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Nonverbal Communication Patterns Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 1 Nonverbal Communication Patterns Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 1

Areas of Nonverbal Communication n Chronemics (time) n Proxemics (space) n Oculesics (gaze/eye contact) Areas of Nonverbal Communication n Chronemics (time) n Proxemics (space) n Oculesics (gaze/eye contact) n Olfactics (smell) n Haptics (touch) n Kinesics (body language) n Chromatics (color) n Silence n Vocalics (voice) Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 2

Time (Chronemics) n Attitudes toward time vary from culture to culture. n Countries that Time (Chronemics) n Attitudes toward time vary from culture to culture. n Countries that follow monochronic time perform only one major activity at a time (U. S. , England, Switzerland, Germany). n Countries that follow polychronic time work on several activities simultaneously (Latin America, the Mediterranean, the Arabs). Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 3

Monochronic/Polychronic Cultures Monochronic People n n n do one thing at a time concentrate Monochronic/Polychronic Cultures Monochronic People n n n do one thing at a time concentrate on the job take time commitments seriously are committed to the job show respect for private property; rarely borrow or lend are accustomed to short-term relationships Polychronic People n n n do many things at once are highly distractible consider time commitments casually are committed to people borrow and lend things often tend to build lifetime relationships Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 4

Cultural Differences in Attitudes Toward Time U. S. persons are very time conscious and Cultural Differences in Attitudes Toward Time U. S. persons are very time conscious and value punctuality. Being late for meetings is viewed as rude and insensitive behavior; tardiness also conveys that the person is not well organized. n Germans and Swiss people are even more time conscious; people of Singapore and Hong Kong also value punctuality. n In Algeria, on the other hand, punctuality is not widely regarded. Latin American countries have a manana attitude; people in Arab cultures have a casual attitude toward time. n Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 5

Space (Proxemics) People in the U. S. tend to need more space than do Space (Proxemics) People in the U. S. tend to need more space than do persons of other cultures. U. S. persons back away when people stand too close. Standing too close is interpreted as being pushy or overbearing; standing too close may also be interpreted as unwelcomed sexual advances. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 6

Space Zones in the U. S. n The intimate zone (less than 18 inches) Space Zones in the U. S. n The intimate zone (less than 18 inches) is reserved for very close friends. n The personal zone (18 inches to 4 feet) is for giving instructions to others or working closely with another person. n The social zone (4 to 12 feet) is used in business situations in which people interact in a more formal, impersonal way. Hall & Hall, Understanding Cultural Differences 7

U. S. people need more space than do Greeks, Latin Americans, or Arabs. The U. S. people need more space than do Greeks, Latin Americans, or Arabs. The Japanese stand even farther away than do U. S. persons. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 8

Elevator Proxemics A psychology professor at a southern university gave his students an assignment Elevator Proxemics A psychology professor at a southern university gave his students an assignment to test elevator proxemics. Students reported the usual U. S. behaviors of facing the front and watching the illuminated floor indicator, assuming the Fig Leaf Position (hands/purses/ briefcases hanging down in front of the body), and positioning themselves in the corners or against the elevator walls. Then the professor added another assignment: students were to break the rules and get on the elevator, stand at the front facing the other occupants and jump backward off the elevator just before the door closed. One of the elevator occupants was heard to whisper, “Call 911; we’ve got a real weirdo here. ” Axtell, Gestures 9

The Office Environment and Nonverbal Messages n U. S. persons prefer desks and chairs The Office Environment and Nonverbal Messages n U. S. persons prefer desks and chairs in a face-to-face arrangement or at right angles, while the Chinese prefer the side-by-side arrangement. n In the U. S. outside offices with windows have more status than inside offices; large offices have more status than small ones; the top floor has more status than the first floor. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 10

n French top-level executives occupy the middle of an office area with subordinates around n French top-level executives occupy the middle of an office area with subordinates around them. n The Japanese do not consider private offices appropriate; only the highest ranking officers have private offices and may have desks in large work areas as well. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 11

Gaze/Eye Contact (Oculesics) Although people in the U. S. favor direct eye contact, in Gaze/Eye Contact (Oculesics) Although people in the U. S. favor direct eye contact, in other cultures, such as the Japanese, the reverse is true; they direct their gaze below the chin. In the Middle East, on the other hand, the eye contact is more intense than U. S. people are comfortable with. A prolonged gaze or stare in the U. S. is considered rude. In most cultures, men do not stare at women as this may be interpreted as sexually suggestive. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 12

Smell (Olfactics) n Although people of the U. S. respond negatively to body odors, Smell (Olfactics) n Although people of the U. S. respond negatively to body odors, Arabs are comfortable with natural body odors. n Other cultures in which smell plays an important role include the Japanese and Samoans. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 13

Touch (Haptics) n Touch, when used properly, may create feelings of warmth and trust; Touch (Haptics) n Touch, when used properly, may create feelings of warmth and trust; when used improperly, touch may cause annoyance and betray trust. n Hierarchy is a consideration when using touch in the U. S. : people who are older or higher rank may touch those who are younger or of lower rank; equals may touch each other. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 14

“Touch” of Different Cultures Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin “Touch” of Different Cultures Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 15

“Don't Touch” Cultures n Japan n U. S. and Canada n England n Scandinavia “Don't Touch” Cultures n Japan n U. S. and Canada n England n Scandinavia n Other N. European countries Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 16

Middle Ground Countries n Australia n France n China n Ireland n India n Middle Ground Countries n Australia n France n China n Ireland n India n Middle East countries Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 17

“Touch” Cultures n Latin American countries n Italy n Greece n Spain and Portugal “Touch” Cultures n Latin American countries n Italy n Greece n Spain and Portugal n Some Asian countries n Russian Federation Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 18

Location of the Touch Is Important n Appropriate touch in the U. S. is Location of the Touch Is Important n Appropriate touch in the U. S. is limited to shaking hands in business situations no hugs or expressions of affection. n In Thailand do not touch the head. n Do not touch Asians on the shoulders or even the back of the worker's chair. n Avoid touching a person with the left hand in the Middle East. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 19

Several years ago, when President Carter was mediating peace talks between Egypt and Israel, Several years ago, when President Carter was mediating peace talks between Egypt and Israel, Anwar Sadat frequently placed his hand on President Carter’s knee. While this subtextual message was intended as a gesture of warm friendship, the subtler message Sadat was conveying to the world was that he was President Carter’s equal. Fast, Body Language in the Workplace 20

Body Language (Kinesics) n Body language includes facial expressions, gestures, and posture and stance. Body Language (Kinesics) n Body language includes facial expressions, gestures, and posture and stance. n To interpret facial expressions correctly, it is important to take the communication context and culture into account. n People in some cultures rarely show emotion (China); Asians will smile or laugh softly when they are embarrassed. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 21

Facial Expressions n The face and eyes convey the most expressive types of body Facial Expressions n The face and eyes convey the most expressive types of body language, including happiness, surprise, fear, anger, interest, and determination. n Facial expressions must be controlled when inappropriate to the setting (yawning during a presentation). Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 22

Gestures n Emblems or symbols ( Gestures n Emblems or symbols ("V" for victory) n Illustrators (police officer's hand held up to stop traffic) n Regulators (glancing at watch when in a hurry) n Affect displays (a person's face turns red with embarrassment) Axtell, Gestures 23

General Guidelines U. S. Gestures n Interest is expressed by maintaining eye contact with General Guidelines U. S. Gestures n Interest is expressed by maintaining eye contact with the speaker, smiling, and nodding the head. n Open-mindedness is expressed by open hands and palms turned upward. n Nervousness is sometimes shown by fidgeting, failing to give the speaker eye contact, or jingling keys or money in your pocket. Axtell, Gestures 24

n Suspiciousness is indicated by glancing away or touching your nose, eyes, or ears. n Suspiciousness is indicated by glancing away or touching your nose, eyes, or ears. n Defensiveness is indicated by crossing your arms over your chest, making fisted gestures, or crossing your legs. n Lack of interest or boredom is indicated by glancing repeatedly at your watch or staring at the ceiling or floor or out the window when the person is speaking. Axtell, Gestures 25

Additional Guidelines for Gesturing in Various Cultures n The “V” for victory gesture, holding Additional Guidelines for Gesturing in Various Cultures n The “V” for victory gesture, holding two fingers upright, with palm and fingers faced outward, is widely used in the U. S. and many other countries. In England, however, it is a crude connotation when used with the palm in. Axtell, Gestures 26

The vertical horns gesture (raised fist, index finger and little finger extended) n n The vertical horns gesture (raised fist, index finger and little finger extended) n n Has a positive connotation associated with the University of Texas Longhorn football team. This gesture has an insulting connotation in Italy In Brazil and Venezuela it is a sign for good luck In other cultures, such as Italy and Malta, the horns are a symbol to ward off evil Axtell, Gestures 27 spirits

n The thumbs-up gesture has been widely recognized as a positive signal meaning “everything n The thumbs-up gesture has been widely recognized as a positive signal meaning “everything is O. K. ” or “good going. ” Although well known in North America and most of Europe, in Australia and West Africa it is seen as a rude gesture. n The head nod in most countries means “yes, ” but in Bulgaria it means “no. ” Axtell, Gestures 28

n The “O. K. ” sign, with the thumb and forefinger joined to form n The “O. K. ” sign, with the thumb and forefinger joined to form a circle, is a positive gesture in the U. S. , while in Brazil it is considered obscene. The gesture has still another meaning in Japan: money. n The beckoning gesture (fingers upturned, palm facing the body) used by people in the U. S. for summoning a waiter, for example, is offensive to Filipinos, as it is used to beckon animals and prostitutes. Vietnamese and Mexicans also find it offensive. Axtell, Gestures 29

An American engineer, sent to Germany by his U. S. company who had purchased An American engineer, sent to Germany by his U. S. company who had purchased a German firm, was working side by side with a German engineer on a piece of equipment. When the American engineer made a suggestion for improving the new machine, the German engineer followed the suggestion and asked his American counterpart whether or not he had done it correctly. The American replied by giving the U. S. American “OK” gesture, making a circle with the thumb and forefinger. The German engineer put down his tools and walked away, refusing further communication with the American engineer. The U. S. American later learned from one of the supervisors the significance of this gesture to a German: “You asshole. ” Axtell, Gestures 30

Posture and Stance n Posture can convey self-confidence, status, and interest. n Confident people Posture and Stance n Posture can convey self-confidence, status, and interest. n Confident people have a relaxed posture, yet stand erect and walk with assurance. n Walking with stooped shoulders and a slow, hesitating gait projects negative messages of lack of confidence. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 31

n Interest is demonstrated by leaning forward toward the person with whom you are n Interest is demonstrated by leaning forward toward the person with whom you are conversing. n The posture of U. S. persons is casual, including sitting in a relaxed manner and slouching when standing (considered rude in Germany). n Posture when seated varies with the culture; U. S. persons often cross their legs while seated (women at the ankle and men with the ankle on the knee). Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 32

n Most Middle Easterners would consider crossing the leg with the ankle on the n Most Middle Easterners would consider crossing the leg with the ankle on the knee inappropriate. n Avoid showing the sole of your shoe or pointing your foot at someone in the Arab world. n Follow the lead of the person of the other culture; assume the posture they assume. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 33

Color (Chromatics) n Colors have cultural variations in connotations. – Black is the color Color (Chromatics) n Colors have cultural variations in connotations. – Black is the color of mourning in the U. S. , but white is worn to funerals by the Japanese. – In the U. S. white is typically worn by brides, while in India red or yellow is worn. – Purple is sometimes associated with royalty, but it is the color of death in Mexico and Brazil. – Red (especially red roses) is associated with romance in some cultures including the U. S. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 34

United Airlines unknowingly got off on the wrong foot during its initial flights from United Airlines unknowingly got off on the wrong foot during its initial flights from Hong Kong. To commemorate the occasion, they handed out white carnations to the passengers. When they learned that to many Asians white flowers represent bad luck and even death, they changed to red carnations. Ricks, Blunders in International Business 35

Silence n Although U. S. persons are uncomfortable with silence, people from the Middle Silence n Although U. S. persons are uncomfortable with silence, people from the Middle East are quite comfortable with silence. n The Japanese also like periods of silence and do not like to be hurried. Such Japanese proverbs as, “Those who know do not speak - those who speak do not know, ” emphasize the value of silence over words in that culture. n In Italy, Greece, and Arabian countries, on the other hand, there is very little silence. Intercultural Business Communication, 4 th ed. , Chaney & Martin 36