Stumbling Blocks in Intercultural Communication:
This is study was very interesting to read, as it looks at six different stumbling blocks in intercultural communication, Barna wants to know why it could be frustrating to to communicate with someone from another culture, the idea of everybody being friendly and understanding, is not always the options as there different aspect that act as a wall when having intercultural communication.
Out of all of the stumbling blocks, the one that stands out the most in my opinion is Preconceptions and Stereotypes. I believe that this a huge stumbling block, as now a days we base most of our opinions based on stereotypes, even you don’t mean too. This is something we face everyday, for example we can base looks, and how people dress with their social class, and whether they seem educated/literate or not. This is just one example out of infinite others, basing opinions on someone based on stereotypes just happens everyday I see on the streets daily, but it’s just how some people think these days. This quote really grabbed my attention “ Stereotypes are stumbling blocks for communicators because they interfere with objective viewing of stimuli - the sensitive search for clues to guide the imagination towards the other person's reality,” this basically backs the point I explained, and that some people could use stereotypes to imagine someone else’s reality.
Barna concludes with the different steps that we could take in order to avoid frustrations and misunderstandings during intercultural communications, and being aware of the six stumbling blocks explained is one way of avoiding them, she explains that it’s hard as, this requires for some people to stop habit of thinking. I think that one good example of this is Egyptians, we like to joke a lot, and we tend to have a humorous sense towards everything, even if it might cross the line, and these are habits that we grow up seeing. The conclusion that I really liked and that will conclude my reflection on this paper is “ we can use an investigative approach rather than stereotypes and preconceptions”.
The Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity:
The model created by Dr. Milton Bennet really shows the different stages in which individuals go through when the experience and engage cultural difference. I like how it starts by the person's culture is the more complex and there denial towards other concepts to being integrated between different worldwide cultures. I’m really interested in how he was able to base the stages using observations he made, and I believe that it’s very smart how he was able to breakdown the observations that he made into these different stages.
An Open Way:
I found this really fun to read, as I was able to relate to a lot of the suggestions given, as they make someone’s dialogue better, you would seem much less formal when talking and a lot of the suggestions say that we should “lower our defences” and this would make us more open for communication with people with different ideas or opinions that you, or even people from other cultures.