In the field of social intelligence and leadership, without a doubt, having a multilingual workplace has its very own advantages, for the reason that according to Goleman, social intelligence is the capacity to understand people in order to manage them effectively and act wisely in human relations. However, such also poses a challenge in effective communication since Backman, Baldwin and Cross, decoding a message can come at to a point that it would entirely break. In this regard, the focus of this paper shall delve at exploring the barriers in intercultural communication in the workplace. Specifically, this aims at exploring the impacts of interpersonal challenges it presents. This would shed light on the recommended strategies in order to remedy the challenges of intercultural communication at the workplace. On the one hand, this paper is of significance especially that diversity of culture, language and others has thrived in our society, especially in the workplace. Moreover, effective communication in this diverse society is challenged especially for the parts of those coming from different country of origin like in my case, I come from Saudi Arabia and work in Ministry of Defense with employees with different nationalities and speak different languages other than English. Given this overview, this phenomenon must be understood. Barriers in Intercultural Communication at Workplace and Its Impacts Ethnocentricity results to some people assuming that language, for instance, English is a universal language (Dyers and Wankah, 2001). However, this assumption can be considered as a barrier to effective communication in every part of the world, especially in the institution of workplace, because not all people can speak and understand English smoothly and may need time to process one’s thought first before being able to interpret the meanings of the message correctly. On the one hand, Peltokorpi (2009) suggested that apart from ethnocentricity, jargon and slang serve as barriers as well to effective communication because the members of a particular culture may have developed their distinctive jargon and slang. While it is the case that the members feel at ease using their jargon and slang, the newcomers may possibly not understand the communicated meanings accurately. Such interpersonal challenges to effective communication at the workplace affect not only the individual having difficulty understanding what the conveyed message is all about and the one who speak the message as well, but most especially, these challenges affect the entire institution itself. In the study, “The attitudes toward the culturally different: the role of intercultural communication barriers, affective responses, consensual stereotypes and perceived threat,” Rodgers and McGovern (2002) claimed that the current and most immediate impact to the individuals belonging to a different culture is that they may feel alienated from the rest of the ...
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