved.
When we consider the nonverbal dimensions of intercultural communication we much confront the differing cultural behaviors.
These cultural nuances become essential to the overall success of the leader from within the culture they operate. Conclusion How we view and interpret culture is based predominantly on how we see the culture through our own cultural lenses.Knowing whether you’re in a monochronic or polychronic culture may not be top of your travel checklist, but it pays to know before you go that people perceive priorities and manage time in vastly different ways.
The Effect of Cultural Roots on Time Orientation. Just as monochronic and polychronic cultures have different time perspectives, understanding the time orientation of a culture is critical to becoming better able to successfully handle diplomatic situations.
Americans, for instance have a future orientation. May 30, · Monochronic and polychronic time orientation are one of the differences because of the varied cultures.
Monochonic time involves taking on one thing at a time. These people try to be very punctual and stick to a schedule. Monochrinic people like to have fixed projects with targets deadlines and outcomes. The most extreme monochromic concept is that of being able to waste time. Polychronic. The polychromic are the opposite of this (you guessed it).
For a polychromic person dealing with time is a more flexible thing. Swedish culture is typical " monochronic ", taking agreed schedules very seriously, while Croatian is more " polychronic", where commitments are achieved only if possible and are understood more as guidelines then a strict obligation.
Monochronic vs. Polychronic Cultures. Globalization Add comments. Monochronic People. Polychronic People. Do one thing at a time. Do many things at once.
Concentrate on the job. Can be easily distracted and manage interruptions well. Take time commitments seriously. Consider an objective to be achieved, if possible.