Communication is one of the skills that should be acquired by all of us in our daily life.
Communication is the process of passing information and understanding from sender to receiver and feedback from the receiver back to sender. It is a transformation process that passes the meaning form one person to another (Gamble & Gamble, 2005, p5-7).
Usually, we consider that whatever we said or did is always clear enough and easily to understood. But in fact, others do not know the things as the same mean as we consider. We should open ourselves up in order to others can feel our activities as the same as we do (Mares, 2001).
In this essay, I will record an event in which I was involved and discuss the elements of communication model to the event and the manners that can be used to enhance the effectiveness of our communication.
Description of event:
I went to Shanghai for my summer holiday in July 2003. It was the first time for me to go to Shanghai. My father and I lived in an international hotel with a 5-star. We went to Shanghai from Yantai by air. We had booked the room before we came. When we arrived at the hotel, there was an Indian assistant help us to go to the room. There were two big baggages we had brought because there were so many daily things we had to bring. The Indian assistant helped us to carry the one of two baggages for us. When we arrived at our room, the Indian man was looked so tired because of the heavy baggage. My father told me that I need to give some fee to him. I agreed and took out 10 Yuan to the Indian; he stretched out and shook his head. With he looked so tired and shook his head, I gave him another 10 Yuan. But he still shook his head to me. My father came to the front me and gave the Indian man 50 Yuan, then back into the room. I looked the Indian in surprise. I was waiting for the next activity he would do it for me. Unfortunately, he shook his head again with a smile. I really despaired with the hotel, because the expense which we had paid to the hotel had already involve the service fee and we had given the Indian assistant other 70 Yuan for fee, but he still shook his head to me. I asked myself: “what did the man want?” Finally, I went back with saying “thanks.” “Thank you, sir.” said by the Indian. I was so confused at the time.
The communication process involves the following elements:
People (senders and receivers), message (the content of a communicative act), channel (media through which messages are sent), noise (anything that interferes with or distort the ability to send and receive messages), context (the setting), feedback (information returned to senders) and effect (the communication outcome) (Gamble & Gamble, 2005).
We can improve communication skills by enhancing these elements and how they contribute to successful communication (Allen, 1998).
The communication process took place between the Indian assistant and I:
The noise can be referred as the same activity has the difference meaning in different cultures
The Indian assistant
My father and I
“Shake his head”
Feedback from me that I though I understood what the man’s activity meaning was the fee is too little
With reference to this situation, the miscommunication occurs in the following areas:
People (sender and receiver):
A nod of one’s head form up to down is always recognized as 'yes' and a shake as 'no'. But in India, people would say yes but shake their head from left to right.
I didn’t bethink of that there was an Indian assistant would meet us in China because I haven’t known the culture differences between China and Indian. Especially the meaning of shaking one’s head is an opposite between us.
The Indian man didn’t realize that I may not understand his meaning correctly. He used his own manner to express his friendly meaning, but he didn’t realize that we translate his activity by my own culture.
The Indian man and I are not realized to each other’s background and did not realize that there is different meaning about “shake one head” in different country with cultures.
Different cultures develop different rules for achieving the same task and people attach different meanings to the same events (Simpson, 2004).
The environment is quite hard for the Indian man to talk to us because he was too tired to say but only deeply breathe.
It is not fit for him to send his friendly message clearly via shake his head so frequency while he was communicating to a person from different cultures.
Background of both parties:
Both the sender (Indian man) and receiver (my father and I) are form different countries with different culture have the different backgrounds.
There is a clear indication on selective perception. The non verbal activity ‘shake one head’ is transformed as ‘no’ by me, while this is used to express ‘yes’ to the Indian man.
Using C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards – triangle of meaning model. We can see clearly that the non verbal “shake one’s head” may not be similarly perceived by everyone.
C.K Ogden and I.A. Richards-triangle of meaning model
The non verbal activity “shakes one’s head”
To the Indian man: This refer to ‘yes’;
To my father and me: This refers to ‘no’
Lack of feedback:
I did not provide an effective feedback of whether I have understood what the Indian man means. In the event, after the Indian man shook his head, the only thing I did was gave him more fees, but did not ask him whether the fee is enough.
After the first time the Indian man shook his head, I still gave him fee, and repeat again. This worsens the mis-communication.
Feedback usually increases the accuracy with which information is passed form person to person (Gamble & Gamble, 2005, p211).
Since I had not met any Indians, I should try to learn morn things about the different cultures in different countries. Especially, there are so many opposite meanings with the same activities.
When the Indian man shook his head to me, I should ask him whether he means the fees is not enough to him or not.
pics can not be pasted.
copyright Li Siyi 2006