Type
Solution Manual
Book Title
Business Communication: Building Critical Skills 6th Edition
ISBN 13
978-0073403267

978-0073403267 Chapter 3 Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises Part 1

April 6, 2019
Module 03 - Communicating across Cultures
Module 3
Communicating across Cultures
LO 3-1 Define culture through context.
LO 3-2 Compare and contrast dimensions of culture.
LO 3-3 Apply strategies for international communication success.
LO 3-4 Identify differences among generations.
LO 3-5 Apply strategies for workplace discrimination solutions.
LO 3-6 Apply strategies for bias-free documents.
Module Overview
Kitty and Steve believe that an awareness of the many facets of culture and
diversity is critical to increasing the likelihood of successful business
relationships. While it’s impossible to cover all of the dimensions of diversity
in this module, Kitty and Steve have tried to touch on as many as possible.
Bring what you know to the classroom and invite your students to do the
same. Keep abreast of current events, campus resources, and community
leaders who may also be of help to you and your students.
Teaching Tip: Some students—and even some instructors—want easy answers about
issues of diversity. If that were possible, all of our difficulties and inequities in the
workplace would be gone by now! Remind students that knowledge is the
beginning of wisdom and that gaining knowledge of others is the beginning of
wisdom with regard to diversity. Use PP 3-4 to help.
Diversity in the workplace comes from many sources, as illustrated on PP 3-3:
Gender
Race and ethnicity
Regional and national origin
Social class
Religion
Age
Sexual orientation
Physical ability
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution
in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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Module 03 - Communicating across Cultures
While it’s impossible to cover all of the dimensions of diversity in this module, Kitty and Steve
have tried to touch on as many as possible. Bring what you know to the classroom and invite
your students to do the same. Keep abreast of current events, campus resources, and community
leaders who may also be of help to you and your students.
Even with the emphasis on diversity during the past 20 years, students can expect to enter a
workplace where inequities, some of them severe, exist. For instance, the numbers of women and
racial and ethnic minorities in the top echelons of U.S. businesses are still disproportionate to
that of white males, and significant legal actions against American companies accused of
discrimination continue to make headlines (e.g., Walmart, Abercrombie & Fitch).
Nevertheless, many students believe few, if any, problems exist. Some may believe they will be
insulated from discrimination, despite the fact that population shifts are changing the
demographics of many U.S. communities. In contrast to such optimism is the reality that
problems continue to hinder progress. Lawsuits, civil protests, and even violence have been
results.
With the increased globalization of business, Americans can also expect to work with people
whose language, culture, and ethnic identity differ from their own. Therefore, an awareness of
domestic diversity is but a first step toward a better understanding of the world.
What’s in This Supplement
This supplement is organized around the major questions posed in Module 3. It covers
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises Page 38
Part 2: Answers to Textbook Assignments Page 55
PowerPoint presentations can be found at our Web page at www.mhhe.com/bcs6e.
Questions (with answers) suitable for quizzes are in the Instructors Test Bank. For student
practice quizzes with answers, see our Web page.
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution
in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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Module 03 - Communicating across Cultures
What is “culture”? LO 3-1
Our understanding of acceptable actions and beliefs.
Culture provides patterns of acceptable behavior and belief. We may
not be aware of the most basic features of our own culture until we
come into contact with people who do things differently.
We can categorize cultures as high-context (PP 3-5) or low-context
(PP 3-6).
Figure 3.1 (p. 40), as illustrated on PP 3-7, shows how low-context
cultures favor direct approaches and may see indirectness as dishonest
or manipulative. The written word is seen as more important than oral
statements, so contracts are binding but promises may be broken.
Details matter. Business communication practices in the United States
reflect these low-context preferences.
Teaching Tip: Ask students to consider a common saying
from childhood: “Sticks and stones may break my bones
but names (words) will never hurt me.” What does this
saying suggest about the value of the spoken word in North
American culture? Does this support the concept of
low-context culture? Can they think of other examples that
might illustrate the value we place on the spoken word
versus the written word?
In-Class Exercise: Students may confuse the term “culture” with “race.” Ask the
students to consider the implications of using the wrong term to describe groups of
people (e.g., using “Chinese” when the student actually means “Asian” or “Asian
American”). How does using words improperly cause problems? Why do we do so?
How can we avoid improper usage?
In-Class Exercise: Ask students to consider the unique problems a pluralistic nation
like the United States may face compared to countries that are more homogenous
(e.g., Japan, Finland). How does living in a country of immigrants affect our sense
of unity? What challenges do we face? Then have students research other pluralistic
nations, such as Canada or Brazil. Do they face the same problems? Why or why
not? Have students report their findings.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution
in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
3-3
Module 03 - Communicating across Cultures
How does culture affect business communication? LO 3-2
In every single aspect!
Culture influences every single aspect of business communication:
how to show politeness and respect, how much information to give,
how to motivate people, how loud to talk, even what size paper to
use. PP 3-9 shows the dimensions of culture.
Values, Beliefs, and Practices
Help students understand that our values and beliefs are influenced
by culture. What is “right” or “wrong” often depends on our cultural norms. Yet, we may
assume that all cultures share the same value system.
Even if we surround ourselves with people of the same culture, there is opportunity for conflict.
Perhaps the best way to minimize conflict is to focus on the similarities among people, rather
than the differences.
Teaching Tip: Have the students break into groups of 4-5 and list all of the things
they do on a daily basis that might be culturally influenced. These can include their
choice of clothing, food, books, music, and leisure pursuits. Once the students agree
on a list, have them discuss the variations within each category. For instance, why
might some students like rock, while others might like hip hop, while others might
like country? Despite the variety, what fundamentally links our choices? Beyond
superficial elements, such as style, how truly different are these beliefs and
practices? What makes them similar?
Nonverbal Communication
Communication that doesn’t use words takes place all the time as
illustrated on PP 3-11 through PP 3-13. Body language, the size of an
office, or how long someone keeps a visitor waiting—all these
communicate pleasure or anger, friendliness or distance, power and
status.
Students must understand that nonverbal signals can be misinterpreted
just as easily as can words. But unlike words, distinctions among norms may be less clear.
Facial expressions—even smiling—are culturally learned behaviors and can differ accordingly.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution
in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
3-4
Module 03 - Communicating across Cultures
In-Class Exercise: Have students select a partner. For about five minutes, have one
student share with the other student an experience where he or she felt
misunderstood while speaking. While that person is speaking, have the other student
record gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and other nonverbal cues.
Afterward, have the student share his or her findings with the student who was speaking. Was
the speaking student aware of the nonverbal cues? Can the student explain his or her choices of
nonverbal behaviors? Did the recording student understand what these behaviors meant? If not,
what were the interpretations?
Body Language
Posture and body movements connote energy and openness. Open body
positions suggest that people are accepting and open to new ideas while
closed or defensive body positions suggest people are physically or
psychologically uncomfortable, that they are defending themselves and
shutting other people out.
Teaching Tip: While discussing body language, pause and ask the students to look
around the room. What is the range of body positions they see? Are the students
even aware of their body language? What might they be communicating? Now that
they are more aware, what changes in body position might they make?
Eye Contact
North American European Americans see eye contact as a sign of honesty. But in many
cultures, dropped eyes are a sign of appropriate deference to a superior.
Teaching Tip: Have students share instruction they may have received in public
speaking courses regarding eye contact. Would such instruction work for all
cultures? How might they change their approach if the audience did not approve of
prolonged eye contact?
Gestures
Gestures, like other forms of nonverbal communication, are not universal. For instance, the
“OK” hand signal common in North America is highly offensive in parts of Europe. Beckoning
with a single finger to indicate “come here” may seem condescending to someone from South
Korea.
Teaching Tip: Can students think of a time when a gesture made no sense to them?
Or was offensive? What were the circumstances? How did this affect
communication? What does this suggest about some of their own gestures?
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution
in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
3-5
Module 03 - Communicating across Cultures
Space
Personal space is both individual and cultural in nature. How much we
want may be influenced by both gender and culture.
Teaching Tip: Ask students to share what they believe is a
comfortable amount of personal space. How do students feel when someone
invades that space? How do students who prefer smaller amounts of personal space
feel when someone they are talking to “backs away” from them? Do students
sometimes avoid situations, using public transportation, for instance, because of
personal space issues?
Spatial Arrangements
The arrangements of rooms, offices, and even furniture can communicate cultural norms. Space
can also connote power and prestige, such as having a large corner office in the U.S.
Teaching Tip: Ask students to share what they know about the offices of people in
authority where they work. Where are they located? How big are they? Do they
have a door? A window? What amenities might also come with the office—style of
furniture, size of desk, and plants and decorations?
Time
In the U.S., we value time as kept by clocks and calendars, but not all cultures share this belief.
Even in the U.S., significant differences may exist regionally in terms of the value of time and
how it is measured. While “five-minute blocks” are common in North America, other cultures
may measure time in units of 15 minutes or longer.
As Edward T. Hall notes, time distinctions can be divided into
monochronic (doing one thing at a time) and polychronic (doing
many things at the same time) cultures (PP 3-14).
Teaching Tip: Have students share their experiences
with time values in different regions of the United States. For instance, someone
traveling from the north to the south (or vice versa) may notice that the pace of daily
life is different. What challenges did they face in adjusting to differences?
Other Nonverbal Symbols
The value of dress, colors, and even height can be cultural influenced.
In-Class Exercise: Have students discuss for 10-15 minutes advertising they’ve seen
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution
in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
3-6
Module 03 - Communicating across Cultures
or television programs they watch. What values are communicated through dress,
color, and height? For instance, what types and color of clothing do people in power
wear? Those out of power? Does height or a lack of it communicate qualities about
a subject or character? Where do students think these values come from?
Oral Communication
Effective oral communication requires cultural understanding. As
Deborah Tannen notes, conversational style demonstrates our
conversational patterns and the meaning we give to them.
As shown on PP 3-15 and PP 3-16, students can learn their own
conversational style by answering the following questions:
How long a pause tells you that it’s your turn to speak?
Do you see interruption as rude? Or do you say things while
other people are still talking to show that you’re interested
and to encourage them to say more?
Do you show interest by asking lots of questions? Or do you
see questions as intrusive and wait for people to volunteer
whatever they have to say?
Tannen concludes that the following features characterize her own conversational style:
Fast rate of speech
Fast rate of turn-taking
Persistence—if a turn is not acknowledged, try again
Preference for personal stories
Tolerance of, preference for simultaneous speech
Abrupt topic shifting.
In-Class Exercise: Have students spend 10 minutes reflecting on their own
conversational style. What qualities can they identify? Then have students share
their findings with another student. What qualities are the same? Different? How
might they adapt their style to suit the needs of the other person?
Understatement, Exaggeration, Compliments, and Silence
How we express ourselves, even in terms of giving compliments, is culturally influenced.
Students should review the examples in this section of the module with the understanding that
individual differences can also affect our use of understatement, exaggeration, compliments, and
silence.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution
in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
3-7
Module 03 - Communicating across Cultures
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution
in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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