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Casse (as cited in Kohls & Knight, 1994, p. 59-60) notes five features of communication that impact cross-cultural interactions Discuss these quotes with a partner or with your group. How do these relate to you as a teacher, as a colleague or as just a person living life the best you can? What are the implications of these ideas about communication when working with international students?

1.“Pure communication is impossible, as we all bring prior associations to the communication process.” 2. “We communicate in many ways, and much of our communication is unconscious.” 3. “We see what we expect to see.” 4. “We don’t see what we don’t expect to see.” 5. “We all perceive things differently.”


You smile and laugh or giggle frequently.

You smile and laugh or giggle frequently.

You are comfortable with silence. You look down a lot.

You are comfortable with silence. You look down a lot.

You speak slowly and softly. You choose your words carefully, and sometimes pause in the middle of an idea to think about what you want to say next.

You speak slowly and softly. You choose your words carefully, and sometimes pause in the middle of an idea to think about what you want to say next.

You speak and respond quickly and loudly.

You speak and respond quickly and loudly.

You sit close to your neighbours, touch or pat their arm or back, and ask personal questions.

You sit close to your neighbours, touch or pat their arm or back, and ask personal questions.

You tend to dominate conversations and often interrupt others.

You tend to dominate conversations and often interrupt others.

You make eye contact often, and demonstrate that you understand frequently.

You make eye contact often, and demonstrate that you understand frequently.


A Faculty Development Program

Educating for Cultural Awareness

APPENDIX E-6 WORKSHEET: COMMUNICATION PROFILES AND PREFERENCES

Put an ‘X’ on each line representing your general style of communication when at work. Think of a colleague with whom you do not communicate well, and place an ‘O’ on each line representing your perception of their communication style. Balance Talking _________________________________________________ Listening Vocal Characteristics Soft____________________________________________________ Loud Physical Proximity Distant _________________________________________________ Close Touch Never __________________________________________________ Often Method of Challenging Direct __________________________________________________ Indirect Degree of Self-Disclosure Impersonal _____________________________________________ Personal Mode of Expression Rational ________________________________________________ Emotional Authority Base Facts __________________________________________________ Intuition

© 2006 The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada

Page 113


Educating for Cultural Awareness

A Faculty Development Program

Compare and contrast the two positions with a partner through discussing the following questions. 1. What is striking?

2. What does this exercise tell you about your preferred communication style(s)?

3. What do you think might be causing the communication difficulties?

4. How can you improve your communication styles with people who vary from you?

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Š 2006 The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada



Intercultural communication materials