Role of Culture in Communication

Role of Culture in Communication


Culture consists of the standard and sharable values among a group of people. Cultures and customs are representative of common patterns about people or communities. Communication creates culture and perpetuates it and is a crucial component of the community. Various cultural communication considerations are important to understand and include three key elements: Perception of time, emotional displays, and preferable mediums in use. These cultural aspects affect how communication occurs across cultures, and mastering them will lead to effective communication.

Choice of Communication Medium                                                       

The medium is the form in which communication takes place. The medium is as good as the message in some instances. This difference in the medium is the result of High versus Low Context Cultures. In Japan, a high context country, personal connections and informal agreements are considered better communication platforms than traditional communication forms. In a low context culture of the English-speaking Western world, contracts must be meticulously worded as it depends on the communication medium’s explicitness to agree (Datta, 2018). In highly industrialized and developed nations, priority is given to electronic communication and written communication over oral or face-to-face contact. Such nations such as the United States, Canada, or Germany exemplify this perfectly. However, it is different for countries such as Japan, a highly industrialized country that still prefers face-to-face over written communication However, it is not the same for the high context where non-verbal cues and personal bonds are considered appropriate. It is essential to understand contexts and appropriate mediums to communicate effectively. It is vital in business communication that happens across continents.

Emotional Aspect of Cultures

In communicating across cultures, one must understand how emotions are displayed. In affective cultures, the manifestation and expression of emotions are considered a natural part of sharing with others. For example, laughing, crying, and grimacing all form an ordinary conversation technique, essentially wearing your heart on your sleeve. In neutral cultures, emotions are toned down, and the emphasis is on the issue at hand (Sillars & Vangelisti, 2018). It is not desirable to show how a person feels, and it is kept mute. The interpretation is that neutral cultures are cold and emotionless but consider the emotion they offer at any meeting. Some open societies in terms of expressing feeling include Italy and the United States, while Japan and the United Kingdom were emotionally neutral. It is essential to understand cultural cues when it comes to emotion to pass out your message more appropriately to groups or societies. This skill in noticing non-verbal cues and reading the room is important


How Cultures value time                                                                                                           

The different cultures in the world are considered to be either synchronic or sequential. In the former, time is regarded as a resource to be spent as efficiently as possible and minimizing wastage. Other cultures consider it synchronic in that it is lived as moments or experiences that cannot be set or controlled (Swart et al., 2017). In American and European cultures, business people engage in items sequentially and in an orderly manner, while other cultures multitask and jump from issue to issue, consistent with their understanding of time.

In the synchronic culture, time is considered cyclical and interconnected where the past, present, and future are in harmony. It impacts how planning, talent development, and investments are made. The different perceptions of time mean that the definition of being on time is varied and applies differently. Being late can be seen as a sign of disrespect or impatience, depending on the cultural background. The different viewpoints also affect how the future is interpreted. For example, in the United States, the short-term view is desirable as it is the most practical with fewer variables. It explains the transactional nature of relationships. In synchronic cultures, past relationships form the background for future ones. The past can mirror the future, and this is why family and friendship hold a unique space as they are bonds that transcend time and favor them in business dealings.


Application of the Cultural Communication elements

The understanding of culture is key to being a persuasive communicator. As we know, the world is increasingly interconnected and online, which means that its importance will continue to grow. At home, we could learn about how to communicate effectively with neighbors and children in addition to parents and relatives. It means understanding the different backgrounds and what is important to them to communicate well. In schools, we interact with persons from different cultures and international students. The key to effective intra-student relations is understanding the different cultures and what to say or not say and overall being an effective communicator that transcends boundaries. The work environment has changed; globalization and interconnectivity mean connections can be made across borders. To move forward in business and create effective partnerships, one needs to understand cultural communication to speak to people’s hearts and appeal to their self-interest to develop good working relationships.


To communicate with audiences and get your message across the board, one’s understanding of culture is essential in an increasingly interconnected world where social media has managed to break continental and physical barriers. It is crucial to understand how cultures value time and adjust to fit their definition or explain the difference in view. Cultures are also different in how they view communication mediums; some attach importance to nonverbal cues, while others prefer direct and explicit communication. Emotional communication is also a factor as some prefer to be expressive while others consider neutrality a standard. Cultural transmission is an essential element in forming partnerships and succeeding in the global market. An excellent and keen understanding of culture means that a person will be successful in passing along messages and the business world.

In today’s global business community, there is no single best approach to communicating with one another. The key to cross-cultural success is to develop an understanding and deep respect for the differences by scholars and practitioners.