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Business English

Communication
IOANA HOREA

- 2009 -

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1. DEFINITION AND CLASSIFICATION
1.1. Definition
1.1.1. The Complete Communication
1.1.2. The Ingredients of Communication
1.2. Classification
1.2.1. Standard English Communication
1.2.2. Business English Communication
1.2.2. Intercultural Communication

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Chapter 2. THE OBJECT OF COMMUNICATION


2.1. Perceiving the world
2.1.1. The Creation of Symbols
2.1.2. Ways of Communicating
2.2. The Language
2.2.1. Importance and Meaning
2.2.2. The English Words
2.3. The Silent Languages
2.4. The Human Transaction

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Chapter 3. DIFFICULTIES OF UNDERSTANDING


3.1. Psychological Aspects
3.1.1. Facts and Inferences
3.1.2. The Neglect of Complexity
3.1.3. Insufficiency vs. Self-Sufficiency
3.2. The Use of Words
3.2.1. The Labyrinth of Words
3.2.2. Difficulties of translation
3.2.3. False Friends

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Chapter 4. EVERYDAY CONVERSATION


4.1. Meeting People
4.1.1. Greeting
4.1.2. Introducing Somebody
4.2. Suggestions and Advice
4.2.1. Invitations and Suggestions
4.2.2. Expressing Preferences
4.2.3. Giving Advice
4.3. Guiding Instructions

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Chapter 5. COMMUNICATION INSIDE COMPANY


5.1. Impersonal and Interpersonal Communication
5.1.1. Giving Information
5.1.2. Face to Face Relationship
5.1.3. Channels of Communication
5.2. Written Communication
5.2.1. The Memo
5.2.2. Business Letters
5.2.3. The E-mails
5.3. New requirements
5.3.1. Global Economy
5.3.2. High Technology

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Chapter 6. COMMUNICATION FILTERS


6.1. Meanings and Feelings
6.1.1. Semantics
6.1.2. Emotions
6.1.3. Attitudes
6.2. Position and Gender
6.2.1. Role Expectations
6.2.3. Gender Bias
6.3. Nonverbal Messages

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Chapter 7. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN COMPANY


7.1. Improve Business Communication Skills
7.1.1. General Guidance
7.1.2. Active Listening
7.1.3. Self-disclosure
7.2. Business Activities Involving Communication
7.2.1. Receiving People
7.2.2. Telephone Conversations
7.2.3. Making Presentations
7.2.4. Negotiations
7.2.5. Meetings

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Chapter 8. AWARENESS OF THE WORLD


8.1. Types of Awareness
8.1.1. Personal
8.1.2. Domestic
8.1.3. International
8.2. Perception of world
8.2.1. Belief, Value, Attitude Systems
8.2.2. World View
8.2.3. Social Organization

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Chapter 9. CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION


9.1. Cultural Heritage
9.1.1. Pattern of Intercultural Communication
9.1.2. The Overriding Culture
9.2. Cultural Differences
9.2.1. Levels of Differences
9.2.2. Perception Ranges
9.3. Language and Culture
9.3.1. Verbal Aspect
9.3.2. Nonverbal Aspect
9.4. Subcultural Approach
9.4.1. Race, Nation, Ethnic Group
9.4.2. Subcultures and Subgroups
9.4.3. The Argot

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

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CHAPTER 1
DEFINITION AND CLASSIFICATION

INTRODUCTION
Our behaviour has, seemingly, communication potential. All we do can communicate
something about us.
THEME PRESENTATION
Communication is a vital ingredient in all domains of human life and activity. In a
rough classification, one can observe standard, business or intercultural communication
and the series of particularities that can be identified for each.
1.1 DEFINITION
In order to understanding communication we have to first clarify its mechanisms. It all
starts with the fact that people need social contact and thus they come to long for the
exchange of messages. This is done through certain specialised or adapted human
behaviour, such as: talk, smile, frown, walk, wave, shake head, other gestures. Still, these
actions will come to represent messages only if they are observed by the other and, at the
same time, they elicit meaning for the other, more precisely the same meaning (as the one
intended by the performer).
1.1.1. THE COMPLETE COMMUNICATION
When someone observes our behaviour and attributes a meaning to it, communication has
taken place, regardless of whether that behaviour was conscious or unconscious,
intentional or unintentional. We cannot not communicate (to be, to simply exist,
is a behaviour, too). What is important is to understand communication as
intended (the conscious intention). As a general concept, communication is a
process that allows organisms to exchange information by several methods.
Considering the participants, the action occurring, the object and the objective of the
action, a more complete definition can be produced. The participants are the people
involved in an interaction. The activity producing communication is the
transmission of a message, the object. The purpose is the transfer of some
knowledge between the persons engaged in the process.
Communication can be defined as the process of meaningful interaction
among human beings. It is the act of passing information and the
process by which meanings are exchanged so as to produce
understanding.
Moreover, communication can only be considered complete if the intended receiver
perceives the message, attributes meaning to it (decodes it) and is somehow
affected by it.
A complete communication is a two-way, on-going, behaviour-affecting
process in which one person (a source) intentionally encodes and
transmits a message through a channel to an intended audience
(receivers) in order to induce a particular attitude or behaviour.
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1.1.2. THE INGREDIENTS OF COMMUNICATION


Communication consists of several elements giving its characteristic features. Thus, we
may identify as ingredients of communication, the following: Source, Encoding, Message,
Channel, Receiver, Decoding, Receivers response, Feedback.
Other characteristics that identify communication are: Dynamic, Interactive nature
(Intrapersonal, Interpersonal), Irreversible, Physical and social context.
The process of communication can be noticed in figure 1.

Figure 1. Communication process


On the way from the speaker to the listener, the message has to go through and may be
distorted by various filters, be these the senders or the receivers.
The filters are represented by:
semantics
emotions
attitudes
role expectation
gender bias
nonverbal messages
1.2 CLASSIFICATION
Communication in English can be studied following three major aspects that the language
itself, on one hand, and the particularities of the field of business, on the other hand,
suppose.
In a didactic approach of assessing the spheres of communication of interest for the
business fields, we can identify the occurrence of three large areas that are related and
strongly interact: standard, business and intercultural communication, as represented in
figure 2.

Figure 2. Business approach of the classification of communication


The interdependence that provides the reason of their inseparability is understandable if
we think that, obviously, one cannot approach the domain of business communication, let
alone that of intercultural communication, without having first assimilated the general
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structures of the language, as well as the conversational elements of lexis, the basis of
Standard English communication.
Much in the same way, the general knowledge might prove almost useless in the business
field without a proper awareness of the specific vocabulary of Business English or of the
peculiarities that might occur in the communicational behaviour of their collocutors as
traces of their environment, of their cultural background.
1.2.1. STANDARD ENGLISH COMMUNICATION
The specific language of communication implied by the general English will include
grammatical structures, elements of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions useful for:

greeting
introducing oneself / somebody
inviting / suggesting / advising
accepting / refusing
expressing opinions / preferences
giving directions / orders
specifying facts / locations / attitudes.

1.2.2. BUSINESS ENGLISH COMMUNICATION


In Business English the specificity consists in the fact that, besides mastering the skills of
general communication, the collocutors are supposed to deal with and make use of
specific lexical elements, managing vocabulary regarding activities or concerns such
as:

telephoning
e-mailing, writing business letters
making presentations
negotiating
debating in / conducting meetings
winning cooperation / trust
dealing with subordinates / peers / the higher-ranked

1.2.3. INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION


When the cross-culture communication is implied, the concern is at the same time placed
on the elements of standard and business communication and on the background
particularities (national/ geographic culture, social environment, ethnic/ racial/ group
behaviour). The approach will comprise categories regarding:
Perception

Belief, value, attitude systems


World view
Social organization
Verbal processes
Patterns of thoughts

DEF I NI TI O N A ND CL A S SI F I CATI O N

Nonverbal processes

Behaviour
Concept of time and space

Summary:
Communication is a process of meaningful interaction among human beings.
In what the business field is concerned, three large spheres of communication can be
identified and discussed: standard, business and intercultural communication, each
comprising specific elements.

Self evaluation:
1. Define communication.
2. What areas of communication can you identify as concerning the field of business?
3. Explain the interrelation of the spheres of communication.
4. Enumerate 4 special activities requiring business communication skills.

TH E O BJE CT O F CO M MU NI CATI O N

CHAPTER 2
THE OBJECT OF COMMUNICATION

INTRODUCTION
What we intend communicate further are actually the interpretations we construe about
the world we ourselves perceive. For being able to transmit the images we see, we first
process reality and label it: along civilizations we learned how to encrypt it so that we
can easily, briefly express our minds. The message we encode and attempt to transmit
is the object of communication
THEME PRESENTATION
After first encoding the outer world in symbols, people found various methods to transfer
their interpretations of the world to the others, either through words or through other
ways.
2.1. PERCEIVING THE WORLD
When we talk or write about something, what we describe is the interactions that
happened inside of us not just what happened outside of us so that what we talk or
write about is only a very small part of all that is going on out there.
Experiences teach us to perceive the world, to understand similarities and differences, to
link together the pieces and see the world as a continuous panorama and many of
our problems in communication arise because we forget that individual experiences
are never identical:
Private interests makes us unintentionally select what we perceive and may guide the
way we react. For instance:
Ink blot pictures demonstrate that people respond differently to the same image,
according to their experience and interests
Images we see in the clouds, associations we make, similarities we see in things are
proofs of our knowledge about the world
Blind or eyes-covered
people will perceive an elephant differently coming in
contact with different parts of its body
2.1.1. THE CREATION OF SYMBOLS
After experiencing an event and interpreting it, people need to express it, to pass it on to
others, to share the information (communicate). For that they need a materialization
of their thoughts, of the inner world which already includes the outside event they
experienced. Thus they created words, names of the things outside, symbols for
everything they want to express.
The steps followed are three: experiencing the external event, interpreting it, conferring it
a certain meaning in accordance to our mental possibility and knowledge and finally
creating a symbol for next being able to identify events alike and for having a
means of expressing it to inform others about it.
Original happening experienced = objective outside event;
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Interpretation, meaning given = inner subjective event;


Symbol (word) created to report that experience = real new event.
Humans develop the capacity to have sounds and marks serve as substitutes for things
and feelings. Spoken language is the most extensive and adaptable symbolic
medium we posses.
People invented sounds to name things, objects, feelings, ideas. But because
symbols are arbitrary they can have several sometimes diverse meanings:
e.g.: Its a black day may mean a whole set of conditions from the degree
of cover of the visible sunlight to internal psychological states of despair and
depression
2.1.2. WAYS OF COMMUNICATING
Keeping in mind that Communication is much more then the verbal interaction between
we can understand that it is achieved through various ways of manifestation, such
as:
by actual physical touch:
tap on shoulder, pat on the back, slap on the cheek
by visible movement of parts of our bodies:
wink, nod/shake of head, shrug of shoulders, smile, finger pointing
by audible symbols:
sounds, words (pronunciation)
by visible symbols:
images, words (spelling)
Pronunciation and spelling, the essence of the last two methods exemplified, are of
utmost importance in transmitting the intended message. There are hundreds of
different ways a word can be written or said (form, shape, intonation, loudness
etc.) but we are taught to distinguish its unique pattern and understand it. This
shows that in fact the meaning is not in the word but in the people.
The human beings are the ones to attribute a sense to the symbol, according to own
capacities and propensities. That is much too easy to demonstrate thinking of the
many various results that can be identified with a group of people asked to
represent in their mind, to imagine, and next to describe exactly, a simple thing
like a tree. Let alone a feeling, such as happiness. They would each have
variants in concordance with their imaginative ability and perception of the given
thing.
Communication is acquired by means of language, but this can have be used in an
extended sense. Thus, it is language any production of the human behaviour that tells
something about that producers intentions, wishes, preferences etc. Language can be
Verbal: spoken & written
Nonverbal: facial expressions, gestures, mannerisms, use of space, orientations to
time
As for the nature of language, it can be concluded that languages use symbols to
encode a message that will then be decoded in order to permit perceiving
and understanding of its meaning.
That code is represented:
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by words - standing for all concepts or mental representations, in all languages;


other symbols: signs, figures, commands, rules - in sciences (e.g.: Mathematics or
computer languages).

2.2. THE LANGUAGE


To discuss language we shall start analysis with the different stages or phases of
acquiring it.
Pre-linguistic behaviour comes first and it induces a certain degree of control over the
environment. We can think here of the crying or the movement of little children.
First vocabulary, when the child is just labelling things comes next, showing the link
between language development and communication. Childrens first words are only
nouns, there are no sentences, like in the very first steps of the formation of symbols
at the beginnings of the civilisation.
Word combination is the following step, with two and then more words put together,
aiming to form sentences. E.g.: John milk John drink milk.
Awareness of subtle ways about grammar and correct speech represent the taught and
learned manifestation, assimilating the environmental stimuli, achieving awareness
of self in the context and adjusting to rules of conduct in society:
John wants milk May I have some milk? (about the age of 3, at least).
It goes without saying and is well-known that the more a child is spoken to the more and
easier it will learn to speak and practice leads to proficiency.
2.2.1. IMPORTANCE AND MEANING
The importance of language is undisputable and can be easily understood.
It is through language that we reach out and make contact with our surrounding reality
and share with others our experiences of that reality. We invented words to name
almost everything: all things surrounding and the moments of reference: past,
present, future.
Through language we can establish connections and relate to other people. That is
dependent, besides the knowledge of the same language, on the existence of
common experience and same meaning of words, to ensure ability of understanding.
Even when speaking the same language people may not always understand each
other, because they may make reference and relate to their different experiences:
e.g. Americans and British.
Language is, at the same time, the basis of thinking and self-communication. We can say
that when thinking, we use the same words, but silently.
As for the meaning of language, of words, of the symbols we created and use, the things
complicate because of the several overlaps, lacks and ambiguities that occur:
At first impression it may seem that we look for meanings in the words. We hear
questions like: What does the word mean?. In fact, the words have no meaning,
it is we that associate meanings to them, they are just symbols of something. The
meaning is in the people, words only stir that meaning.
Words not only may mean different things to different people, but to the same people they
may mean different things at a different moment or in a different context.
E.g.: love = personal feeling of attachment;
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in tennis, love = no points have been scored.


There are many more ideas, feelings and things to represent than the words, thus the
words get to bear more meanings, to be polysemantic.
2.2.2. THE ENGLISH WORDS
English language nowadays contains 600 000 words, a number increasing with:
Added human experiences, new technologies
telescope, microscope, cybernetics, microbiology
Human creativity forming compounds:
Hula hoops (1. Polynesian dance; 2. rigid circular band of metal or wood or
other material used for holding or fastening)
Sense alteration:
Spectacular (about drama outstanding, striking)
Carpetbagger (wrapper opportunist)
The small words often prove as powerful symbols.
The active word block contains approx. 2000 words used in everyday conversation and
from these the most commonly used 500 sum up to 14000 dictionary definitions.
e.g.: lead, will, log, performance, block, glass, lie, table, well, second etc.
The infinite diversity and richness of human experiences can be embodied in a relatively
small number of words as words are symbols rendering various meanings in
accordance to particular circumstances.
The words have no meaning in themselves; they bear the meaning implied by each
particular speaker.
Words mean what we want them to mean. The phrase What does it mean? should thus
be understood and is, despite of the thirds person singular that is used as:
What do you mean?.
The big and medium-sized words are generally very specific, unmistakable, determined
clearly.
The medium-sized words are regularly the ones that find themselves contextually
determined. They may refer to distinct situations, known to the speaker but not
always relevant to the receiver. Such are, for instance: organization, society, people,
government, experience, business.
The large-sized words can be sophisticated in form but usually unique in content, in
meaning like, for instance, Icosahedron (not else but a 20 sided geometrical
figure) or sometimes defined circularly, in themselves such as Standardization
(deriving from standard).
2.3. THE SILENT LANGUAGES
Besides the spoken and visual symbols, we communicate meaningfully using non-verbal,
non-symbolic ways. These are not only represented by the body language but also
by our attitudes, deeds, acts and reactions to environment. Silence itself means
something. Not responding to a greeting, for instance, is a very relevant behaviour.
There are three main categories reflecting our behavioural responses:
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time - each carries a personal clock and has a different time of reacting or of
measuring, evaluating, perceiving;
colour - we relate differently to colours and attribute them various meanings, the way
of dressing reflects something, colours may influence the feelings we have or stimulate
various processes of our brain;
space - orientation and proximity we adopt when engaging in communication with a
person tell about our intentions and feelings about that person:
Some bosses place their study desks in the middle of the offices and authority flows
outward from the centre, others have the desks near the wall and leave room for
traffic and communication a more democratic attitude;
The office of the boss is generally at a higher level of the building and offices are
bigger and higher positioned in accordance with the hierarchical rank

2.4. THE HUMAN TRANSACTION


The transfer of information between people can be seen as a transaction, representing
the basis of communication.
The flows that constitute this transfer can be schematised as follows:
sender message receiver
receiver response sender
sender new receiver; response new message
Thus, the fast that a sender delivers a message to a certain receiver results in the latters
production of a response to return so that the former sender becomes the new
receiver and the response a new message. It means that the process of
communication is rather circular.
Circularity is consequently a condition of effective communication as it is this
aspect the one that gives it essence ensuring complete, accurate
information.
However, the longer the way and the more the recipients / senders through which
a message has to be transmitted, the more likely it is to be altered significantly until
reaching the final destination.
Transaction includes several things: some taken in, some transformed, some retained,
some created, some transmitted.
There are some warnings that should be considered regarding the human transfer:
~ Our perception and knowledge is limited and fragmented;
~ We communicate things seen through our inner perception of the outer events;
~ Our inner world is different from the others.

Summary:
After experiencing an event and interpreting it, people need to express it, to pass it on
to others; thus, communication gets born.
Communication is done by language which can be of various types, from nonverbal
gestures to the verbal articulate words. Thus it can consist of actual touch, movements of
the body or symbols (audible or visible) and it has to involve three major elements:
sender message receiver.

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Exercises:
1. Match the columns to get the conversation:
a)
1. Are you from Oradea?
a) It is beautiful.
2. Where is your house?
b) It is near the railway station.
3. How is it?
c) No, they are shops.
4. Is it big?
d) Its a chemists.
5. Is this a picture of your house?
e) Yes, it is.
6. What is this building next to your f) No, it isnt. It is small but nice and I like
house?
it.
7. Are these other houses?
g) Yes, I am.
b)
1. Good afternoon. Excuse me,
a) Yes, they do. They and their families have
whats the time, please?
houses in Bristol.
2. Thank you very much. Its late.
b) Yes, there is enough time.
3. Then it is OK.
c) I have got a son and a daughter.
4. It is a nice day today. No clouds.
d) Yes, it is; its warm and sunny.
5. We are lucky to travel on a
e) Unluckily, yes, here the weather is always bad.
beautiful weather.
f) No, its not. The train leaves only at two past
6. Well, here, in London, it is rarely two.
so nice.
g) Yes, I am. Im proud of them all.
7. Where do you travel?
h) Yes, indeed. I hate when it is wet and rainy.
8. Do they live there?
i) Yes, my daughter has a son, he is 3, and my
9. How many children have you got? son has twins.
10.How old are they?
j) I go to Bristol, to visit my children.
11. Oh, you have big children. What k) Shes 29 and hes 33.
about grandchildren?
l) Yes, they are two beautiful young ladies of 8
12.How nice! Are they girls?
years old.
13.So you are a happy grandfather.
m) Oh, its two to two.
2. Complete the conversations using the structures: What do you do, When do you
do, Can you, How often, Do you play, No, I cant, I usually do, not very
often, Yes, I can, Four or five times a week, No, we dont.
Tim: on a Saturday night? / Sylvia: I usually go to a club.
Danny: water ski, Mike? / Mike: . Can you?
Danny: . I love water skiing.
Chris: do you play football? / Frank: .
Chris: rugby at your school? / Frank: .
Sophie: your homework? / Louise: it after dinner.
Sophie: Do you do any homework at weekends? / Louise: Sometimes, but .
3. Match each sentence from the first column with one from the second to build the
dialogues:
a) 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . 4 . . . 5 . . . 6 . . . 7 . . . 8 . . . 9 . . . 1 0 . . . .
1 You should call them.
a No, they are sleeping right now.
2 Can I call them?
b Yes, quite often, almost every day.
3 Would you like to call them?
c I have to tell them something; it's quite urgent.
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4 May I call them?


d No, I'm afraid the phone is not working.
5 Do you call them?
e I believe you are supposed to do that.
6 Must I call them?
f No, if you don't want to.
7 Who will call them?
g OK, thanks for the advice, I think I will.
8 Who will you call?
h Yes, if I could use your phone, please.
9 Have you thought of calling them? i First of all him, then her.
10 Why are you calling them?
j I would rather pay them a visit.
b) 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . 4 . . . 5 . . . 6 . . . 7 . . . 8 . . . 9 . . . 1 0 . . . .
1. Thanks.
a. That's because they are always welcomed here
2. Can you open the box?
friendly.
3. May I open this box?
b. He's my neighbour.
4. Would you like a coffee? c. Yes, please, I'm kind of sleepy.
5. Do you like coffee?
d. Yes, of course, it's a present for you.
6. They visit us often.
e. Of course, here you are.
7. Whose is this?
f. Well, I'm afraid I'm too tired for another trip now.
8. Who's that?
g. It must be my neighbour's.
9. Will you join us there?
h. You're welcome.
10.Will you pass me the i. No, I don't know how.
salt?
j. Yes, I do, I usually drink one first thing in the morning.

Self evaluation:
1. Remake the dialogues:
a) 1 .;2.;3.;4.;5.;6.;7.;8.;9 ;10. .
1. When did he leave?
a) Its my new bag.
2. Where is their father?
b)She is a nurse.
3. How old are you?
c) They are fine, thank you.
4. Have a nice evening!
d)At 3 yesterday afternoon..
5. What is that?
e) At the post-office.
6. How do you do.
f) Youre welcome.
7. How are your parents?
g)Its $ 3.9.
8. How much is this blouse?
h)Thank you, the same to you.
9. Thanks for everything.
i) Im 24.
10. What is your mother?
j) How do you do.
b) 1 .;2.;3.;4.;5.;6.;7.;8..
1. How many are you?
a) He is an engineer.
2. Where are your friends?
b) Im fine, thank you.
3. How old are you?
c) We are 3 girls and 4 boys.
4. Have a nice day!
d) They are in London.
5. Nice to meet you.
e) Its 5.70.
6. How are you?
f) Thank you, the same to you.
7. How much is this dress?
g) Im 20 and my sister is 23.
8. What is your son?
h) Im glad to meet you, too.

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DI F FI CU LTI E S O F U NDE R S TANDI NG

CHAPTER 3
DIFFICULTIES OF UNDERSTANDING

INTRODUCTION
Communication is not complete until the message has reached its recipient and got
decoded properly. Several factors can impede communication.
THEME PRESENTATION
Suppositions, neglect of the complexity, insufficient depth, similitude etc. count for
improper grasp of meaning and defective communication.
3.1. PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS
Impressions and likeliness may guide us in our perception and interpretation, turning into
strong opinions sometimes, in personal conviction that the case is as seen with own eyes
and understood with own mind, not even imagining there might be more than that.
3.1.1. FACTS AND INFERENCES
Communication can be influenced by the fact that we consider things as
directly perceived and neglect the distinction between something obvious
and something just probable, i.e. a reality (fact) and a supposition
(inference):
Fact = a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have
occurred, a statement or assertion of verified information about something that is
the case or has happened, an event known to have happened or something known to
have existed, a concept whose truth can be proved;
Inference = The reasoning involved in drawing a conclusion or making a logical
judgment on the basis of circumstantial evidence and prior conclusions rather than
on the basis of direct observation.
Facts can alter in time, inferences may or may not become facts. People may perceive a
partial evidence, construe a personal meaning and thus take inferences for facts,
next step would be to further transmit the inaccurate information and the process
starts again.

a) up
b) down
Figure 1. Flipped perspective
We see the world around us in a way that may differ from another persons view. Things
can be perceived in various ways by distinct persons and still each person would be
convinced things are exactly as they see them and cannot conceive the other
16

DI F FI CU LTI E S O F U NDE R S TANDI NG

possibilities, sometimes not even being demonstrated they exist. For illustrating, we
can consider some examples of the ambiguous images in figure 1 and in figure 2.

Figure 2. Double perception


It is not that a certain way of seeing things is better than another or one is wrong and
another right, the different perceptions are given by the focus on different facets of
the whole picture of reality.
3.1.2. THE NEGLECT OF COMPLEXITY
All things represent a sum of characteristics impossible to be instantly rendered in normal
sentences. Usually people are aware of the fact that a statement refers only to a
contextual, individual, particular tiny part of the whole. Sometimes the entirety is
blurred, covered by the occasional statement and the complexity may remain
unknown or be forgotten.
E.g. the verb is not only suggests known facts instead of the more likely inference but
also restricts the meaning omitting all the other features:
If we say He is clever, we somehow restrict the entire reality to this impression
we have about the person.
This should have been: I would say he seems to be clever, besides being a
protestant British doctor, father of two, elegant, curly-haired, still young, nice,
hardworking etc.
3.1.3. INSUFFICIENCY VS. SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Extremities, opposites, may be clear, things in between not (sometimes because of
insufficient words). There are many sides, nuances, peculiarities in all situations,
but language restricts us, prevents us from being able to express them all, to
quantify and qualify precisely.
Instances, images, recollections, impressions, momentary or temporary reflections guide
us in perceiving and assessing exterior data. Awareness about dynamism, alteration,
transformation surrounding us also prevents us from communicational mistakes.
There are some measures to be taken and some facts to be considered in order to make
sure about understanding:
Avoid communicational gaps or failures by asking and clarifying all points:
They say were done
Who exactly said that?
What exactly did he/she say?
What did he/she mean by that?
How does he/she know?
As tips for an effective communication, the following can be remembered:
~
The ability to communicate is not inborn, but learned
~
We can only talk or write about something that happened inside us
~
Difficulties to understand / be understood may come from a leak (ignored part of
the communication process) which has to be located and repaired.
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DI F FI CU LTI E S O F U NDE R S TANDI NG

3.2. THE USE OF WORDS


Some basic elements of Lexicology and Semantics can show how words themselves,
created to help transfer of information and establish communication, may, instead, block
it or make it harder, because of the features they present.
3.2.1. THE LABYRINTH OF WORDS
By passing (not getting the right meaning) and misunderstandings may be caused by the
characteristics of words, such as having similar meaning to other words, having
different meanings in different circumstance (under the same spelling and
pronunciation), being alike in writing or pronunciation a.s.o.
We may say there are tricky words:
homograph (words with the same spelling): tear, bow
homophones (same pronunciation): had-head, ate-eight, night-knight, fair-fare,
made-maid, red-read, some-sum, right-write, son-sun
homonyms (multiple meanings): light, lead, left, tube, bar, bear, fair, deal, fall,
ball, mine
We may encounter various possible intonations, emphases:
I will tell him each of the four words can be emphasised giving four different
meanings:
- I stressing the idea of me, myself, as opposed to anybody else
- Will expressing the clear intention, volition or obstinacy of performing the
action specified next
- Tell particularising the action that will be performed, as opposed to any other of
the kind (suggest, show, ignore etc.)
- Him showing distinctively the indirect object, emphasizing the importance of
that person for the given context, and the fact that it is who is the going to find out,
not somebody else.
Similitude (associations, synonymies) can as well produce or reduce differences:
That man is running (after the bus / from some pursuers; as a sport / jogging; managing
a company / in charge of some business)
She acts well (pretends or behaves in a certain way, plays a certain role in a theatre
show)
There are also many words that may sound similar: nail snail, God got,
together to gather, then than, bed bad, most must, data date, smile mile,
test taste, line - blind
Malapropisms and mondegreens can occur in various circumstances (misuse of
usually long, complex words sounding alike, respectively mishearing of lexical
structures): influent affluent, cohesion coercion, vengeance - ventures
3.2.2. DIFFICULTIES OF TRANSLATION
There is a very frail relation between language and reality as we want the former to
reflect the latter but we might understand the latter differently from our fellows.
For this reason, the language we produce might well transmit something else than what
we intend if we are not careful in both manipulating language and interpreting reality.
Every language is a special way of looking at the world and interpreting experience;
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DI F FI CU LTI E S O F U NDE R S TANDI NG

A whole set of unconscious assumptions about the world and life is inherent in each
language;
Language not only may describe perceptions, thoughts, experiences but it may
determine and shape these.
We can notice a relationship beyond doubt between mind and language:

what / how we think the language we speak


When a foreign language is implied, misunderstanding or communicational gaps often
come from the problems in translation.
The difficulty of translation comes from the following:
Words have more than one meaning:
They dont have any match. (pair, game, light);
Many words are culture bound and have no direct translation:
The beefeaters watch the Tower of London. (old name of the guards);
Cultural orientation can render a direct translation into a nonsensical result:
The fortune-teller foresees the future.
In some cultures, future is behind us while past is ahead, a difference
represented symbolically in figure 3, and consequently, this sentence has no
logic in such situation.

Figure 3. Position towards future and past


Doubtlessly, direct translation is much more difficult as besides the aforementioned
problems, it requires some personality qualities: spontaneity, compatibility,
adaptation. Direct translators have to talk translating a sentence, to relate that to the
meaning of the context, of the sentence before and at the same time to listen to the
next sentence.
3.2.3. FALSE FRIENDS
The "false friends" are words presenting an utter resemblance with terms in the learner's
mother tongue, seemingly giving you a friendly help, but actually having a distinct
meaning, thus, being just a pretended support, in fact, false.
The English vocabulary and the Romanian one do not have too many words in common
as they derive from different ancient languages, still the Roman influence has affected the
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DI F FI CU LTI E S O F U NDE R S TANDI NG

Anglo-Saxon base of English. On the other hand, subsequent borrowings from other
languages may have had the same effect of assimilating words much alike.
Some words may have a very close meaning to the real one (see table 1), the wrong usage
will have no major consequence in understanding the speaker:
English term:
cake
assist
carpet
crayon
pork
sanity

seemingly resembling the


Romanian term:
chec
a asista
carpet
creion
sntate

meaning, in fact:
prjitur
a ajuta
covor
cret cerat
carne de porc
sntate mintal

Table 1. Meanings close to the real ones


There is a number of lexical items that come from a common root and then the
continuous development and transformation of language altered meanings differently.
Some false friends are less important because they are not so easily mistaken (see table
2):
English term:
stanza
smoking
car
deserve
elevator
office
policy
brilliant
ordinary

seemingly resembling the


Romanian term:
tan
smoching
cru, a cra
a deservi
oficiu
poliie
ordinar

meaning, in fact:
strof
fumat
main
a merita
lift
birou
poli, politic
minunat, grozav
comun, obinuit

Table 2. Words not so easily mistaken


Differentiated evolution of the same word in linguistically isolated circumstances, as the
situation of Romanian and English languages, will bring about different implications and
meanings attributed to the words. They start from the same root but will come to mean
something else in Romanian than in English, adopting various procedures of enlarging,
restricting or focusing the notion embodied in the symbol represented by the certain
word. A list of such false friends (as in table 3 below), may prove very useful, these
causing the most important and dangerous mistakes.
English term:
actual
abstract
advertisement

seemingly resembling the


Romanian term:

meaning, in fact:
real, adevrat
rezumat
publicitate

avertisment
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DI F FI CU LTI E S O F U NDE R S TANDI NG

affluent
apology
billion
camera
casual
caution
chance
chef
cognate
contest
confectionery
consequent
crime
deception
editor
entitle
eventual
extenuating
fabric
finally
gracious
grave
introduce
invidious
Island
library
magazine
novel
petrol
physician
pregnant
preservative
prevent
prospect
rent
resume
scholar
scope
sensible
soda
supply
sympathetic
sympathy
topic

apologie
cazual
cauiune
ans
ef
cumnat
confecionare
consecvent
crim
decepie
a intitula
extenuant
fabric
final
graios
grav
a introduce
Islanda
librrie
magazin
nuvel
fizician
pregnant, accentuat
prezervativ
preveni
prospect, broura
rent
a rezuma
colar
scop
sensibil
a suplini
simpatic
topic

bogat
scuz
miliard
aparat foto
obinuit
atenie, avertisment
hazard
buctar ef
nrudit, cu origine comun
concurs
cofetrie
ulterior, urmtor
delict, infraciune
nelciune, iluzie
redactor
a ndrepti
final
atenuant, diminuator
stof
n sfrit
gentil, amabil
mormnt
a prezenta
discriminatoriu
insul
bibliotec
revist
roman
benzin
medic
gravid
conservant
mpiedica
potenial, de perspectiv
chirie
a relua
erudit
gam, extindere
raional, nelept
sifon
a aproviziona
nelegtor, empatic
condoleane
subiect

Table 3. Relevant false friends


We may encounter words having in Romanian a certain meaning as the basic one, while
in English that particular meaning is not very commonly used and the terms have other
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DI F FI CU LTI E S O F U NDE R S TANDI NG

more important senses. The danger with these is to mistakenly translate the word into
Romanian, directly and keeping the suggested inferred meaning, while the context would
imply one of the other meanings.
Much is the same way, a Romanian word may present a polysemy and stand for the
meaning implied by more English words, still having one meaning common to the
English correspondent (e.g. machine).
Table 4 presents some examples of words having similar meanings but not as basic, first
meaning, in both languages (presenting another meaning as the main one).
English
Sense:

Romanian
1. He came to his senses and started to learn.
fire
2. The sense of this word is unknown.
sens
Classify: 1. An FBI classified document has recently been a clasa,
exposed.
a nchide
2. The letters are classified into formal and informal.
a clasifica
Figure:
1. I cannot figure the meaning of these words: 5 is a a nelege, cifr
figure.
figur, chip
2. The oval is a geometrical figure. He has a familiar
figure.
Apply:
1. He applied for a job as a salesman.
a candida
2. They applied that theory; it proved efficient in a aplica
practice.
Determine: 1. I'm determined, I won't change my mind again.
hotrt
2. We determined them to confess promising.
a determina
Effective: 1. To be effective, this medicine has to be taken with eficient
milk.
2. The effective work done is less than what was efectiv
necessary.
Expose:
1. His secret was exposed and he was very embarrassed. a divulga
2. After exposing the data the teacher asked some a expune
questions.
Sentence: 1. Any sentence has to have a subject and a predicate.
propoziie
2. The judge delivered a sentence less harsh than sentin
expected.
Machine
The washing machine was damaged during aparat,
transportation.
mainrie
Table 4. False friends and polysemantic words
Some direct translations have been already adopted in Romanian (e.g. determination, to
apply) and even if they sound forced and improper, they, still, seem to be accepted by
linguists.
One less important category is that of coincidentally resembling words (table 5), not so
confusing as the words coming from the same root, because there is no connection felt
between the meaning and the form known from the mother tongue, as it is, instinctively,
in the case when they derive from the same idea.
English term:

resembling the Romanian:


22

meaning, in fact:

DI F FI CU LTI E S O F U NDE R S TANDI NG

stare
resort
rest
pace
mare
lack
horn
far
glass
corn
comma
abate
adept
cold
mercy

a se uita fix
staiune
odihn
pas
iap
lips
corn, claxon
departe
pahar, sticl
porumb
virgul
a slbi
expert
rece
mil

pace
mare
lac
horn
far
glas
com
cald
mulumesc

Table 5. Coincidentally resembling words

Summary:
People may perceive a partial evidence, construe a personal meaning and thus take
inferences for facts.
Language restricts us, prevents us from being able to express all nuances or misleads
us to some wrong meaning because of the particularities of the words.
Difficulties to understand come from a gap in the communication process.

Case study:
1. Exercise your perception acuity on the following pictures [11], describing what you
see first and then trying to distinguish the second image in each:

2. Look at the picture taken in an office [12] and consider the truthfulness of the
sentences below it.

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DI F FI CU LTI E S O F U NDE R S TANDI NG

1. There are six pieces of furniture in the office: a desk, a table and four chairs.
2. There is one person in the office.
3. The woman at the desk is an old employee.
4. She is working on the computer.
5. There are some family photos on the desk.
6. There are some documents on the round table.
7. The lady likes flowers.
8. There is a flower on the round table.
9. There is a rose on the window sill.
10. There is a calendar on the notice board.
11. The lady is busy writing something.
12. She is right-handed.

Exercises:
1. Write synonyms (a) and antonyms (b) of the words, using the words in the box,
and explain the differences for the words written in (a):
Model:
Master (a) boss
manager of a company / informal recognition of authority or
friendly appellative
leader
head of a group, party, association, united by common
interests, goals
owner
proprietary, detaining and disposing of something or
somebody as wishing
(b) slave, subordinate

24

DI F FI CU LTI E S O F U NDE R S TANDI NG

diversity, ordinary, leave, disappearance, usual, inability, capacity, come, special,


habitual, mixture, uniformity, depart, possibility, skill, general, arrive, aspect,
similitude, layout, power, sort

ability

common

go

(a)
(b)
(a)
(b)

(a)
(b)
variety (a)
(b)
appearance (a)
(b)

2. Find in the sentences words that can have a different meaning in another context
and explain them:
I like her both because of her looks and because of her nice character.
She is just writing a letter of apology.
They found accommodation at the ground floor.
He has no manners: for instance, he never greets.
3. Match the synonyms and explain the differences:
running
bottle
residence
constable
playing
angling
marmalade

dwelling
jam
fishing
acting
policeman
jug
jogging

lean
fog
lofty
glance
grave
voyage
cup

look
mug
journey
smog
high
thin
tomb

Self evaluation:
Find in the text below:
a) synonyms of the words listed, in the given order: states, big, custom, amusement, if,
humble, certainly, loud, shining.
b) antonyms of the following: ill, first, old.
c) explain the polysemy of the underlined words.
In all the countries in the world and in Great Britain and in the United States as well,
there is a tradition to make the last night of the year one of fun and celebration. Whether
the New Years Eve party is in a restaurant, a club or in a modest home it will surely be
noisy and glittering.

25

E VE R YDAY CO NVE R S ATI O N

CHAPTER 4
EVERYDAY CONVERSATION

INTRODUCTION
Standard communication consists practically in regularly using some lexical structures
in the daily conversational situations such as: greeting, introducing oneself or
somebody else, suggesting a certain course of actions, inviting, advising, directing
somebody, explaining things or expressing preferences.
THEME PRESENTATION
It proves really useful to learn some typical structures and to be able to quickly use them
in the most relevant particular situations that daily conversation may require.
4.1. MEETING PEOPLE
In specific circumstances there are certain ready made phrases easy to remember and use.
4.1.1. GREETING
Besides the common situations of meeting somebody and saying
Hello!, Hi!,
Good morning!, Good afternoon!, Good evening!,
or parting and saying
Good bye!, (Bye-)Bye!, Good night!,
there some other lexical structures used as auxiliary greetings or in more special
situations.
Ancillary to the departing greeting we may find:
See you (soon/later/ on)!, So long!, Farewell!,
Have a nice day (/evening/ week etc.),
Hope to see /meet you (again) soon, (Send) my regards to .
When meeting with a special occasion, the greeting will mind that particular situation:
Happy birthday!, Happy anniversary!, Many happy returns of the day!,
Happy Mothers Day!, Happy Valentine(s Day)!,
Merry Christmas!, Happy Easter!, (A) Happy New Year!.
Other even more peculiar circumstances require various responses such as:
Cheers!, Bless you!, Welcome!,
Good(/ Best of) luck!, Break a leg!, Ill keep my fingers crossed!.
4.1.2. INTRODUCING SOMEBODY
The first thing when introducing somebody or yourself would be asking for permission to
do so:
May I (/Let me) introduce myself (/my ... , /somebody) (to you)?(/.)
Then you shall proceed by telling you name and the relevant data for the context while,
when introducing somebody else, you turn and address to that person inviting him or her
to meet the newcomer (/the audience etc.):
26

E VE R YDAY CO NVE R S ATI O N

(Dan), meet (my former teacher/ our team/ Mr. Jones, the vice-president etc.)!
The first to talk next would be the person introduced then the one to whom he/she is
introduced will answer. They will use expressions such as those exemplified in table 1:
(Its) Nice (/ good / a pleasure / a delight / wonderful) The pleasure is all mine.
to meet you.
Glad/ Nice to meet you, too.
(Im) Glad (/ happy / delighted) to meet you.
How do you do.
How do you do.
Table 1. Making acquaintance
4.2. SUGGESTIONS AND ADVICE
For situations ranging from suggesting mildly to strongly advising, followed by accepting
or refusing, several structures have to be employed.
4.2.1. INVITATIONS AND SUGESTIONS
When inviting someone to join you for a certain activity or suggesting a certain flow of
events, we may use various expressions each having a certain particular continuation.
Thus, we may have a VB in the ~ing form after structures such as:
Subject [I/we...] + suggest
.
What / How about
?
[Here, a Noun Phrase is also possible instead of the VB in the ~ing form.]
Do you feel like
?
Have you thought of
?
On the other hand, a VB in Short Infinitive will follow expressions such as:
Why don't we / you
?
Why not
?
Shall we / I
(or. / or not)
?
[Also used when asking for a suggestion or for some advice, as well as:
(What) should I/we (do)?]
You /We could (always)
.
Let's
./!
A Long Infinitive is used in the expression:
Would you like
?
A Noun Phrase is possible here instead of the verbal form.
E.g.:
I suggest going to a movie.
What about going to a movie? / What about a movie?
How about going to a movie? / How about a movie?
Do you feel like going to a movie?
Have you thought of going to a movie?
Why dont we go to a movie?
Why not go to a movie?
Shall we go to a movie?
We could go to a movie.
Lets go to a movie!
Would you like to go to a movie?
4.2.2. EXPRESSING PREFERENCES
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E VE R YDAY CO NVE R S ATI O N

Acceptance or Refusal, as seen in table 2, are the common ways of expressing likes and
dislikes and the opportunities to speak up your mind, to give alternatives, after being
invited to or suggested a course of actions.
A series of combinations of the following
structures may be used for a positive answer to a
suggestion:

A negative reply may be rendered


using expressions made up of the
following:

It / that / this will /would be fun / nice /


wonderful / perfect ...
Yes, I would.
I'd like / love to / that.
I like / love / enjoy vb+ing / that.
It's / That's a great / a good idea.
Definitely. / Sure. / (Yes,) Of course.
I think so.

Well, I'm not (so) sure (about that)


I'm afraid
This is/ That's / Its / Im too / kind
of (tiresome /tired)
I'd rather / sooner [d = would]
Id better [d = had]
Yes, buton a second thought
I dont think so. / know...

Table 2. Acceptance and refusal


E.g.:
Would you like a coffee?
Yes, definitely, it would be just perfect, I love coffee.
Well, I dont know, Im afraid its kind of late for a coffee, Id rather have a tea instead.
4.2.3. GIVING ADVICE
Modal verbs should and ought to are generally used for advising, following the second
person personal pronoun, but expressions such as had better or If I were you, I would
are also common.
They are all followed by a short infinitive form of the VB.
E.g.:
If I were you, I would work harder.
Youd better work harder.
You should work harder.
You ought to work harder.
4.3. GUIDING INSTRUCTIONS
For instructing someone or being ourselves guided on how to get to a certain place in a
town, we have to be familiar with some specific vocabulary, namely motion verbs and the
expressions they form as well as the nouns denoting particular locations, buildings etc.
Examples of the most common expressions can be found in table 3:
Go
Turn
(straight) ahead / on (up to the u-turn/ roundabout/
to the left (at the next
fork) / forward \ back (ward)
crossroads) \ right
up (on) (the street/ road) \ down (the lane/ path)
round the corner
along (the river)
around / back
Follow
Take
the sidewalk/ rail/ road/
the first/second/ turn to the left\ right (on the street)
the signs/ map/ guide/
the shortcut
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E VE R YDAY CO NVE R S ATI O N

traffic directions
the bus/ tram/ trolley
Cross
Pass
the street (at the zebra crossing) (when the traffic light is
by the hotel/ library /
green)
(on your right-hand
the bridge/ passage/ park/ square/ river/ lake (over the bridge)
side)
Stop
Walk / Drive
at the red light / railway signal / (down the car) at the agents on until the next stop/
sign
car park/ (gas) station
to check / to ask for further information
Table 3. Giving directions

Summary:
In order to be able to understand and produce common structures and lead everyday
conversations, some typical phrases can be learned and used.
Greeting, advising, inviting, instructing and presenting are the most usual
circumstances that require basic communicational elements which can be assimilated
respectively and elicited when the condition occurs.

Exercises:
1. Choose the suitable answer:
a)
1. Enjoy your meal!
A) Dont mention it. B) Here you are. C) Thanks, the same to you! D) Go away.
2. Happy birthday!
A) Sorry, I cant. B) Thank you. C) Help yourself. D) The same.
3. Thanks!
A) You are welcome. B) Cheers! C) Sure. D) See you!
4. Have a nice day!
A) Dont worry, I wont. B) Bless you. C) The same to you. D) Its OK.
5. Meet my friend, John!
A) Im afraid not. B) Bye! C) How do you do. D) Excuse me, please.
6. Merry Christmas!
A) Happy anniversary! B) Of course. C) Merry Christmas to you, too! D) Nice to see you
7. Good afternoon.
A) Good afternoon. B) Good bye. C) See you. D) Oh, its nothing.
b)

29

E VE R YDAY CO NVE R S ATI O N

1. Many happy returns of the day!


2. The food is very nice!
3. Paul lost all his books.
4. Nice to meet you, sir.
5. Excuse me, where is the new
library?
6. How do you do.
7. A Happy New Year!
8. Bye-bye.

a. Im so glad you like it.


b. The pleasure is all mine.
c. See you later.
c. Thank you, the same to you!
d. Oh, thank you.
e. Go straight on, its between the baker's and the
bank.
g. Goodness me!
h. How do you do.

2. Put the fragments in the right order to get the lines of the dialogue:
Peter:
James. / Hello,
James:
are you? / Hi, Peter! / How
Peter:
Let me/ Im OK,/ thanks./ to you. Michael,/ friend, James!/ meet my/
introduce my cousin
Michael:
James! / meet you, / Nice to/
James:
Im glad/ you, too!/ to meet
Peter:
How / father? / is your
James:
for asking. / a little / thank you / and so, / He / better, now;/ is so /
3.
a) Fill in the text with the following words: some, after, is, already, tea, good,
like, having, thought, with, showing, here, afraid, town, in, drink, together, I, should,
somewhere, an.
P: Im _________________ my cousin around the _________________, he lives
_________________ Willshire, but he _________________ here for his holiday.
J: Oh, lets walk _________________ then, Im just _________________ a relaxing
stroll _________________ dinner, myself.
M: Im _________________ Im kind of tired _________________. What about sitting
_________________ and having something to _________________?
P: Thats a _________________ idea. I suggest having a rest _________________ in this
pub.
J: Its OK _________________ me. Shall we have _________________ or coffee?
M: Id rather eat _________________ ice cream. Would you _________________ some,
too?
P: Yes, _________________ would, but on a second _________________, I seem to
have_________________ problems with my throat, I _________________ have a cake
instead.
b) Identify the expressions used for suggesting, inviting, advising, refusing
and accepting.
4. Choose the structure that best fits in the gaps and circle the suggestions,
advice, refusals and acceptances:
J: Look! There __1__ my new boss!
P: Oh, he looks __2__ young, one would say he is __3__ a student. He must __4__ really
enjoyable.
J: Indeed. And he is also such a friendly __5__ person.
M: O.K. Lucky __6__! Lets have __7__, now. My mouth is pouring.
J: Well, Im sorry but I have kind of __8__ my mind. I was just thinking I ought __9__
and say hello __10__ boss. But the __11__ should stay here and __12__. I hope you
__13__, do you? Maybe __14__ time
P: Ok. No problem. __15__!
30

E VE R YDAY CO NVE R S ATI O N

J: So long! And __16__ ice cream!


M: Thanks. Bye!
1. a) comes
b) come
2. a) such
b) so
3. a) yet
b) already
4. a) to be
b) be
5. a) and helpful
b) and helpfully
6. a) for you
b) to you
7. a) that cake
b) cakes
8. a) interchanged
b) exchanged
9. a) to going
b) for go
10. a) to my
b) at my
11. a) two of you
b) of you two
12. a) having fun
b) has fun
13. a) dont minding
b) dont mind
14. a) some another
b) something other
15. a) See you
b) Seeing yours
16. a) enjoy yourself
b) enjoying yours

c) coming
c) enough
c) still
c) to being
c) a helpful
c) your
c) that cakes
c) changed
c) of going
c) to mine
c) of two you
c) have funny
c) do mind
c) some other
c) See your
c) enjoy your

d) came
d) too
d) also
d) been
d) helpfully
d) you
d) those cake
d) unchanged
d) to go
d) for me
d)you of two
d) have fun
d) doesnt mind
d) so other
d) Seen you
d) enjoyed your

Self evaluation:
1. Choose the words that best fit in the gaps:
1. a. you look such
b. you look so
c. your look so
2. a. can not remember
b. cant remind
c. cannot remember
3. a. Where we
b. Were we
c. Where were
4. a. we meet
b. we met
c. weve met
5. a. yours cousin
b. your cousins
c. your cousin
6. a. How are
b. How is
c. Who are
7. a. some shopping
b. some shop
c. something shopping
8. a. go
b. to going
c. to go
9. a. me
b. my
c. mine
10. a. too
b. to
c. also
11. a. you can tell
b. can tell you
c. can you tell
12. a. nearer
b. the nearest
c. the near
13. a. catch a cold
b. catching a could
c. catching a cold
14. a. every this
b. all this
c. all these
15. a. one in
b. on in
c. one on
16. a. would those
b. wood that
c. would that
17. a. you gave me
b. you give me some
c. yours give my some
James: Good afternoon.
Michael: Good afternoon. Im sorry, __1__ familiar but I __2__ where we met. __3__
classmates?
James: No, __4__ some weeks ago, Im __5__ Peters friend, James.
Michael: Oh, yes, of course, now I know. __6__you, James?
James: Thank you, Im all right. Im out doing __7__ for our holidays. What about you?

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E VE R YDAY CO NVE R S ATI O N

Michael: Im preparing __8__ back home to Willshire, __9__ vacation is over. Now, I
was going to do some shopping, __10__. By the way, __11__ me where __12__
chemists is? I feel Im __13__, with __14__ rain
James: There is __15__ the Soldiers Square.
Michael: Where __16__ be? Can __17__ directions?
2. Fill in the blanks with the following words:
be, a, there, look, cross, modern, cinema, ahead, you, pass, turn, the, by, left, should, and.
James: Sure, lets see. You __________ go on this street until the crossroads, pass
__________ the hotel, on your left, __________ by the big market on your right and at
the crossroads __________ to the left, then go straight __________ until you see the
cinema on your __________ ; next to the __________ there is a passage, you can make
a shortcut if you __________ it as you get right to the square; you should check if it is
all ok so __________ on your right as you come out from the passage: __________
should be a new hospital __________ a bank; on your left there should __________ a
theatre and a __________ research institution and in front of you, right across the square,
there is __________ cathedral. Your chemists is round __________ corner, after
__________ pass by that bank.
3. Correct the mistakes in the text:
Michael: Thank you every much. I hope Ill manager. I thing I know that theatre, Peter
took me to a performance on evening, two week ago. Im sure I most have seen that
square. Now, as you reminded my about the theatre, I believe I know the place.
James: Well, its no so difficult to get there and in fact it isnt very far, either. Good lucky.
Michael: It was nice to see you against. Good bye.
James: Good bye and send my regards too Peter.
Michael: Ok, thanks, buy.

Self evaluation questions:


1. Mention 4 phrases use for suggesting.
2. Introduce your husband to your former employer.
3. Direct somebody from the railway station to the town hall.
4. Advise someone on buying a new computer.
5. Accept/ Refuse an invitation to a party.

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CHAPTER 5
COMMUNICATION INSIDE COMPANY

INTRODUCTION
When talking about communication inside companies, we have to fist deal with some
problems such as one-way versus two-way communication or the new requirements it
has to meet and to understand how it is propagated.
THEME PRESENTATION
We will distinguish between impersonal and interpersonal communication, describe the
formal and informal channels of communication inside organizations and understand the
global economy and the advanced technology as factors influencing communication.
5.1 IMPERSONAL AND INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION
While impersonal communication, established on one direction, from the sender to the
receiver only, without supposing a reply, can be used to a certain extent for quickly
informing the employees on some facts, the interpersonal one, the complete
communication, that respects the aspect of circularity and provides feedback is the most
effective and aimed for.
To spread knowledge about certain facts in the entire company, the impersonal style might
prove enough, but to ensure that things are clearly understood, to check that each person
knows exactly the task they have to accomplish next, the interpersonal relationship is
required.
5.1.1. GIVING INFORMATION
The impersonal communication in company is used and in general can be effective for
transmitting information. It is only supposed to come hierarchically down. Thus, inside
companies, the impersonal communication coming from the manager addressing the
employees is a one way information giving process.
In such a situation, the key words would be transmit and transfer and the purpose may be
rapidly notifying everybody on basic information such as company policies, instructions,
various facts. As for the forms that can materialise such type of communication, there are:
Memos, Letters, Electronic mail, Fax, Printouts, Voice mail etc.
Some advantages might be considered in favour of this type of communication, such as its
speed and the broad scope. It can reach fast each person in the company but there is one
relevant disadvantage: there is no opportunity to ask for clarifications for the receivers
and no chance for the sender to make sure the message has reached its destination and
has been effective.
Important facts, vital instructions, information about data that would have a relevant
influence on the wellbeing of the company are not to be transmitted this way. Things with a
mere informative role, of at most average importance - and mostly for the employees, not
for the company itself -, are eligible, though.

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5.1.2. FACE TO FACE RELATIONSHIP


More effective and quite required for the important things that have to be discussed and
clarified for the welfare of the business, there is the two way relationship, the
communication face to face. Here, the key words defining the outstanding features are:
share, exchange, interact and interchange and the main characteristic aspect is the presence
of feedback the response necessary to make sure the message was understood.
There is one very relevant advantage: the possibility of checking conveyance of the
message, and there is the disadvantage that a face to face relationship will most likely
be rather time-consuming.
The forms that are now employed are:

Dialogues, interviews;

Meetings, discussions;

Phone conversations.
5.1.3. CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION
The role of the channels of communication is unifying the group behaviour and helping
build teamwork.
We can talk about the official side of the communicational process, the normal lines and
tracks on which the information is transferred, from the uppermost level, the highest
position, to the lowest in the company, or among employees on the same level of
rank, interdepartmental or inside offices.
The same tracks however can be devices of transmission for the less official news, that
most often can travel even faster and with more adaptations and personal touches.
Information coming on this channel may be more interesting and appealing but it may
be suffering distortions or be totally inaccurate. The untrue rumours can sometimes, if
funny and harmless, unwind the atmosphere in an office and create a certain
connection between the people sharing them, but they may often have a negative
effect, creating animosities.
Thus, we can distinguish between the formal and the informal channels, with the vertical
and horizontal tracks each. Vertically, communication goes up and down the
organizations ladder: from managers down to employees and, vice-versa, upward
from employees up to management. Horizontally they travel back and forth among
fellow employees. So, the channels are:
o Formal:
Vertical (hierarchical: boss to employees and upward);
Horizontal (on level; among peers).
o Informal both vertical and horizontal:
Gossip (grapevine) often more rapid.
5.2. WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
There is a big difference between oral and written communication in English, let alone in
Business English. The first step in preparing for writing business letters is understanding
the importance of, and acquiring the skills of correct spelling.
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Accuracy is more relevant in writing than in oral communication, where mistakes can be
even charming. Formal letters are even less the place to be negligent or shallow.
Concise but complete, clear, concrete and correct, curt but still courteous are basic
attributes to be pursued when embarking for the production of written communication in
Business English.
These letters are only effective if they are able to keep good relationships and at the same
time to trigger some desired action usually not very facile to acquire even in oral or
informal communication.
5.2.1. THE MEMO
Memos represent the primary form of internal communication within corporate and
governmental offices. They are used for vertical and horizontal communication whenever
face-to-face communication is impractical or a permanent record is desirable. They can
even be used for external communications with customers, suppliers, or other interested
outsiders. Memos can run for several pages but are usually just one to two pages and, given
the todays workplace pressures, the shorter or more concise the better. [18, p.107-108]
From the functions of memos we can note:

informing people or changing peoples perception in certain matters.

communicating responsibility and deadlines for actions

establishing a file record of decisions, agreements, and policies

transmitting short reports or suggestions

bringing new personnel up to date

communicating with difficult people (you dont want to meet face to face or that
disregard spoken instruction unless followed by a written cover)

stopping unjustified, time-consuming requests.


5.2.2. BUSINESS LETTERS
In business letters, there is a behavioural component that has to be highly considered - the
accurate manner and the need for tact and capacity of producing a meaningful and effective
formal means of communication. Besides this, there are some strict, concrete, aspects that
are to be known and applied when engaging in writing a business letter. Such are: the
typical phrases that have to be used in certain situations, in typical circumstances, and the
necessary parts of the letters, precise elements baring particular functions, that must be
positioned flawlessly - as these official letters are supposed to follow a given format.
Here are some typical situations of business relationship that may have to be met at a point
by any economist, circumstances implying usage of certain phrases and conception of the
letter accordingly: starting an initial letter or a response letter, good news, bad news,
requests, enclosures, complaints, apologies, orders, offers, payment reminders,
appointments, concluding. Each context requires peculiar formulae that have to be known
by the person appointed to write that letter, hence the need to learn the special phrases.
As for the parts of the business letter here are, in a nut-shell, the constitutive elements of
this sort of correspondence [10, p. 42]:

Heading

Date

Reference line

Inside address
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Salutation
Subject line
Body of the letter
Complimentary close
Signature
Initials and postscripts
Enclosures

The typology of business letters may be analysed as following a basic classification on the
criterion of the moment of producing the letter as regarding the business partnership: prior
to concluding or along the business contract.
First, there is the pre-contractual correspondence: inquiry letters, demand or order letters,
offers and all the subsequent letters that may drive from these.
Then, doing business is a dynamic activity this implying possible changes that have to be
informed and notified in order to maintain good relationship between partners and
proper functioning of the business affairs. Hence, clients or partners have to be
announced of the modifications occurring and this is usually done by letters from those
entitled to certify this information. Thus, we may talk about letters of announcement or
notifications.
On the other hand, there are contractual clauses that are often breached and consequently
letters of complaints will be quite frequent. There are different reasons for complaint
and they will account for a classification of the complaint letters.
According to the reason of the claim, there may be letters of complaint: about quality,
quantity, packing, carriage, damaged goods, delay in delivery, price, invoicing and
letters of collection of overdue accounts or reminders (first, second and third).
Correspondence is also needed in more specialized economic fields, as transportation,
insurance and banks, where cover letters accompany other documentations and are used in
all the phases of the particular activities characteristic to these domains. These are very
much specialized and demand knowledge of a more peculiar vocabulary and
comprehension of the various factual situations implied.
As for the transportation, we may encounter letters concerning the following: shipping
instructions, freight discussion or inquiry, advice of dispatch, notifications from charterer
to broker.
In what the insurance is concerned, the letters may be: requests for insurance, inquiry for
insurance rate, letters of indemnity a.s.o.
Banking operations can trigger correspondence such as: customer's requests of an
overdraft, status inquiry, mistaken account warning, asking for reference, the bank's replies
to these, bills of exchange, payment orders, documentary credit letters etc.
Finally, when applying for jobs, there are the application letters that need to be edited.
They have to accompany the CVs and shall provide the potential employee with the
personal information he/she expects and needs to find, persuasively presented, concisely
conceived and accurately displayed.
5.2.3. THE E-MAILS
Here is some advice to be taken into consideration when initialising or replying to
electronic messages [2, p.21-22].

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E-mails should be conceived and written so that the intended audience can read,
understand and act on the message after the first time they read it. Be concise and to the
point and do not make an email longer than it needs to be, keep it to a maximum of 15-20
sentences. Use simple and relevant words. Use proper structure and layout: short
paragraphs and blank lines in between for easier reading from the screen. Do not use
abbreviations if you are not sure whether the recipient knows them. Use correct grammar,
spelling and punctuation and do not attach unnecessary files. Do not write in capitals
because it seems like you are shouting. Do not overuse high priority option because, when
overused, it looses its function and moreover, it also might come out as aggressive. Use
"cc:" field only if the recipient in the "cc:" field knows why he or she is receiving the
message.
When you reply to e-mails, try to answer all questions and pre-empt new ones, in order to
avoid further e-mails, frustration and wasting time. Respond quickly; email implies a quick
response comparing to the written letter, so they should be answered at least within 24
hours. Do not leave out the original messages but use Reply with history so the recipient
can easily see what the email is in reference to. Do not overuse "Reply to All"; use it only
if you need your message to be seen by each person who received the original message.
5.3. NEW REQUIREMENTS
The rapid developments of the technologic society and the current tendency towards
globalisation bring about distinct challenges to the communication fields.
5.3.1. GLOBAL ECONOMY
Recent changes in the economic view, turning from a national approach to the international
and global strategies in business have as a result the expansion of global market.
This triggers a new challenge inside organisations. Due to this internationality that extends,
to the emergence of the multinational companies and to the extensive migration of the
labour force, companies must accordingly train their employees so that they should
be able to communicate despite language and cultural differences.
5.3.2. HIGH TECHNOLOGY
The technological era culminating with the current massive spread of the computer and the
informational technology is another factor of great influence upon the way
communication is regarded. The Internet widens the communication opportunities
exceeding any limits not long ago hard to even imagine.
The information and the communication are redefined for those who enter this field and in
now time it will be compulsory fro everybody to learn and adopt this technology if
they want to keep up with the changes in their society. It is obvious that IT has gained
supremacy in the field of extensive communication as it is the most effective in terms
of large spread of areas covered and minimal time to send information just about
anywhere.
There are several clear advantages that promote the computer and the internet on highest,
overriding position but there are also some disadvantages that can constitute causes
of concern, especially in the nowadays sophisticated world that takes into
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consideration every single fact that could affect negatively the human rights, the
psychological or the emotional welfare of individuals.
Thus, here are only some of the most important advantages of e-mails:

Time efficiency;

Minimal costs;

Improved accuracy;

Enhanced customer service;

Some of the filters eliminated.


As for the concerns, the highest might be thought to be the individuals right to privacy and
the lost human touch.
Of course, sending e-mails to inform all subsidies in all corners of the world of a fact or a
new development taken by the company proves really useful, economical and rapid, but
one can hardly imagine an important negotiation completely and successfully completed
just by means of e-mails. Still, it may always be a strong alternative.

Summary:
Communication inside companies may be impersonal or interpersonal, oral or written,
formal or informal, vertical or horizontal each with specific characteristics and all having
to adapt to the developments of the rapidly changing world.

Exercises:
I. Match and follow the instructions in italics for each drill
a. the fragments in column A with those in B to find some advice on how to be a
good communicator:

1. Give full attention to people


2. Encourage other people to
3. Present your ideas so that others
4. Treat people fairly and let others know
5. Value teamwork and know how to build
6. Show respect for peoples ideas and
feelings, even
7. Accept differences and conflict as a normal
part of any work
8. Strive to understand other people and
9. Be open to negative feedback, and
communicate difficult
10. Be able to easily win peoples
11. Check to make sure you have understood
38

a) talk, and ask appropriate questions.


b) people (e.g. He/she is always that
way.)
c) how you want to be treated.
d) while they are talking to you.
e) to be empathetic.
f) cooperation and commitment.
g) are receptive to your point of view.
h) environment, and know how to
address them constructively.
i) when you disagree with them.
j) trust and respect.
k) truths in a respectful way.
l) other people are trying to

COM M U NI CATI O N I NSI DE CO MPANY

what
12. Be confident and at
13. Avoid making absolutist judgments about
14. Follow through on your
15. Be able to work with people you have
difficulties

communicate.
m) with without becoming negative
yourself.
n) ease giving a presentation.
o) commitments.

Instructions:
- in the first column underline the synonyms of: total, honestly, emotions, variation,
struggle, hard, verify, capable
- in the second column circle the antonyms of: inappropriate, never, agree, lies, positive,
difficulty
b. the headings (1-4) with the suggestions they contain (lines A-D)
1. Connect 2. Listen
A

3. Communicate

4. Speak

o Project confidence.
o Connect with your audience.
o Know what you want to accomplish. Do you want people to understand your
position? Lend their support? Approve your request?
o Keep it short and simple. Most communication can accomplish only one objective,
develop three main points, and hold peoples attention only so long.
o Ask for feedback; was the message understood?
o Establish rapport with people
o Pay attention to peoples facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice.
o See things from the other persons point of view.
o Adjust your communication style to match theirs.
o Avoid criticizing, making negative judgments, or saying that the other person is
wrong.
o Show interest in the other persons interests and concerns.
o Encourage people to talk.
o Show your willingness to listen. Minimize distractions. Attend to the other person
with your whole body (your body language, eyes, facial expressions). Nod your head
and give verbal cues to communicate that you are paying attention.
o Ask open-ended questions.
o Listen to what people are trying to communicate, not just to what they are saying.
Listen to their emotions. Listen also to what they want.
o Check to make sure you understand. Use your own words to reflect what you have
heard and noticed.
o Speak with sincerity and conviction.
o Be sensitive to other peoples communication style.
o Listen at least as much as you talk.
o Attune what you say with how you say it. Keep your message fitting with your tone
of voice, facial expression, and body language.

Instructions:
- in A:
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o rephrase the first underlined fragment into an affirmative followed by a question


tag
o emphasize the second underlined fragment beginning with : "It is only"
- in B rephrase:
o the first underlined fragment beginning with: "Attention"
o the second underlined fragment, including the word "order"
o the third underlined fragment using the auxiliary "do" and the negative particle
"not"
- in C: ask the questions so that the underlined structures represent the answers
- in D:
o answer the questions:
Whose communicational style should you be sensitive to?
How much should you listen as compared to talk?
How should you message be kept?
o rephrase the underlined fragment including "has to be"
c. the fragments of the three columns to get some advice on how to listen:
1) Sometimes we do not
understand other
2) We are destructed or
3) We can communicate on
one or all of
4) But sometimes we do not
understand
5) We are not
6) We may hear the
7) The house is burning
8) But those four words,
depending

a) on how they are said,


b) people because we
are not
c) is a simple,
d) listening
e) simply are
f) people because we
are not hearing
g) the four different
levels:
h) facts, for example,
but

i) may mean more things.


ii) straight-forward statement.
iii) miss the feelings.
iv) not paying attention.
v) facts, meaning, feelings,
intention.
vi) to the right level.
vii) listening, or we are not
listening well.
viii) what they want to
communicate.

Instructions:
- turn sentences 1,2,3 into reported speech beginning with: "They said..."
- rephrase sentence 4 beginning with: "We would understand"
- turn sentences 5,6 into interrogative
- ask the questions so that the underlined structures represent the answers
d. the levels with the corresponding example:
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1.
2.
3.
4.

Facts
Meaning
Feelings
Intention

a)
b)
c)
d)

Run for your life.


The house we are in is on fire.
Ahh!!! Help!!!
A residential structure is being consumed by flames.

Instructions:
- rephrase
b) beginning with "We" and including "which"
d) beginning with "Flames"
II. Fill in
a. each line with the appropriate criterion (letters a-d) to mark the four processes
for each level (1-4):
1 facts

2 meaning

3 feeling

a People want to
c You need to ask
level
1

4 intention

b Your task is to
d Your goal is to

process
Convey Information
Listen to details and clarify
Who? What? Where? Why? When? How?
Picture the situation as the person is describing it
Understand what the person means, and make the other person feel
understood.
Listen to the big picture, summarize and paraphrase
Make themselves understood
Am I understanding you correctly? Is this what you are getting at?
How does it make you feel? It sounds to me like you are feeling
Connect on emotional level
Recognize how the person is feeling and make the other person feel
connected
Listen with empathy, pay attention to body language and tone of voice
Know what the person wants to achieve
Get their needs met
Listen to wants and needs, focus on solutions, action
steps and outcomes
What do you want to have happen? What would help you in this
situation? What can you/we do about it?

criterion
a
ex.
b
c
d

b. the text with missing titles (1-8) and fragments (A-H) to find how you should
communicate in order to win cooperation:
1. Do not argue
2. Make people feel understood
3. Be open for others ideas
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4. Find common ground


5. Listen
6. Help people believe the change is possible
7. Time your request well
8. Care about the people you want to influence
A how cooperating with you can help them achieve
B them a better way, but more importantly convince them that the
C feel overwhelmed and stop arguing with you but that does not
D can to reassure them and to make them feel safe, and you increase your chances
of winning their
E to understand what people mean, without getting hung up on
F minded and feel confident with sharing the ideas
G decisions, commitments and judgments based on logic and sound reasoning
Hex. 2
Spend less time trying to make people understand what you want, and more time making
them feel understood. In an ideal world people might make
ex. G
. But in this
world people act in response to their preferences, feelings and social influence they might
not be even aware of. If they trust you and feel you care about them, they are much more
likely to cooperate with you.

Show people how their needs, values and dreams mesh with yours. To do so, you have to
understand their values and concerns. See things from their point of view. Be sympathetic
with their feelings. Then show them _______ what they want.

Listening is the best way to make people feel understood and at the same time to find
common ground. Ask open-ended questions, the kind that invite peoples careful
consideration and honesty. Try _________ the literal meaning of their words. And
acknowledge their thoughts and feelings (which is not the same thing as agreeing with
them).

The person you defeat in an argument today may be the person whose cooperation you
need tomorrow. Arguments make people stake out positions and defend them. And the
more you try to prove them wrong, the harder they will resist you. People may _________
mean you have won them over. Most of the time, when you win an argument, you lose an
ally.

If you are concerned about the people you are trying to win over, _________ if you value
their needs and dreams, they will know it and they will reciprocate. They will communicate
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more freely, speaking their mind more openly and listening more attentively. They will
give you the benefit of the doubt and they will want to cooperate.

Do not try to impose your ideas on others only. Listen to and value the ideas of the people
that work for you or with whom you work together. Be open _________ with others. Even
request for new ideas to gain peoples support and cooperation.

People often know, although they will not often admit, that they need to change. They feel
a vague uneasiness, sensing that things will not pan out the way they want. But they persist
in doing what they have always done, thinking they are doing the best they can. Show
_________ change is possible. Do not just give them a solution but offer them confidence.

There is a time and season for everything, especially for asking for support. When people
are feeling stressed out, anxious, angry, resentful or threatened, they are not really
receptive. Do what you _________ support. Look for moments of influence, times when
they feel capable and confident, and make your best case then.
c. with the given words to find how to negotiate:
why
out
your
or
other
not
view
an
at
the
will
to
might sure
blame
on
and
needs for
you
Prepare . negotiation. Do not . negotiation as confrontational. Do not
try . win at all costs. Do . become emotional. Listen to . other
person(s). By listening you . receive information that . help you further
in the negotiation. Try to understand the . person. Focus . issues, not
personalities. Do not . the other person. Use questions to find . what the
other persons concerns and . might be.
When you hear the other person express their needs . concerns, use listening
responses to make . you heard correctly (So, . are saying .. If I heard
this right ..). State . needs and the reasons and prepare options beforehand.
Anticipate . the other person may resist your suggestion, and be prepared to
counter with . alternative. Consider timing . do not argue. Aim
. win-win situation not a compromise.
d. each blank with the appropriate word derived from the verbs given (in column
A) linking a suffix or prefix (from column B):
A
B
argue, agree (3), differ, solve, oppose
dis- ; -ment (3); -er; -ent (2);
In order to avoid an ____________, seek areas of ____________. Often we agree with
people in principle but ____________ with them in practice (we want the same thing but
have ____________ ideas of how to accomplish it). Find those areas of ____________.
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Make them clear. Try always to make the other person a fellow problem-____________,
neither an ____________ nor a friend.
e. with the required form of the verbs in brackets:
We should ____________( to focus short infinitive) on interests, not positions.
An issue ____________ (to be simple present) what we ____________ (to want simple
present) or ____________(to need simple present). A position ____________(to be
simple present) a way of ____________ (to achieve gerund) it. ____________(To avoid
imperative) ____________ (to get gerund) ____________ (to attach past participle)
to your positions so that you ____________ (to lose simple present, negative) sight of
your interests. It ____________ (to be simple future) easier ____________ (to negotiate
long infinitive) and ____________ (to compromise short infinitive) around interests
than around positions.
III. Choose the
a. right form from the words in brackets:
Try to (see / sea) things from the (other / another) persons point-of-view.
There is (an / a) reason (how / why) other people act and (think / thing) the way they (do /
does) no matter (how / who) illogical, wrong-headed, or misguided (eat / it) may seem
(to / too) you. If you criticize (then / them) or show disapproval for (their / there)
reasoning, they will (only / lonely) harden in their (resolution / solution). They will resent
and resist (your / you). Seek, instead, (two / to) discover their hidden reasons, and you will
(find / found) the key to their motivation.
b. structure fitting in the numbered gaps:
Ask ___1___ and open-ended questions. Closed ___2___ like Do you agree with my
proposal? limit ___3___ ability to express ___4___. Open-ended questions like How
do you feel about my proposal? give ___5___ freedom and give you more ___6___.
Learn how ___7___ listen. Spend more time listening ___8___ speaking (you cannot get
yourself ___9___ trouble by listening, but you sure can start a brawl ___10___ speaking).
Listen ___11___ your body, your eyes and your mind ___12___ well as with your ears. Try
to understand ___13___ people mean, without getting caught ___14___ in the exact words
they say. Make them ___15___ understood, and they will be ___16___ more likely to try to
understand you.
1
a) clarify
b) clarifying
c) clarified
2
a) questions
b) question
c) questioned
3
a) peoples
b) peoples
c) people
4
a) themself
b) themselfs
c) themselves
5
a) them
b) then
c) they
6
a) informing
b) informations
c) information
7
a) to
b) two
c) too
8
a) that
b) then
c) than
9
a) into
b) in
c) to
10
a) at
b) by
c) on
11
a) in
b) with
c) after
12
a) as
b) so
c) soon
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13
14
15
16

a) where
a) up
a) fill
a) much

b) when
b) down
b) fell
b) many

c) what
c) across
c) feel
c) most

c. structures from the box to rephrase the text replacing the underlined fragments
in it:

as long as
beforedon't forget

sensibility mark
again, now

don't deny
isn't anything
additional data
believed

If you are wrong, admit it. There is nothing wrong with changing your opinion, once you
have gained new information or perspective. As a matter of fact, it is the sign of wisdom
and maturity. Remember that you have been wrong in the past even when you thought you
were right, and admit that you might be wrong this time, too.
d. appropriate ending (suffix or word) for the incomplete words in the text
following, and make the necessary changes:
words: thing, will
suffixes: -ing, -(t)ion, -ness
If you are right, allow the other person to save face.
You are try to win peoples cooperate, not to prove them wrong. Your kind
will do more to gain their good than any else.
e. right heading (from 1 to 6) for each fragment to find advice on making
presentations and then follow the instructions in italics below the text:
1) Have your audiences best interests at heart.
2) Approach your presentation from your audiences perspective not yours.
3) Establish eye contact.
4) Win the audience's benevolence
5) Talk to people before your presentation.
6) Speak simply and with conviction.
___ex.4___
Establish rapport/bond with your audience and they become your partners in a dialog,
allies in your presentation. They will want you to succeed. They will overlook your
nervousness and lack of polish. And they will give you the benefit of the doubt even if they
lose thread of your logic.
___ ___
Introduce yourself as people begin gathering. Ask them about themselves, what they do,
and why they are there. Smile.
___ ___
See your presentation as an opportunity to serve your audience, not to impress or sell
them.
___ ___
Look people in the eye one at a time. Hold each persons gaze for 5 to 10 seconds and then
look someone else in the eye. We distrust people who will not look us in the eye. Still, be
cautious while presenting to foreigners, some cultures consider such eye contact intrusive
and rude.
___ ___
Do not give a speech. Have a conversation with your audience. Say I, we and you
when appropriate.
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___ ___
Address their concerns. Speak to their interests, values and aspirations. Avoid words they
might not understand. Cite evidence they find credible. If you have to use words or
acronyms they might not understand, explain them immediately.
Instructions:
- in the first fragment underline the synonyms of: 'connection, listeners, collaborators,
wish, neglect, though'
- perform/ act orally as suggested in the second fragment
- rephrase the third fragment beginning with: "Your presentation should"
- turn the two underlined parts in fragment four into passive constructions
- rephrase the fifth fragment using: "deliver, hold, public, proper"
- in the last fragment
rephrase
the fist sentence underlined, beginning with: "You shouldn't"
the second part underlines, including "found"
underline in the last sentence the structures meaning: "must, comprehend,
explicate, promptly"
IV. Arrange to form suggestions on how to properly use e-mail
a. the fragments:
ex.
ex. E-mails should be
b
d
a c first time they read it.
a) can read, understand and act
b) constructed and written
c) on the message after the
d) so that the intended audience
1) Be concise and needs to be.
a) an email longer
b) not make
c) than it
d) to the point; do
2) Answer all
and wasting time.
a) further e-mails, frustration
b) questions and pre-empt further
c) questions as by answering all
d) the questions youll avoid
3) Use correct unnecessary files.
a) and do
b) and punctuation
c) grammar, spelling
d) not attach
4) Make it personal
customized.
a) of the email
b) should be
c) the content
d) which means that
5) Respond quickly; email
24 hours.
a) implies a quick response
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b) comparing to the
c) written letter, so they should
d) be answered at least within
6) Use proper structure from the screen.
a) and blank lines
b) and layout: short paragraphs
c) easier reading
d) in between for
7) Do not overuse high
come out as aggressive.
a) because, when overused, it
b) looses its function and
c) moreover, it also might
d) priority option
8) Do not write shouting.
a) because it
b) in capitals
c) seems like
d) you are
b. the letters in the structures underlined to get the logic words:
Do not avlee out the original messages but use Reply with history so the recipient can
sileay see what the email is in reference to.
Read the elima before you send it because proof reading will help discover missed
steamiks and misspellings, as well as ensure that none of the cennott is missing.
Do not overuse "Reply to All"; use it only if you alerly need your message to be seen by
each sopern who received the original message.
Use active instead of passive abusece active voice (We will process your order) sounds
more reponals, whereas passive (Your order will be processed) sounds ineclusarnesy
formal.
c. the underlined nouns in their right place
Take care with language: do not use the abbreviations if you are not sure whether the email
knows them.
Use a meaningful function that makes sense to the recipient and yourself and make it as
detailed as possible.
Avoid using "Urgent" and "Important" as the less you use them the more recipient they
have when you do use them.
Avoid long words trying to keep them to a maximum of 15-20 communication.
Keep your sentences gender neutral.
Use "cc:" field only if the recipient in the "cc:" field knows why he or she is receiving the
subject.
Use face-to-face abbreviations whenever possible instead of e-mail.
V. Rephrase . to find information on how to use voice messages:
a. beginning with the structures given:
1) Update your personal greeting regularly.
Your.
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2) Pause for 1-2 seconds before you record your greeting.


1-2 seconds of
3)Make your messages short so the caller will not have to wait long to leave a message.
The caller should be prevented.
4) In your greeting let callers know when you will return their call.
When you
5) Include information in your greeting about how callers can reach a colleague if you are
not available
While being .
6) If you will be away from the office for an extended period, on business or leave, let
callers know how to reach a colleague who is taking your calls
Callers should be
7) Make sure the person you direct your calls to is informed and knows how to reply.
The person your calls
b. beginning as guided and using the words given:
1) Check your messages as often as possible and return all calls within two hours, at the
very least, within 24 hours.
Your messages .
all calls
2) When you return a call thank the caller for leaving the voice mail message.
Returning .
you should
3) When leaving a voice mail message always identify yourself and the company you are
representing in case it is an outside call and state the reason for calling.
A voice mail.
after you.
4) Leave voice mail messages that are concise and convey concrete information, writing an
outline or even a script before you call, if you find it hard to compose a message on the fly.
Concise
conveying
should be
so that you should
in case
difficult
5) If you need a return call, say when and where you will be available and give your phone
number.
Your phone
as well as time and place
should be.
unless you don't
c. using words such as "because", "as" or "so", to link together all the sentence in
each group:
1) Watch your emotions when you leave a voice mail message. One way communication
can come across much angrier, more hurtful or more self-pitying than intended.

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2) When leaving a message remember your voice mail is being recorded. Speak slowly,
clearly and appropriately. Voice mail can be used as a record of communication, in the
same way as print.
3) R
emember a voice mail message is not a two-way conversation. Do not ramble. The
recipient might have many other messages to pick up.
d. replacing some words with the ones given in bracket sand make the necessary
changes, to find how to telephone:
1) Use your first and last names to introduce yourself, be prepared, know what you want to
achieve, have a pen and paper at hand. (surname, ready, obtain, keep)
2) Speak clearly, do not speak too fast or too slow. (neither, rapidly, nor)
3) Be confident and positive, genuinely interested and enthusiastic and smile as people can
hear you smile. (self-assured, really, because)
VI. Correct
a. writing on the second column the extra word identified in each line:
People make judgments about you just by are listening to
your voice. It isn't not only the words you use, but how you
say them that they can make a difference.
When people will see you during face-to-face
communication , the impact of your voice is about
approximately 38% of the entire overall impression you
make. Over on the phone, it jumps to 85%, since there are
no other visual cues.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

b. the underlined words to find what you can do to have a more pleasing voice:
1) Have an appropriately expression, sound enthusiastic, or, when proper, alterning your
tone to feet the conversation (sounding sympathetic when talking about said news, etc.)
2) Speak at the write temp, slowly enough that pupil understand you easily, yet not soo
slowly that you are taking to long to complete a thought.
c. ... finding and modifying the incorrect one of the three underlined structures in
each sentence:
1) Pause properly; by pausing, you give people time enough to take in what you are saying.
2) When you finish a thought, think of adding a periodical (.) by counting to three in your
mind.
3) If it would be a colon (:) , count to two, and if it is a comma (,) , count to one, in other
words, don't run your words together.
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d. ... the lines containing an extra word, cutting it from the text, and place a tick or a
cross in the end of the line to show it was correct or not:
Speak loud enough to be easily have heard. Speaking in a whisper is nonassertive and annoying. If people ask you to speak up or to repeat on
yourself, this is a clue that you need help in this area.
Speak soft enough to avoid shouting and the screaming. If people are
asking you to "shh" or lower your tone, that's a clue, too.
Watch your diction and eliminate fillers. Completing words makes you
sound out smarter. Things like saying the "ing" ending can make a
difference ("going" not "gonna," "doing," not "doin'"). Avoid also of
dropping the beginning of words ("them," not "'em") and avoid "uh,"
"um," or "OK" and "you know."

___
___
___
___
___
___
___
___
___
___

e. the 10 spelling mistakes in the text:


Control your breatheing when you get nervous or exsited. It helps to lawer your pitch,
making you sound more credible. (3)
Keep your hands a way from your mounth when speaking and don't swallow words or let
your voice trail of with any thoughts. (3)
Tape-record yourselve or listen to your voice-mail messages and decide wath you need to
practise so you sound better both in face-to-face encounters and electronically. (2)
Remember that the power of your voice is the sum of its vocal quality and the words you
choose butt you must not take either for granted to ensure that your speacking formula is a
winning combination. (2)
VII. Complete the words to find how to have effective meetings
a. guiding after the first three letters:
1) Set clear obj: is a meeting, a brainstorm session, informative or
dec making, etc.
2) Prepare an agenda, distribute it in adv to all the par and stick to
the agenda.
3) Assure the mee is chaired.
4) Arrange the loc in advance and inf all the participants.
b. with as many letters as indicated by the lines:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)

En _ _ re that appropriate supporting information is circulated in t _ _ e to be us _ _ ul.


Make sure you are not dis _ _ _ _ ed (no cell p _ _ _ _ s).
Be on time, be pre _ _ _ ed and stay f _ _ _ sed.
Assure participation of all participants, avoid do _ _ _ ance.
Assure acc _ _ _ te recording of meetings min _ _ _ s/notes.
Take a break for meetings exte_ _ _ _ g 1,5 hours.
Having an ef_ _ _ _ ent meeting is teamwork.

c. writing the three letters for the beginnings:


1) Ask .stions, there is .hing foolish about it.
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2) Make sure the meeting has appropriate .ning and closing.


3) Always end meetings on time and .empt to end on a .itive note.
4) At the end of the meeting .marize the outcomes, review actions and .ignments,
and set up the next meeting if .essary.
5) Assure the .utes of the meeting are distributed to all the attendants not later than
in the two .lowing days.
VII. Find . to get information on running brainstorming sessions effectively:
a. the missing words to fill in the text:
- groups
- and
- most
- highly
- order
Brainstorming can be a effective technique for maximising a creative
potential in . to generate ideas determine which ideas are
likely to succeed.
b. the place in the sentences (1-4) to insert the following words in the given order:
"brainstorming, relaxed, person, hand, the, out, it, down, independently, time, minutes".
1. Organize a group of 8-12 people in a environment.
2. Select a leader and a recorder (they may be the same), though the recorder should have
an easy to understand writing.
3. Define problem or idea to brainstorm. Write it concisely and make sure that everyone
understands and is in agreement with the way it is worded.
4. If the issue is broad, break it into smaller issues which can be brainstormed.
5. Set a limit (i.e. 30) for the brainstorming.
c. different two letter words to fill in each blank:
Set ___ the rules for the session. They should include:
Letting the leader have control ___ the session;
Allowing and encouraging everybody ___ contribute;
Ensuring that ___ one will insult, demean, or evaluate another participant or his/her ideas;
Stating that no answer ___ wrong;
All ideas are welcome no matter how silly ___ far out they seem;
Building ___ others ideas;
Recording all the answers unless ___ is a repeat;
Absolutely ___ discussion taking place during the brainstorming; (again)
Stopping when the time limit ___ up.( again)
d. one word that fits in both sentences:
1)
a) Once the brainstorming starts, participants share their ________ and the
facilitator writes them down preferably so everyone can see them (using a white board or a
flipchart).
b) Keep in mind that most brainstorming sessions feature 2 or 3 false finishes,
each followed by an explosion of new ________, before the group has really exhausted its
store of information and ideas.
2)
a) Once the brainstorming is finished, write down about five __________ for
evaluating ideas and group the similar ideas together.
b) It might be useful scoring each idea (e.g. 0 to 5) on each __________ in order to
make evaluation.
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3)

a) Eliminate responses ________ definitely do not fit.


b) Once ideas are narrowed down (________ is to the top 5), discuss the remaining
ideas in the group.
4)

a) If there is ___________ a clear winner, use a voting method.


b) Keep the record of all the ideas generated in the session even after choosing the
best idea, as it might turn out to be ___________ workable.
VIII. Consider the following business letter and:
a. Place the fragments below in the right order.
Bootsystem Offices
PO Box 123
College Street, 23 B 70 Wormshire
As of the date of this letter, your payment which, under the terms of a promissory
note you entered into, was due on October 15th, has not been received and is now past
due.
If you have already forwarded your payment, please disregard this letter; otherwise,
please forward your payment immediately in order to avoid default under the
promissory note.
Topshoe Clother Ltd.
4th Furnise Avenue
November 2, 2006
Cooper H. Lamnitz
Head Accounts Secretary
Attention: account payable department
Sincerely,
b. Circle in the letter above the synonyms of the following: headquarters, clauses, sent,
neglect, quickly, boulevard.
c. Consider the letter above and circle the right answers:
1. it is
a) an order b) a complaint about delivery c) a reminder d) an inquiry
2. its addressed to a) the manager b) a gentleman c) an officer d) an office
3. its send by
a) a worker b) a business woman
c) a clerk
d) a customer
4. it does not contain a) date b) complimentary close c) salutation d) inside address
5. its likely to be followed by
a) legal action
b) a similar letter
c) a dismissal
d) a promotion
d. Consider the structures in below (as they appear in the letter above) and
choose the right answers:
1. as of is not replaceable by: a) until
b) up to
c) by
d) after
2. letter may as well mean: a) character b) last mentioned c) after a while d) stairs
3. promissory derives from: a) sorry
b) miss
c) promise d) prom
4. entered is not an opposite of: a) issued
b) exited
c) left
d) right
5. the structure formed with received is here: a) conditional b) indirect speech
c) passive
d) active
6. payment can be followed, here, by: a) for ours b) to us c) at our d) as we
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7. otherwise cannot be translated: a) altfel


b) n caz contrar c) sau
d) dei
8. here, instead of your, we may use: a) the
b) yours
c) us d) you
9. immediately is:
a) adjective b) adverb
c) noun
d) verb
10. order, here, means: a) command
b) tidiness c) sequence d) none

Self evaluation:
Drills:
1) Rephrase the sentence using "careful, tell, believe" and make the necessary changes:
Pay attention to your body language, it can communicate more than you think.
2) Turn into the reported speech beginning as specified:
Do not try to get too many messages across. People do not retain more than three ideas
from a presentation or a discussion.
The instructor told us
3) Choose the structure that best fits in the numbered gaps:
1
2
3
4

a) communicate
a) so
a) generate
a) type

b) communication
b) than
b) general
b) types

c) communicating
c) as
c) generally
c) typing

Use face-to-face ---1--- as much ---2--- possible as people ---3--- prefer that ---4--- of
communication.
4) Fill in the gaps with the following words: "in, environment, danger, misunderstanding,
aware".
Be _________ of the _________ of misinterpretation or _________ while communicating
_________ a multicultural _________.
5) Change the grammar form of the words given at the end of the each line (derive
them as specified) to write in the blanked text:
_____________ is a process not a product because here
_____________ needs interaction; moreover, _____________
communication is timely and open.

communicate noun
inform noun
effect adjective

6) Rearrange the letters in the words underlined:


hares the thinking not tsuj the sliccoonun.
7) Make the following into a third conditional beginning as specified:
If there are no bad news or issues, it does not mean there is nothing to communicate.
It wouldn't have meant
Questions:
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1. What is a one way communication and what is it used for, inside company?
2. What is the interpersonal communication? What situations represent this type?
3. Which are the channels of communication inside organizations and what do they mean?
4. What is a complaint letter?
5. What is an application letter?
6. Mention the parts of a business letter.
7. Enumerate 5 types of business letter.
8. Explain the use of the cc: field in e-mails.
9. Mention 4 functions of the memos.

Assignments:
1. Advantages and disadvantages of the internet.
2. The development of global economy and its effects on communication.

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CHAPTER 6
COMMUNICATION FILTERS

INTRODUCTION
The filters of communication are relevant in the transmission and reception of the
intended message, having the capacity to influence both the sending and the
interpretation of the transferred information.
THEME PRESENTATION
The six categories of filters previously mentioned can be grouped according to their
characteristics, as referring to the psychological aspect, cognitive, affective and
behavioural or to the social aspect of the communication process.
6.1 MEANINGS AND FEELINGS
The cognitive and the affective aspects are given by the influences upon the process of
information interchange, triggered by the meanings of the words used and respectively by
the emotional and attitudinal sides of the persons involved in the communicational
transfer.
6.1.1. SEMANTICS
Semantics represents the meaning of words. Interpretation may differ from person to
person in case of some less precise words.
We may classify the words that can be met in the company environment according to
their meaning. Thus, we may encounter:

Ambiguous meaning: job satisfaction, downsizing;

Clear meaning: computer, typewriter, company.


Understanding is also influenced by the background, the experience, the culture of each
individual. There might problems brought about by the:
Incomprehensible jargons: sigma quality (good), enterprise environment (office)
Confusing, meaningless words (for those not in the field): RAM, font, megabyte
The following example is quite suggestive:
- executives message:
Send factory and office headcount broken down by sex;
- human resources managers reply:
249 in factory, 30 in office, 3 on sick leave, none broken down by sex the problem is
alcohol.
6.1.2. EMOTIONS
The emotions can shift peoples attention from the content of the message to their
feelings about it and thus may guide judgment and reactions. In business
relationships people have to look and behave professionally if they want to be taken
seriously. Especially in a formal environment, we cannot afford to release all our
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feelings. In business it is better that our emotions should be controlled, detaching


form the others feelings, responding calm, courteous, professional, calculated.
For example: talking with an angry customer, if you get angry too an argument will start
and then no communication is possible, no solution is found. At contrast, if you
keep your polite behaviour and act coolheaded - no matter how irritating the person
in front of you can be and how much you feel that person would deserve a harsher
approach -, the control upon your impulses will be the only way you would get a
chance to actually solve the problem at stake.
6.1.3. ATTITUDES
The attitudes represent beliefs backed up by emotions and they may alter the way of
hearing, of interpreting the message.
From the disadvantages they may bring about, we can note:
Preconceived ideas (about religion, eating habits etc.) that make it hard to listen to
opposed opinions;
Negative attitudes (dislike of voice, face, accent, gesture, dressing, delivery etc.)
which create resistance to concentrating and perceiving message and thus break
communication;
Being overly positive (biased in favour) leading to hearing only good parts, over
evaluating.
Still, we can say that there is one important advantage: the stir of an attitude, be it
positive or negative is sometimes like a breeze of fresh air, it can elicit attention that
had previously run shallow and thus it can awaken the communication:
Being impressed more receptive facilitating communications.
6.2 POSITION AND GENDER
The function occupied in the company by the collocutor is very relevant to consider when
analysing the barriers that can impede proper communication, just as the fact that the
person we have as partner in the process of transfer of information is a woman or a man.
6.2.1. ROLE EXPECTATIONS
The role expectation refers to how people expect themselves, or the others, to act (as
boss, customer, employer etc.). There are two major aspects that can be identified.
One aspect is belittling, disobeying:

Its just the boss again, saying his old things (impression of already known
impedes getting the new message);

Its just our old Chuck (former peer, now promoted, not taken seriously).
Second problem is threatening by authority:
e.g.: position power managers expecting employees to accept things without
questioning decisions or making suggestions.
6.2.2. GENDER BIAS
The gender bias reflects the tendency to express differently when talking to or to colour
messages received from opposite gender. In companies nowadays, men and women
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work side by side, men no longer dominate. Women enter workplace in greater
number than ever and achieve management position.
The differences that can be felt influencing communication come from the facts that,
generally, women listen more, give more feedback (like yeah, mm, oh) and
also expect response so that a silent men would be perceived as not interested
while, on the contrary, men expect quiet listeners and such supportive replies as
those given by women would be felt as intrusions.
There are also differences in topics or focus: if men are more interested in, and,
consequently, talk about money, sport, business, women have distinct concerns and
react more emotionally when it comes to people, feeling, relationships.
e.g.: In a staff meeting when talking about some necessary layoff that is to come, men
will generally support cost-cutting, women will normally support peoples
feelings.
6.3. NONVERBAL MESSAGES
As in normal communication, the silent messages given by the facial expression, voice
tone, gestures, appearance, posture, i.e. the body language, may prove very much
effective in company too.
It is known that the nonverbal communication carry 5 time more message than the verbal
one and thus it only comes natural that gestures, behaviour, expression of the body
should concord with the things said. They prevail over the latter because they are
intuitively felt as less controlled and thus expressing the truth.
Discordance is easily felt if the verbal message does not match the gesture, the nonverbal
side.
- E.g.: the manager saying he is interested in your problem but looking at his watch,
playing with objects on the desk, balancing his leg to and fro etc. wont be
believed to care much about what you are telling him..
Facial expression is the first, the straight forward clue noticed by the collocutors and if it
is not always in accordance to the message, credibility is threatened. Then, the eye
contact is quite important, in most cultures, to be considered honest one has to
look the collocutor in the eye when talking, and this eye contact should be kept
about 60,70 % of the time of the discussion.
Still, not all cultures have the same rule, on the contrary, some consider it rather intrusive,
so business people have to be aware of this cultural difference before meeting, for
a negotiation, their Indian or Arabian partner, for instance.
Our gestures may betray us as the more important the things we have to do the less we
can allocate our mind sufficient energy and resource to control body movements.
Speeches, presentations, important negotiations are situations that require double
awareness, in order not to be betrayed by nonverbal messages. Gestures can be
seen accompany own speech (expressing nervousness, self-assurance etc.) or show
attitudes toward what is heard.
E.g.: gestures that signal agreement: imitating the collocutor's posture, nodding head
(not in all cultures!: in Greece and Bulgaria = no), thumb up, thumb and pointer
forming an o.

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Summary:
Transmission and reception of messages are both influenced by various filters that can
intervene in the process of communication accompanying the verbal messages, altering,
confirming or denying it.
The meaning of the words may be sometimes unclear, the emotions may be guiding
people towards other interpretations, and their attitudes can put a mark on their
perception.
People may have various expectations regarding a certain person, considering the
latters gender or the position in the company.
The body language can tell a lot about the person talking to us and about the
truthfulness of the things said by that person.

Exercises:
1. Breakdown is a word with . meaning.
a) ambiguous
b) clear
c) no
2. Emotions ..guide judgment and reaction.
a) cannot
b) can
c) must
3. Its the vice-manager with his song and dance is a case of:
a) threatening authority
b) belittling
c) being positive
4. Nonverbal messages are represented by:
a) feelings
b) gestures
c) thoughts
5. Words are elements of the:
a) body language
b) verbal message c) facial expression

Assignments:
1. Nowadays successful business women, a challenge for the mans world.
2. Body language in the world.

Self evaluation:
1. Mention the disadvantages triggered by the beliefs backed up by emotions.
2. Explain the role expectation.
3. Give example of words with clear meaning.
4. What is the dislike of the collocutors voice and what effect can it have?
5. Enumerate some gestures signalling agreement.
6. In what way and why do the nonverbal messages prevail over the verbal ones?
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CHAPTER 7
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

INTRODUCTION
The communication is efficient only provided that the message gets to the recipient
and gets there as intended by the sender. In order to do that, one has to be aware of the
barriers and to know how to overcome them. In a special environment such as a
business company, things get more complicated due to the various relationships that
are created not only on hierarchical levels but also between the members of the same
office.
THEME PRESENTATION
There are several means of improving our skills, from learning how to listen and see
better to knowing what to say and how to say things in order to avoid misunderstandings
and communicational gaps. These are rather unpleasant in normal situations, in standard
communication but they would be really destructive when it comes to organizations and
work environment, as effective communication may be vital for the business.
7.1. IMPROVE BUSINESS COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Effective communication depends on both the sender and the receiver. The sender has full
responsibility for sending a clear, concise message. The receiver has complete
responsibility for receiving the message as intended by the sender and providing the
latter with enough feedback to ensure accurate reception.
7.1.1. GENERAL GUIDANCE
As general guidelines in improving the communication skills, being both in the posture of
the sender of the message and in that of a receiver of messages, we can note the
following:
Send clear message (KISS strategy: keep it short and simple):
- concise,
- to the point;
Use words carefully:
- concrete, non-ambiguous, less complex, less official;
Use repetition and parallel channels:
- reinforcing, for instance, a discussion by a memo, a notice;
Develop listening skills:
- Focusing on the flow of words heard:
not preparing a response in the meantime,
not thinking of something else or paying attention to outside sights or sounds,
listening for ideas, not facts;
- Accepting challenge:
not prejudging from speakers appearance or manner,
holding the conversation even when difficult.

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7.1.2. ACTIVE LISTENING


Group meetings and teamwork are essential parts of the working world today. For a team
to work smoothly, its members must be able to communicate effectively. They must
speak clearly and concisely so everyone understands what they are saying. They must
also be willing to listen and learn from each other this is the point of meetings. The
most effective teams allow every member to contribute during meetings. Listening to
everyones ideas and opinions is utmost important.
Here are five things to avoid when meeting as a team [3, p.93]:

Dont interrupt.

Dont jump to conclusions.

Dont judge the messenger.

Dont be self-centred.

Dont tune out.


In order to acquire an active listening that would improve the skill of listening for a better
communication ability there are several tips or strategies that could be taken into
account:

Cultivate a listening attitude, dropping hearing expectation, being emphatic, trying


to understand the speaker and being patient, refraining from interrupting;

Focus full attention establishing eye-contact, equal height, open posture and
continually avoid distractions;

Take notes for detailed instructions;

Ask questions whenever not in clear because it is the best method to ensures own
understanding, helps securing additional information and provide feedback;
To become an emphatic listener, able to sense your collocutor best avoid being
judgmental, be patient and accept what is said even if you do not agree with the
speaker.
7.1.3. SELF-DISCLOSURE
As an ancillary method of creating a nice and trustful atmosphere and building a
relationship proper for establishing communication is the self-disclosure, the act of
letting the other persons know what you feel, think and want, giving them some
personal, private information not available elsewhere, winning them over by
showing them openness and trust.
Finding common hobbies to refer to, talking from your own experience about family and
things you know as important for the others in different moments, showing
apprehension as already having been there, entrusting the collocutor with small
secrets that would both make him/ her feel better about their problem and also
consider you a peer, a trustful person to talk to. Self-disclosure is, thus, not the same
but a little more than a self-description as that would only provide common info
about yourself, known to others from various sources, like the CV, the personal file
a.s.o.
Among the benefits of self-disclosure we can note that those using it can easily:
develop trust, confidence, deepen relationship;
discover common interests;
reduce stress;
increase accuracy.
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Despite the relevant advantages there are also several problems that can come against the
use of this method, from the risk of, for instance, boring people with a too
prominent hobby that sometimes is over and over told and brought into discussion
to, lets say, the danger of exposing certain private facts that can later, in a presently
unconceivable situation, be used against you.
Consequently, some guidelines for appropriate self-disclosure might prove useful:

Use self-disclosure to repair damaged relationships;

Discuss disturbing situations as they happen;

Select the right time and place;

Avoid overwhelming the other with your self-disclosure.


7.2. BUSINESS ACTIVITIES INVOLVING COMMUNICATION
When involved in various business activities communicational skills might prove
essential. Those activities can be, in what encountering is regarded, telephone
conversations or face to face: from regular, problem-solving meetings or brainstorming
sessions - that you have to take part in or maybe lead, as a chairperson -, to negotiations
or presentations your firm has sent you to hold. Such activities will require certain lexical
structures [20].
From the point of view of your personal degree of participation they may be participative
(merely requiring a degree of involvement from your side) or performative (you being the
centre of attention, the main performer). Although the degree of activeness may differ
from person to person, in business, passiveness is excluded; people involved in this field
have to get to communicate.
7.2.1. RECEIVING PEOPLE
Receiving people refers to enumerable situations encountered in the domain of business,
when somebody, by the nature of the job (secretary, assistant managers, receptionist,
shopkeeper etc.), has to welcome people (partners, new company members, tourists,
customers etc.), to assist them, introduce them to other people, have a small talk with
them.
Table 1 presents some expressions that can be learned and used in some of the
circumstances mentioned, and some assertions possible to come from the person received
are also listed:
welcoming
offering
assistance

person receiving:
Welcome to
My names

received person:
Hello, Im from
arriving
I have an appointment to see
.
Could you get me?
asking for
Could you help me ?
assistance
Can you recommend ?
Id like to .
There is one thing

May I help you?


Can we do anything for you?
Can I get you anything?
Would you like a .?
If you need just say.
Do you need ?
introducing This is she\he is
Pleased to meet you.
Can I / Id like to introduce Its a pleasure.
you to , our ..
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Table 1. Receiving and being received


A short conversation might come as appropriate in certain situations, a sort of a small talk
or socializing attempt, involving quite simple lexical elements and structures such as:
- How was your / Did you have a good trip / flight / journey?
- How are things in ?
- How long are you staying? Is this your first visit to ? I hope you like it.
7.2.2. TELEPHONING
People may, on one hand, be in the situation of having to call a company in order to make
certain arrangements or to complain about something and, on the other hand, they may
be, by virtue of their jobs, the ones answering the phone, having to take messages, to
offer information, to handle problems.
Lets see what structures the caller and the person answering may use and in what
situations, in table 2:
Caller
Answerer
introducing oneself
Hello, my name is calling from
Good morning / Hello, this is from
stating the reason for calling
(not /) putting through
Just a moment/ hold on
Id like to speak to please.
Ill put you through (to ).
Could I have the department, please?
Sorry, is not available / is not in / is in
Is there, please?
a meeting / is away
Im ringing to / about
Can anyone else / I help you?
Id like to
Would you like to speak to ?
I need some information
Shall I ask to call you back?
leave a message
take a message
Would you like to leave a message?
Please tell / ask to
Can I take a message?
Could you give a message?
May I ask for a number where can call
Can I leave a message?
you later?
explaining problem and decision
handling problem
There seems to be / We havent
received/ The doesnt work
Could / Can you tell me (exactly)?
The quality is below standard
Im sorry to hear that / about the problem
The characteristics are not in accordance
/ mistake
with our specifications.
Im afraid that cant be true / thats not
This is the time/ Its not the first time this
quite right.
has happened, you assured us
I think you are mistaken.
If it is not resolvedthe consequences
No, I dont think that can be right.
could be very serious / well have to
reconsider / renegotiate
making arrangements
(not) agreeing, confirming
Could we meet?
That would be fine
When would be a good time ?
Sorry, I cant make it/ am too busy then
Would suit you? / What about ?
So Can I check that?You said
We have an appointment forIm afraid I
to confirm that
cant come could we fix an alternative?
Can I/ you confirm that by ?
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asking for repetition, acknowledging


Sorry, can you repeat your name/
Sorry, I didnt understand /hear/ catch
company name/ number? / Could you
that could you repeat?
spell (that), please?
I understand / see, thank you.
Ok, I got it.
ending call
Right, I think thats all. Thanks very much
Do call if you need anything else.
for your help.
We look forward to welcoming / hearing /
Good bye.
seeing /meeting you.
Table 2. On the phone
7.2.3. MAKING PRESENTATIONS
Presentations are among the most common activities in business, being a very useful
means of dissemination, information, marketing, promotion, advertising, introducing
reports, displaying performances a.s.o. Being extensively used, the method has gained
importance, and has become a must in the preparation of prospect members of business
companies. Apart from the physical preparation, the formal dressing and the extra
attention to be paid to the nonverbal messages the body language can transmit, the person
that has to make a presentation also needs training in the art of orally exposing things certain findings, results of research, given facts, promotional material or his own ideas in a persuasive, tactful and trustful manner, so that the audience would take the steps the
presenter intended.
Focusing only on the communicational side of making presentations, we shall look closer
into the language specific to the phases of the presentation.
At the beginning, after addressing the audience and greeting (Good , ladies and
gentlemen), there are some specifications, some mentions that should be made, about
the subject of the presentation and the way of organizing it the structure, the duration,
the discussions. The communicational elements met in this part would range from the
following:
I am going / plan / would like to talk about / to give you an overview of / to say a few
words about
The theme / subject of this presentation / my talk is
Ive divided it in parts. (In the ) First (part) . (Then in the) Second (part).
Next Finally
My presentation will take about(there will be a ... break / well stop for)
If you have / there are any questions, feel free to ask / please interrupt / well have
minutes for discussion after my talk / there will be time for them at the end
A presentation is now unconceivable without visual support. Most commonly a laptop
and a video projector, projecting the presentation slides on a screen, will do. Still, other
devises might be used, such as: OHPs (for transparencies), flip chart, whiteboard. The
material presented should be schematised as much as possible, especially in business,
words are mostly to be said, as explanations of charts, diagrams, pictures, graphs, rather
than written and read from the material prepared. Still, the vocabulary that will be used at
this point is again important, from introducing the visual to describing the images shown
or comparing the data presented:
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Have a / Lets look at this Here we can see Id like to show you This
shows / (re)presents;

increase / climb / rise / go up / improve / get better/ recover decrease /


decline / fall / go down /get worse;

reach a peak / a maximum hit bottom / reach a low point, stabilise / level
out / stay the same undulate / fluctuate;

Lets compare the This compares with here you see a comparison between
the trends in and .

As connectors, moving to following parts in the presentations, we may use:

To begin with. We can see some advantages and disadvantages. As for


advantages, one is another

Lets move to the part, which is about. Now I want to turn to / describe / we
come to/ the next part.

There are things / different stages to consider / steps involved. On one hand,
on the other hand .First / At the beginning Second / Then / Later / Next Finally /
Last (but not least)

This completes / concludes This is / Thats all (on... ) for now.


Dealing with the questions from the audience will imply the use of structures like:

It is not an easy question to answer here briefly, but in my opinion / experience /


it could be/ I would say

I dont think Im the right person to answer, (maybe our PR manager might
help here), it is not my field / I do not have much experience in

Im afraid that is outside the scope of this presentation / Ill come to that later (in
my talk / during the break) / youll have to discuss that with

Sorry, I didnt catch / Im not sure Ive understood Are you asking?/ Do you
mean? Could you repeat..?

Is that okay now? Does this answer your question?


For ending the presentation, some closing structures like the following might come
handy:

Id like to end / finish by emphasising ( / the main points) / with some


observations / recommendations / conclusion / a summary.

There are conclusions. Right, that ends my talk. Thank you for listening. Now I
would like to hear / invite your comments.
7.2.4. NEGOTIATIONS
The phases that together form the process of negotiation require, each, specific
vocabulary, distinct structures. For each of the main stages of the negotiation we can
identify certain expressions that can be useful in producing our communication.
First, in the stage of relationship building we may make use of structures such as:

Welcome to

Make yourself comfortable / Please, have a seat /

Would you like (a cup of coffee /) ?

Im convinced / sure we will have a useful / productive meeting.

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In the phase of the preparation for the meeting, when we turn to business, the following
can be found useful:

We would like to reach agreement on

We have reached an important stage

Previously we have agreed on

Today we have to think about


Stating the objectives, preparing for exposing your proposals and bidding, would require
linguistic elements such as:

Id like to begin with a few words about

We want to / May I clarify / outline our positions / aims / objectives

There are specific areas we would like to discuss.

We have to decide

It is important for both of us that we agree on


Then, when bargaining, in the phase of negotiation proper, there are more structures that
can be used:

Thats not acceptable unless / without

We can (only) agree to that on condition that / if .

Would you be interested in ?

We could offer provided

If you could / on condition that we agree on / so long as . we could agree /


consider / accept / offer
Next, there are the acceptations or the refusals that have to be expressed and dealt with.
The positive answers are really unproblematic

Thats probably all right.

It seems acceptable. We agree.


and the positive approaches are tactful and considerate

We should focus on the positive aspects / look at the benefits / at the points we
agree on...;

Could you tell us why you feel like that?/ What do you think is a fair way to
resolve that?,
while the negative ones might go from simple rejection

Unfortunately, I dont think it would be sensible / possible for us to / Im afraid


we are unlikely to / cant
to adjourning or breaking the negotiation

Its a pity / Im sorry / I believe / Unluckily we couldnt / I dont think we are


going / we appear unable to agree/ reach agreement/ settle.
Finally, when the negotiation is successful, the stage of confirming and summarising the
discussions and the resolutions will come concluding the deal. In this phase, negotiators
will probably use phrases like:

Id like to / Can we / Lets summarise / go / run through the main / important


points / proposals weve talked about / weve agreed / of our offer

I think this is a good moment / Id like to check / summarise the progress weve
made / the main points / what weve agreed /said

Its been a very productive / useful meeting, we look forward to a successful


partnership.

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7.2.5. MEETINGS
For keeping a meeting on track and all participants informed, agendas are essential. They
shall list one or more objectives stating the purpose of the meeting. Only the necessary
people should be asked to participate to meetings in order to keep the group focused and
active.
When leading a meeting, speak with energy, tone variability, and hand gestures. Maintain
eye contact with your listeners. Listen carefully and completely before preparing to
disagree with someone. At the end of the meeting, summarize all the actions or decisions
that were made to be sure everyone is in agreement. [3, p.124-125]
There are two basic major types of meetings that companies hold: problem solving and
brainstorming. Leading the former implies establishing clear set, exposing the objectives
and sticking to the agenda, following the track and cutting irrelevances, focusing on the
problem at hand and finding a solution.
At contrast, for the sessions of brainstorming, even the seemingly irrelevant thoughts
should be allowed to surface, not rejected and not judged, active participation of all the
people convened should be ensured, eliciting everyones opinion and idea, encouraging
the shy and not allowing the assertive and dominant members to monopolise the floor, as
any humble idea could be the seed of the best solution, leading to the most relevant
discussion.
The tasks the chairpersons and the other participants in meetings have during it can be
classified according to the stages the former has to introduce and conduct and to the
actions taken by the latter during the session, as we can see in figure 1. The lexical
elements used in meetings are specific to these steps and actions.

Figure 1. Participation in meetings


Opening:

Thank you for coming. Weve received apologies from . Its oclock. Lets
start.
Objectives stating:
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EF F E CTI VE CO M MU NI CATI O N

Were here today / Our objective / What we want to do s / there is/are main item
to hear / discuss / consider / find a solution.
Introducing:

The issue / (background to the) problem / point is (about)

Can we hear ? / Id like to ask to tell us . / I know has prepared to


explain to us.

Controlling:

Well / Er / Sorry, , we cant talk about that / can we let finish?

Can we / Lets move / go on to the next point / think about.


Clarifying:

Could you explain that/ be more specific?

This means / To explain this in more details / I wanted to say

Is that clearer / okay now?


Summarising:

So, the main point is / you mean/ just to summarise

Id like to go over the decisions weve taken/ to conclude weve agreed .


Closing:

We should end here. Can we leave this / postpone the decision until ? We need
more time to consider this

I think we can close the meeting now / weve convened everything. Thats it, next
meeting will be
Opinions:

It seems to me I would say I think / believe / feel .

In my opinion / view its clear / obvious / there is no alternative / doubt

Id like to hear / What is your view / do you think? Do you have any comments /
opinions about / views on
Interruptions:

Sorry to / If I may interrupt / Excuse me, may I ask for clarifications on this /
but/ could you tell?

Do you think so? /Is that so / possible? My impression is / I would say / think

Sorry, please let me / If I may finish. Can I come to this later / we leave that to
another discussion? Thats not relevant right now.

Yes, go ahead.
Referring to other participants:

As has already told us / well hear later in report

Im sure . is aware of / knows about

Summary:
In order to achieve effective communication people have to improve their
communication skills, both being responsible senders of messages (producing clear,
intelligible messages, choosing the words clearly and using reinforcement) and trying
their best to become skilful receivers (by active listening) and encouraging talking
confessions by the personal example.
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In business, the concrete activities that need a great deal of oral communication are:
meetings, negotiations, presentations, telephoning, welcoming and assisting people.
They each require some more or less formal lexical structures to be used in their various
stages and for the distinct activities that compose them.

Self evaluation:
1. Mention 3 phrases you may use when handling interruptions.
2. How will the chairperson introduce a speaker in the meeting?
3. Mention 3 structures that a chairperson may use for stating the objectives of the
meeting.
4. How would you take a message for a colleague, on the phone?
5. Give the opposite of the following: decrease, fall, fluctuate, get better.
6. How would you introduce the visual support in your presentation?
7. Mention 2 ways of ending your presentation.
8. How should you begin the negotiation?
9. Mention 5 phrases used for offering assistance.
10. Enumerate some phrases you could use while bargaining.
11. Mention 4 structures you can use when not able to put the caller through.

Assignments:
1. Make a presentation of a product of your company.
2. Imagine a telephone conversation with a discontent customer complaining about a
delay in delivery.
3. Present your company to a prospect partner, before the start of negotiations for a
partnership.
4. Make up a dialogue between the tourist that has just arrived and the host of the guest
house.
5. Advertise a new program that your company wants to promote and launch.

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AWARENESS OF THE WORLD

CHAPTER 8
AWARENESS OF THE WORLD

INTRODUCTION
Modern technology has made world to become smaller and people will often come
into contact with other cultures. Cultural differences are always doubtless and often
quite obvious.
THEME PRESENTATION
For personal benefits, out of an urge to acquire national awareness or because of
whatever reason to approach different cultures, people undertaking the study of
communication with respect to the culture shall have in mind differences in the
perception of the world: attitude systems civilizations have formed along centuries,
particular beliefs, values and world views.
8.1 TYPES OF AWARENESS
Why study intercultural communication?
The modern society feels more and more acutely the need of cross-cultural contacts and
interaction. Hence, the problems which develop from the inability to understand and
get along with groups and societies differentiated by space, appearance, ideologies
or behaviour, resulting in international misunderstanding: from minor quarrels or
isolationism to even armed conflict.
The study of intercultural communication also enhances ones view upon own status in
the world, providing awareness of the person in the social, national and
international context. [19]
8.1.1. PERSONAL
Studying intercultural communication people may easily get aware of more things than
before, enlarge their sphere of knowledge and become more open both to the social
phenomena around and to the changes of a private character that they should
undergo in order to fit better into a changing world.
As personal advantages of studying intercultural communication we may consider:

Enjoyment and satisfaction for discovery of something new, another persons


culture
o e.g.: fascination of seeing a Buddhist religious ceremony

Aid in avoiding misunderstanding


o e.g.: Gestures may differ (greetings, nodding head etc.)

Extended employment opportunities


o Openness, tolerance, understanding diversity represent favourable points in
finding a job within a multinational company, for instance, or in another
country

Improving selfperception, psychological approach


o Better understanding of own culture
o Examining rationally prejudices and stereotypes
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AWARENESS OF THE WORLD

8.1.2. DOMESTIC
Intercultural awareness provides at the same time a better understanding of the own
cultures particularities, an important apprehension of the national specificities
being as relevant in the modern world as that of the mixture of cultures.
Cultural revolutions within the countries have led to the emergence of new groups and
subcultures and a series of associations appeared demanding all sorts of
rights.
Thus, there are more and more aggressive organizations seeking usually not
more than recognition.
E.g.: Blacks, the poor, women, homosexuals, hippies
The peculiarities that define them differ form superficial characteristics such as:
language, dress, skin colour, length of hair etc., to complex differences like:
lifestyle, values, way of perceiving the universe.
8.1.3. INTERNATIONAL
Since 1960s the world became smaller, we got to know other cultures through rapid
transportation, mobility and modern communication technology. Other cultures
seemed unfamiliar, strange and mysterious because of our lack of cultural
understanding.
Some common concerns and worries appeared. The mutual dangers that began to
jeopardize the modern society, the nuclear threat and the shortage of natural
resources, made it clear that such matters cannot afford a poor communication
because lack of understanding could cause disasters.
In what the International Business community was concerned, the import, export,
investments, foreign markets, multinational companies, multilingual catalogues
etc. led to a clear interdependence and the need of developing international
awareness and cross-culture communicational skills.
8.2. PERCEPTION OF WORLD
Cultural differences basically consist in the fact that, for instance, we may see the same
social object or event and agree upon what it is in objective terms, but what it
represents, what it means to us individually may differ.
E.g.: a Saudi Arabian and a European will both agree in the objective sense that a
particular person is a woman, though they will strongly disagree about her role
and status in society.
Three socio-cultural elements have a direct influence on the meaning we develop for our
concepts:

Belief, value, attitude systems

World view

Social organization
8.2.1. BELIEF, VALUE, ATTITUDE SYSTEMS
The belief represents the subjective probability that some value, concept, attribute, object
or event is related to some other. Beliefs may be of three big types as considering
the way of acquiring them:
Experiential or gained form experience
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AWARENESS OF THE WORLD

Informational i.e. found from others


Inferential - alleged, supposed, understood from hints

The value comprises of the evaluative aspects, qualities as usefulness, goodness,


aesthetics, need satisfaction ability, pleasure production. They are categorised
according to either psychological reasons or to social ones into cultural and
respectively normative.
The cultural values, those transmitted from a generation to another, and most often
reached at through generations of national struggles are at their turn of different
levels, from very relevant to protect at the expense of even supreme sacrifice to
less important but still offering psychological comfort and welfare of those that
adopt them.
Cultural values (worth fighting for) can, thus, be:
Primary (e.g. democracy Western culture modesty Eastern culture);
Secondary (e.g. modern technology);
Tertiary (e.g. gratefulness).
The normative values are those already turned into a sort of regulations, which members
of civilised society have to undertake and assume. They are prescribing behaviours
expected to be performed. In this respect we may identify three types of normative
values, according to the acceptability of their implementation on a general scale:
Negative (e.g. supporting communism)
Positive (e.g. education)
Neutral (e.g. sacredness of farm land)

The examples given above reflect the Western culture, in the Eastern one, the
situation might be totally opposite.

The attitude systems refer to the complex of features defining the cultural personality
taken as a whole and the general characteristics applicable to the members of a culture, a
learned tendency to respond in a consistent manner with respect to a given object of
orientation. The components that intermingle forming the attitude systems are: cognitive
or belief, affective or evaluative, intensity or expectancy.
E.g.: bullfighting is regarded as cruel, negative, in some cultures and courageous,
positive, in others.
8.2.2. WORLD VIEW
The world view of a culture is the cultures orientation towards such things as
nature, man, God, the universe and other philosophical issues concerning
the concept of being.
It helps locating our place and rank in the universe.
E.g.:
A catholic has a different world view than a Moslem, Taoist, Jew, Hindu, or
atheist.
A Native American Indian sees himself at one with nature, while a
European has a human centred world view, humans being the supreme creatures
mastering the universe.
If western cultures are stricter and more precise, direct, open and as accurate as possible,
longing for things to be expressed and spoken up, explicit, clarified and specified, the
eastern ones are more elusive and evasive, slippery and more profound, interpretative,
letting things unsaid but instead judging, feeling and construing meanings unuttered,
inexplicit, believed and thought while the uttered, explicit side is minimal. Thus, the
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eastern culture rely more on inferences and impressions, while the western one on facts
and certainties.
8.2.3. SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
The dominant social units are the most influential institutions within any culture:
family, school and church. It is these that next build, in the new generations
all the beliefs, attitudes, values, views upon world, of each particular
culture.
There are two forms of societal composition, a traditional one, following the location on
the map and also the political or social structures formed along civilisations, and a
more recent one, given by the function in society, the role played and the ideas the
members promote and share.
Accordingly, we can identify, two types of cultures:
Geographic culture: Nations, tribes, casts, religious sects, and others defined by
geographical boundaries;
Role culture: memberships in social positions, from professional groups to
organizations sharing specific ideologies.

Summary:

Our awareness of the world, our way of perceiving it, influences the way we
communicate. Beliefs, values and attitudes are culturally formed, the view that we have
upon the world is the result of the culture we belong to.

It is the knowledge, the experience and the tradition of the culture we are formed
in that guide us, they are transmitted to us from the previous generations and we will act
in accordance to this formation.

In intercultural contacts, our baggage will surface, we may have the chance to
become aware of differences and it is important to know how to overcome them, to
understand the other culture and react in apprehension.

Exercises:
Discuss and explain the differences between the following recipes for Roasted goose:
for 8 people:
1 goose (3,4 kg)
salt, pepper, marjoram, 3 apples, 4 carrots, beer.
Please wash the goose in cold water, dry it with the paper
towel. Remove the rest of feathers. Salt and pepper the
goose inside and outside. Fill the goose with cut apples,
carrots and marjoram. Sew the gap. Put it on a pan and to
the oven at 2000 C for the electric oven or at level 3 for the
gas oven.
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1 goose
apples, salt, pepper, flour
Salt and pepper the
goose, fill it with apples
and put on a pan with
some water. Place in the
oven and pour the sauce
over it now and again.
After 1,5 2 hours, when

AWARENESS OF THE WORLD

Roasting time: 2,5 hour. After 20-30 minutes, put 100 ml


water in the pan. Stick the goose on the side so that the fat
can come out. Turn the goose after 45 minutes and pour the
sauce over it. If it seems to roast fast, cover it with
aluminium foil. Ten minute before it is ready, pour the beer
over it so as the skin to get crispy. The roasted goose can be
served with potatoes and vegetables. We recommend white
wine to serve with.

almost ready, pour some


cold water so that the
skin gets crispy. Put some
flour into the sauce, mix
it and let it boil for a
while. You can serve the
goose whole or in prices,
with the sauce.

Self evaluation:
1. The satisfaction of discovering something new belongs to the .. awareness
a) personal
b) domestic
c) international
2. Improving selfperception refers to .. .
a) understanding own culture
b) extending employment opportunities
c) avoiding misunderstanding
3. Cultural revolutions within the countries have led to the of the subcultures.
a) reconciliation
b) disappearance
c) emergence
4. The new groups and the associations which appeared demand . and all
sorts of rights.
a) recognition
b) revolution
c) restoration
5. The eastern culture is .
a) explicit
b) minimalist
c) straightforward

Case study:
Family Counselling [14]
Mrs. Schmit has been working as a counsellor in a youth welfare department for some
years now. One of her principles is to involve the whole family in the consultation so as
to understand better the background of the young person that looks for help. She knows
that only this way can she help the young people with their problems.
But this case is different.
A 17 year old Siberian girl sits with her parents in the consultation and, though not a
child anymore, she does not say a word while her parents talk instead of her: she needs
some paper in order to marry her 17 year old boyfriend. Mrs. Schmit is asked to help her
get the papers but she finds it difficult even to stay polite seeing how the girl is treated as
a mentally handicapped albeit well developed both physically and psychically and
seems to be not allowed to say a word while her mother and father speak excited even at
the same time. They explain their daughter loves her boyfriend very much and assumes to
be pregnant so that the wedding should take place immediately. The girl just nods in
agreement and answers in very few words when asked by the counsellor, seeming to not
really agree on her own free will. The counsellor wants to talk with the girl alone but
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cannot ask her parents to leave the office so she fixes another appointment to gain time to
think of a solution.
What happened? The counsellor deals with cultural difference:
Siberian parents look after their children even when they are of age and for the girl it is
absolutely normal that her parents talk for her as she is convinced they know better and
her opinions should correspond with theirs.
The parents dont know and dont think they should let their daughter talk and they dont
respect an open discussion and change of ideas.
Siberian girls have to get married as soon as possible and the parents try to sort out the
problem while the girl agrees because she respects the traditions.
The whole family tries to put the counsellor under pressure to achieve their goals.

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CHAPTER 9
CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION

INTRODUCTION
The link between culture and communication is best reflected in the statement that the
key factor in fully understanding communication is the ability to grasp cultural
influences.
THEME PRESENTATION
Culture forms patterns for living.
People learn to think, feel, believe, strive for what their culture considers proper, what
their ancestors had experienced, had got to value and had taught them, one
generation after another.
9.1. CULTURAL HERITAGE
The customs, traditions, skills, knowledge inherited in each culture determine stability,
insure survival, protect and perpetuate that society. [19]
9.1.1. PATTERN OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
Culture is linked to communication, they are inseparable. If the general definition of
communication describes it as a process whereby one person deliberately,
intentionally attempts to convey meaning to another, to determine a certain
behaviour, more important in intercultural communication is the unintentional side,
the fact that communication represents all processes by which people influence one
another.
To more easily visualise the problems occurring when people from different cultures have
to interrelate, a general intercultural communication model can be analysed and
graphically represented, in figure 1.

Figure 1. Model of intercultural exchange


If the sender belongs to a culture and the receiver belongs to another culture, the message
is encoded in the culture of the former and has to be decoded in that of the latter.
But as the different cultures have different repertories of communicative behaviours
and meanings several difficulties may arise.
Eg: somebody of culture A communicates easier with somebody of B than the
latter with someone of C because of more similarities and less differences.
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9.1.2. THE OVERRIDING CULTURE


If we focus on the relation culture communication, understanding that the socio-cultural
elements represent a background influencing perception, verbal processes and nonverbal
processes as people view the world through categories, concepts and labels that are
products of their culture, we can see that it is through the influence of culture that people
learn to communicate.
Culture is a model for life. It is a deposit of values, knowledge, experiences, beliefs,
attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, timing, roles, special relations, concepts of
the universe and material objects and possessions acquired by a large group of people
in the course of generations through individual and group striving.
Language habits, friendships, eating habits, economic, political activities, social
acts, technology depend on culture.
It can be said the culture is above communication, it overrides it, it influences it and
guides it: An Egyptian, Korean, Bulgarian etc. learns to communicate like other
Egyptians, Koreans, Bulgarians. Their behaviour can convey meaning because it is
learned and shared; its cultural.
9.2. CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
The differences can be analysed on levels of distinctness, somehow assessing the general
features, giving examples of more similar cultures and more distant, or, more deeply, on
perception particularities, identifying some peculiarities that define the values, beliefs and
the general views upon the world in a certain culture or another.
9.2.1. LEVELS OF DIFFERENCES
We can distinguish from particularities of cultures that are very distinct, to some that
present quite a lot of similarities, making allowance for the most relevant aspects that
can be considered. So, we can classify cultural differences on a scale from maximum
to minimum. The maximum would mean that the two cultures are very different in
most aspects: from societal and psychological aspects, language, world view, values,
development of economy and technology, social organization, religion, political
behaviour, to physical aspect.
Here are the extreme and the medium examples of cultural differences:
Maximum: Asian culture Western Culture.
Still, if we consider a subcategory, like the occupation or the profession of the person, for
instance, we can note that there might be similarities between two farmers
belonging to the very distinct cultures than between a farmer and a doctor in the
same culture.
E.g.: Between a farmer in China and a farmer in the USA there are indeed a lot of
differences, regarding physical appearance, religion, philosophy, social attitudes,
language, heritage, basic conceptualization of self and the universe, degree of
technological development, but it is clearly that they share a great deal of common
experience and similitude concerning farming, rural lifestyle, which represent their
basic preoccupation, so the aspects that count most in their lives are quite alike.

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Average: a German a USA citizen:


There is much less variation between these two persons as the physical characteristics are
similar, the English language is a Germanic one (they have a common root), their
religion is mostly Christian and both philosophies derive from the old Greek one.
From a social-economic point of view, after a general analysis that would classify both
countries as developed and very well placed on the global scale, we shall still note
some further and deeper differences knowing that the USA organization follows
the Anglo-Saxon model while Germany has undertaken the RenanNippon one.
Behavioural variations are also noticeable on a general scale, with the more sober and
serious German approach to the world and society, valuing work, punctuality,
preciseness and strictly following norms, acknowledging and respecting their own
and the others role and place in the society, as opposed to the laxer atmosphere of
the Americans living in a free country where almost anything goes and most
people share materialist ideals and follow the dream of prosperity and welfare.

Minimum:
Between members of separate cultures: English Canadian US American
Between subcultures/ subgroups of the same culture: Baptist - Catholic, middle
class the poor, male female etc.
Very similar in all aspects of life, from the language spoken and the physical aspect to
philosophy, perception and manners of conduct, the former pair presents only the
difference in nationality, triggering minor variations as, moreover, the two countries are
anyhow very near geographically and much alike as political and social organizations.
As for the latter pairs it is vice-versa, the nationality is common while ideas,
philosophies, economic or social status make the difference, a generally slight one as the
things in common are many more because of belonging to the same culture.

9.2.2. PERCEPTION RANGES


Our perception of the world can be defined as an internal process whereby we convert the
physical energies of our environment into meaningful experience.
There is obviously cultural variance in the perception of social objects and events.
People tend to notice, reflect on and respond to those elements which are more important
to them or which they were accustomed (culturally) to regard as relevant. Thus,
for instance, Japanese people may be attracted to colourful objects, Americans to
big sizes, French people will understand beauty differently than Egyptians.
The range of values and the view upon the world differing from culture to culture, the
scope of the perception and interpretations brought about by these differences will
reach the same extent.
Consequently, in order to establish communication we must learn to understand how our
interlocutors perceive the world.
E.g.: the social status is:
- achieved by wealth and material possessions in US culture;
- given by the number of friends in Thailand;
- inherited by birth in Ethiopia;
- shown by strength, street wisdom or the crime committed (for gangs or prisoners
subcultures)
9.3. LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
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Both language and culture are learned and serve to transmit values, beliefs, perceptions,
norms. Language is composed of four ingredients: a group of people, sounds,
symbols, organization of symbolic sounds.
Thus, we may adopt the following descriptive definition of language:
a structured system of arbitrary vocal sounds that a collection of people have
learned to use as a means of labelling and cataloguing the things,
processes, and experiences of their environment.
9.3.1. VERBAL ASPECT
On one hand, it seems just too obvious that language differences represent the most
difficult problem in intercultural communication. Besides the difficulties of learning
a language, there are numerous problems that are encountered by speakers of the
same language. Considering English as an international language that can be used
by non-native speakers for communicating with each other, after leaning it quite
well, there are the various meanings that the words have and the various senses
different cultures would attribute to the word, which can confuse or trick the
collocutor.
The varied experience leads to language problems just because, as we already
understood, meanings lie within people rather than in words.
E.g.: Hearing the word dog for most of us would lead to the mental
representation of a pet, a domesticated animal, mans best friend etc. but in
Southeast Asia it is a culinary specialty as there dogs are often eaten, so the people
there might think of some delicious food at the hearing of the same word.
On the other hand, it is our culture that teaches us to name what is practical, useful and
important; it guides even the formation, the production of language:
E.g.: Eskimos have more words for snow (even different types of snow) while
Arabs have more words for camels.
9.3.2. NONVERBAL ASPECT
Just some examples of nonverbal behaviour will do to understand that nonverbal cultural
differences can be very relevant in an attempt to establish a relationship with
somebody belonging to another culture. Thus:
While in Germany both men and women shake hands, in the USA women very
rarely shake hands and in Thailand people never even touch in public.
In Japan eye contact when talking is not important, in Europe is quite relevant and
necessary as a rule of politeness, while in Indian reservation is seen as disrespect to
look at an elder.
The gestures may have different signification (e.g.: nodding or shaking the head) and
concepts may have different symbolic gestures:
E.g.: suicide can be symbolised differently in distinct cultures:
- pointing at a temple in the USA,
- hand hitting to the stomach in Japan,
- hand on the neck in New Guinea
The concept of time is rather important as there are schedules, programs and plans to be
arranged and agreed upon in various intercultural business interchanges. Some
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examples of differences of time perception with different cultures would be


relevant:
German, Swiss are more aware of time, more precise: Well meet at 3 oclock
sharp;
Brazilians have a rather lax perception: Well meet after the rain;
Hopi Indians think that each person, plant, animal has its own time system and
nature will follow its course as it wishes: Well meet again.
The use of space is another relevant aspect to consider. Its measure in this respect is the
degree of proximity between collocutors, the proxemics, defined as the way in
which people use space as a part of interpersonal communication.
There are two variables that can be analysed here, the distance or the room left in
between the collocutors and the orientation the way of positioning one near the
other along the discussion they have, involving also the movement or nonmovement in the special environment, standing, sitting or walking.
E.g.:
Distance: closer at Arabs and Latins than at Americans or Germans.
Orientation: side-by-side at Chinese, face-to-face at Western cultures.
Generally speaking, in European culture, distance is perceived, on average with smaller
distances in Latin cultures and bigger in Germanic one - as shown in figure 2, on four
zones of closeness, corresponding to the four degrees of intimacy and to the relationship
with those we are communicating with. If differences may be felt even between European
countries, in a business affair developing between a German and a Japanese, the
differences can be overwhelming.

Figure 2. Distances in European Culture


Colour is another element that should be taken into account when considering
intercultural communication as long as the significances of colours differ often massively
from culture to culture. It is well known that white symbolises purity, peace and kindness
in most cultures but in East Asia, white is associated with mourning while for the
European cultures it is black that symbolises mourning and death.
On the other hand, black is a mark of seriousness, soberness and elegance and, thus,
important figures, business people, or ordinary people at special reunions will usually
wear smart dark suits, as a sign of tastefulness, professionalism and, respectively, style. It
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would come as no surprise that a Japanese business lady comes to a negotiation with an
American one in a smart but very vividly coloured suit; but, still, it wouldnt happen very
often, because most of them at least those send to make business on a high level - have
already learned and adopted the occidental code of conduct and would dress accordingly,
despite their cultural features.
As for a general behaviour observation we can note that the various patterns of thought
bring about particular ways of understanding the world around. Forms of reasoning,
approaches to mental processes differ and so will the response to the stimuli.
E.g.: In Western cultures, logic and action are governing and truth has to be looked
for and found while Eastern culture is based on expectation and things are
passively waited to happen, to come.
9.4. SUBCULTURAL APPROACH
There are three forms of intercultural communication, depending on the cultural
peculiarities we refer to, as cultural differences appear not only between members of
distinct countries but also between members of different subgroups, races, ethnic
groups.
9.4.1. RACE, NATION, ETHNIC GROUP
It is quite important to be able to distinguish and identify the particularities of interracial,
interethnic and international approaches.
The interracial differences, even if they seem compulsorily related to the intercultural
ones, do not refer to those but distinguish clearly as, for instance, we can understand
if we think that at a third generation of an Asian immigrant, there are no cultural
differences anymore, but the physical aspect is indicative for the different race. The
problems that can appear spring from the fact that prejudices may guide people in
expecting a certain behaviour or response that might not occur.
The international aspect refers to the cultural differences between members of distinct
nations. At a high level, this applies to the discrepancies occurring between nations
and governments, implying diplomacy, being regulated by law, treaties, agreements
and usually involving intercultural and interracial communication, influenced by
policies, needs, aims, economics of nations.
Interethnic cultural differences can be identified, for example, between an English
Canadian and a French Canadian, between a German American and a Greek
American and so on.
9.4.2. SUBCULTURES AND SUBGROUPS
A subculture is a racial, ethnic, regional, economic, or social community presenting
characteristic behaviour distinguished from others within the same culture (e.g.:
Oriental Americans, Mafia, Jews).
A subgroup, on the other hand, is represented by people sharing a common
preoccupation, ideals, aims, such as the drug community, youth gangs, gays,
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religious cults, revolutionary organizations; having the same social status; or


forming professional associations etc.
Features may overlap and be misleading:
E.g: despite of belonging to the same race and profession, and a currently similar
social status, a black neurosurgeon of 45, raised in a rich British family, attending
best schools in Europe, now residing in New York and earning $200,000 annually,
cannot be related to or even be ever able to understand the psychological
environment of another mid age black doctor, born and raised in the Detroit ghetto,
by an alcoholic single parent, among drug dealers and users, harassed by white
police all his youth.
9.4.3. THE ARGOT
The subcultures often produce their own language that would facilitate inter-members
communication and at the same time would prevent uninitiates from grasping the
meanings of the groups conversations. These languages represent subcultural
linguistic codes, forms of argot.
Basically, what happens in such a particular language is that:
New words might be invented to name either common or special things;
Usual words may be used with a new meaning, not understandable by the others.
The fundamental functions of argot are:

Ensuring self-defence in a hostile environment;

Meeting a need for privacy and secrecy;


Providing subcultures solidarity and cohesiveness by a uniform learned
language code;
Helping establish groups as real and viable social entities.
As for the link between the subgroup or subcultural experiences and the argot, it can be
noted that different groups develop different degrees of argot usage, as they have to
meet various needs. The more needs they answer, the more pronounced the usage.
The groups that resort to using argot, from the slightest to the highest degree of language
alteration are:
students, teenagers, market sellers etc. the so called professional groups, that
will create and use a few new words, either for fun or from a wish to hide from
some direct authorities, or as a mere result of their occupation, coming more
handily than the normal, maybe longer or sophisticated word;
ethnic groups, the poor, minorities constituted by religion, by sexual preference
etc. producing and using a relatively average number of argotic elements, to
meet their groups needs;
prisoners, outlaws with the most complicated and the richest argotic
vocabulary as having a great deal to hide from too many others.

Exercises:
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On Monday morning, when getting to work, a Chinese employee of a company in


London finds himself unexpectedly reprimanded.
Explain why, taking into consideration the discussion that had taken place the Thursday
before:
Mr. James: It looks like the production will have to go on also on Saturday.
Mr. Li: Oh, really?
Mr. James: Could you come on Saturday?
Mr. Li: I think so.
Mr. James: That would be a real help.
Mr. Li: Yes you know, Saturday is a special day.
Mr. James: What do you mean?
Mr. Li: My son is going to have birthday.
Mr. James: Oh, wonderful. I hope, you all will have a lot of fun.
Mr. Li: Thanks for your kindness.

Summary:

Culture governs the way we behave and communicate. There are differences
between cultures, from insignificant to extensive.

The dependence of language on culture is analyzable on both the verbal and the
non-verbal aspect, the latter presenting a variety of points, regarding each particular
cultures approach of time, space, colour, symbolism of gestures etc.

The diversity within the same culture following the cultural revolution have led to
the emergence of subcultures and subgroups among which communication peculiarities
are detectable, similar to those between cultures proper, a very relevant verbal
manifestation in this respect being the linguistic codification.

Self evaluation:
1. In intercultural communication a very important side is the one, the fact
that communication represents all processes by which people influence one another.
a) unintentional
b) intentional
c) relational
2. .. is a deposit of values, knowledge, experiences, beliefs, attitudes,
meanings, hierarchies, religion, timing, roles etc.
a) Communication b) A country
c) Culture
3. Culture overrides, influences and guides .
a) subculture
b) communication c) business
4. Between a Swedish secretary and an Iranian mechanic, there is . cultural
difference:
a) big
b) medium
c) small

Case study:
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1. Read and discuss the following case:


Business negotiation in Russia
Mr. Kurt, an experienced German businessman, is sent by his company to an important
negotiation to Moscow, where he should win a new business partner. He arrives
punctually to the arranged meeting at Mr. Romanovs office, at 9,30. Mr. Romanov
arrives at 10,10, greets Mr. Kurt very friendly, but does not excuse himself for being late.
He welcomes two other partners during the meeting and also makes some calls. Then he
invites Mr. Kurt for lunch. The German thinks he is finally going to find a good
opportunity to discuss the business and change some ideas but there are also apart from
the very loud music in the background interruptions, through many friends of Romanov
who greet him and stop to talk to him. He even introduces them to Mr. Kurt and they
drink a lot. Mr. Kurt feels confused and doesnt know what to do among so many
strangers. After this long and filling lunch, Mr. Romanov invites Mr. Kurt to the sauna.
While Mr. Kurt tries hard to get used with the high temperature, Mr. Romanov meets
again other friends and introduces them to Mr. Kurt. The latter excuses himself after the
sauna and goes to the hotel, rather disappointed for not having had a chance to talk his
important business. After a while, at the hotel, he is contacted and enthusiastically told by
his company that Mr. Romanov made some important positive decisions during the day
concerning the business.
2. Read the following three Case Studies to find about some other intercultural
business experiences and then solve the corresponding tasks found in the exercises
below them:
a.
Sao Paolo. 2am. A jet-lagged British salesman and his better-dressed Brazilian client was
outside the elegant restaurant in which they hardly talked business all night. Their car is
driven right up to the door. This is a good part of town, but you dont want to be walking
to the parking lot in a smart suit and expensive watch. The Brazilian suggests a nightclub, but tomorrows meeting is scheduled for 9am, and maybe the salesmans already
had one caipirinha1 too many.
By 9.35 the following morning, the meetings about to begin. The salesman is introduced
to everyone round the table in turn. A large number of them seem to be related. Te
conversation ranges from football to families to traffic problems and back to football. The
atmosphere is relaxed, but the salesmans barely started his technical presentation before
someone cut in. Soon everybodys joining in the discussion with wildly creative ideas of
their own. If this is a negotiation, its hard to see how Brazilians are working as a team.
The salesman is surprised to find his host so enthusiastic about his product. Did he really
win them over that easily or will there be problems later on? The meeting has overrun.
He decides to press them for a decision. All eyes turn to the boss. We neednt worry
about the contractual details at this stage, says the senior Brazilian manager, smiling, his
hand on the Britons shoulder. Im sure we can work something out. Lets think about
the future.
b.
Rain beats against the mirror-glass windows of a Frankfurt office block. The British
salesmans appointment was fixed for 9.30. At 9.29 hes shaking the hand of his
prospective client and stepping into the spot-lit orderliness of a Germans office.
Technical diagrams and flowcharts cover the magnetic whiteboard. A secretary brings
machine coffee in styrofoam cups and its straight to business.
1

a Brazilian drink made of sugar cane alcohol, crushed limes, ice and sugar.
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The salesman starts to set up his PowerPoint presentation, but theres a problem loading
the disc and he ends up borrowing the Germans top-of-the-range Fujitsu. He tries to
make a joke of the problem rather unsuccessfully. When he finally get going, objections
seem to be raised to nearly everything in his proposal. Are you sure this is a more
efficient system? Do you have figures to back that up? Ah, we tried that before and it
didnt work.
Sixty minutes have been allocated to the meeting. An electronic alarm on the Germans
watch marks the hour. Two minutes later theres a call from reception to say the
salesmans taxi has just arrived. He is accompanied to the lift staggering under the weight
of six technical manuals, a 200-page printout of production quotas and a promotional
video.
Over the next eighteen months the Germans have an endless supply of questions. Dozens
of e-mails are exchanged and diagrams faxed before any agreement is reached. After the
deal goes through, the salesman is surprised to be invited to dinner at the German
managers family home. But he never gets to meet the big boss.
c.
Brilliant white walls, luxurious carpets and the soft hum of air conditioning. The British
salesman sits a little uncomfortably in the office of a Saudi manager. An hour passes in
little more than small talk recent news, horse-racing, the Royal Family. The salesman
casually compliments his host on his taste in art and, after several futile attempts to
refuse, ends up accepting a valuable-looking vase as a gift.
When the meeting finally gets underway there are almost constant interruptions and it is
difficult to stick to any kind of agenda. People drift into the office unannounced, talk
loudly and excitedly and leave. Several subjects seem to be under discussion at one. It is
sometimes difficult to be heard above the noise. The salesman smiles uncertainly as he
accepts a third cup of sweet tea.
Five days later a second meeting is in progress. This time the questions are more direct. A
senior Arab manager is presented on this occasion, but says very little. The arrival of yet
another visitor holds up the conversation by a further 40 minutes. The salesman tries hard
to hide his frustration.
Meeting three. Terms are negotiated in a lively haggling session. The salesman finds the
Saudis more easily persuaded by rhetoric than hard facts. They clearly want to do
business. The question is whether they want to do business with him. Their initial
demands seem unrealistic, but slowly they begin to make concessions. As the Arabs say,
When God made time, he made plenty of it!

Exercises:
a. For case a:
1. Match the following to make collocations from the text.
talk
a decision
schedule
a team
work as
business
press for
a meeting
2. Find the words or phrase which mean:
interrupt (para 2)
..
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persuade (para 3)
continue for too long (para 3)
find a solution (para 3)

..
..
..

b. For case b:
1. Match the following to make collocations form the text.
raise
agreement
allocate
objections
exchange
time
reach
e-mails
2. Find the words of phrases which mean:
get something ready (para 2)
..
start (para 2)
..
support a fact (para 2)
..
be completed (para 4)
..
c. For case c:
1. Match the following to make collocation from the text
stick to
the conversation
hold up
concession
negotiate
an agenda
make
terms
2. Find the words or phrases which mean:
start (para 2)
..
be happening (para 3)
..
argument about a price (para 4)
..
impressive speech (para 4)
..

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