Communication is a important role in our daily life. If without communication, the world will not become a technology lifestyle. Thus, communication is important for everyone, at the same time communication can also cause problem or challenges in our life. There are two types of communication, one is verbal communication, another one is non-verbal communication. Verbal communication can be defined as a type of oral communication wherein the message is transmitted through the spoken words. Here the sender gives words to his feelings, thoughts, ideas and opinions and expresses them in the form of speeches, discussions, presentations, and conversations. For example, you talk with your friends face to face and talk through your mouth and voice, that is verbal communication. Non-verbal communication defined as the process of conveying meaning without the use of words either written or spoken. In other words, any communication made between two or more persons through the use of facial expressions, hand movements, body language, postures, and gestures. For example, you sent message to your friends through social media like wechat, whatsapp, facebook.
Different types of communication can cause the problem also. In Malaysia, population increased, cultural will be more differences, so the communication will be more challenges in the multicultural society. If the communication problem didn’t solve it, it will be spread out as wide as sea, and difficult to solve the problem. For example, in Malaysia has three different main types of racism, that are Malays, Chinese, Indian. Different racism have different types of cultural, like clothes, food, lifestyle, language and so on. Different racism, we should use different language to communicate with them, like Malays people can understand Bahasa melayu and English, but just a few group can understand Mandarin, so we must use the language that can easy understand by each other. Therefore, the communication can be successfully, if not communication with other racism will be failure.
Besides that, there are also have challenges in the communication in the foreign countries, like Canada. Canada’s population is becoming increasingly culturally diverse. Increased immigration and international travel mean that, as healthcare providers, pharmacists are likely to provide care to individuals from varying cultures. In addition to managing language barriers, pharmacists need to be cognizant of the various differences in cultural beliefs and practices. Becoming competent culturally means being able to provide care within the context of applying knowledge and offering understanding and appreciation of cultural distinctions. If not, it will occur misunderstanding situation and also difficult to continue the process of communication. Thus, they also difficult to provide the health care and cure the patient who are come from different cultural with them.
Futhermore, communication success will cause a country become more unity and will be improved faster in the future time. The critical to improve a country is about the citizens. If citizens can understand each other language communicate with them, share their opinion and suggestion, the country will more harmony, and will be improved faster. Thus, lets us discuss about the communication challenges in the multicultural society in Malaysia and also Canada.
2.0 Definition of communication
Communication can be defined as a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behaviour. There are two types of communication, verbal/oral communication and also non-verbal communication. In oral communication, Spoken words are used. It includes face-to-face conversations, speech, telephonic conversation, video, radio, television, voice over internet. In oral communication, communication is influence by pitch, volume, speed and clarity of speaking. The benefits of oral communication are It brings quick feedback. In a face-to-face conversation, by reading facial expression and body language one can guess whether he/she should trust what’s being said or not, the disadvantages are In face-to-face discussion, user is unable to deeply think about what he is delivering, so this can be counted as a disadvantages for oral communication. Non-verbal is the sending or receiving of wordless messages. We can say that communication other than oral and written, such as gesture, body language, posture, tone of voice or facial expressions, is called nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is all about the body language of speaker. For written communication, a written message may be printed or hand written. In written communication message can be transmitted via email, letter, report, memo etc. Message, in written communication, is influenced by the vocabulary ; grammar used, writing style, precision and clarity of the language used. Advantages and disadvantages for written communication are a written message enables receiver to fully understand it and send appropriate feedback and Written communication doesn’t bring instant feedback. It take more time in composing a written message as compared to word-of-mouth. and number of people struggles for writing ability. If use body language the receiver maybe misunderstanding with the sender’s message. So it will cause a problem.
3.0 The importance of intercultural communication
Intercultural communication is important because modern communication and transportation networks bring businesses, organizations and individuals in contact with a large diversity of people from all over the world. People in different countries learn different social cues and have different styles of communication. The ability to learn how different cultures communicate is an asset in the modern world.
Many modern businesses and organizations operate globally, which means that both executives and employees must learn to communicate with partners, colleagues and employees from other cultures. Organizations must also learn how to communicate with customers across cultures, as important messages can be lost in translation, causing confusion and even embarrassment.
Individuals or organizations that plan to work or operate in other cultures can benefit from learning about cultural practices and communication styles in those cultures. Failing to adapt communication styles can cause misunderstandings and problems. For example, different cultures have different understandings of hierarchy and formality, so adopting a laid-back, familiar style of communication can cause problems in a country that takes a formal approach to business communications. Some countries also take a slower approach to business planning and execution, and assertive American approaches may appear aggressive in these cultures.
Body language is also an issue in other cultures. Gestures can mean different things in different cultures, so it can be easy to offend people by using what may seem like a harmless gesture.
4.0 Understanding cultural competency
Cultural competence describes the ability of an individual or organization to interact effectively with people of different cultures. To produce positive change, prevention practitioners must understand the cultural context of their target community, and have the willingness and skills to work within this context. This means drawing on community-based values, traditions, and customs, and working with knowledgeable persons of and from the community to plan, implement, and evaluate prevention activities.
Cultural competency comprises 3 elements, which are cultural awareness, cultural knowledge, and cultural skill.
Cultural awareness means becoming sensitive to patients’ beliefs, attitudes and behaviours as well as one’s own values, biases and prejudices. Practitioners who practice with cultural awareness will consciously and deliberately avoid imposing their own cultural values on their patients. If you understand and know their knowledge, you can be more awareness and avoid to do something that are sensitive to them.
Cultural knowledge is the process of learning about other cultures and views they hold. By gaining awareness of the different beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and problem-solving strategies of a variety of cultural groups. Cultural knowledge does not mean memorizing facts about different ethnic or cultural groups; there are great individual differences within all ethic and cultural communities and care should be exercised to avoid stereotyping. For example, whether in Malaysia or in foreign countries, we must gain the knowledge and experience about the different culture of the other people, like their belief, religion, habitat, so can improve the communication with other people who are different culture with you.
Cultural skill is having the capacity to carry out a cultural assessment that includes gathering culturally relevant information. Effective cultural assessments require trust, respect and empathy within the relationship. For example, in Malaysia, we should know and research that the cultural of different race, so we will know what they like and what they dislike and also their cultural habitat and lifestyle, thus can avoid misunderstanding.
Below is the table of key elements cultural competency:
• Social justice ; equality o Awareness of complex causes and effects of inequality
o Awareness of range of perspectives on individual, institutional and cultural
oppression and privilege
• Diversity o Understanding of the nature of prejudice and ways to combat it
o Awareness of own social group identities (race, class, gender, sexual orientation, other)
Values and Attitudes
• Critical thinking o Ability to detect bias, opinion, and stereotypes
o Media literacy
o Ability to critically analyze information and grapple with contentious and complex issues
• Communication and Dialogue
o Ability to argue effectively from an informed position
o Ability to develop/ change position
through reasoned argument
o Political literacy and knowledge sufficient to participate in relevant political processes
o Ability to challenge viewpoints which perpetuate injustice and inequality
o Ability to take appropriate action against inequality
• Cooperation and Conflict
Resolution o Ability to compromise
o Conflict resolution skills • Sense of identity and self-esteem o Awareness of and pride in individuality
and social group membership
• Commitment to social justice ; equity o Concern for injustice and inequality o Willingness to take action against injustice
• Valuing of and respect for diversity o Willingness to learn from the experiences of others
o Respect for the rights of all to have a point of view
o Valuing of human diversity and equitable treatment for all people
o Empathy and sense of common humanity
o Sense of individual and collective responsibility
• Belief that people can make a difference
o Belief that things can be better and that individuals can make a difference
o Willingness to take a stand on social issues
o Understanding of social group identity and how it impacts life experience