Being aware of cross-cultural communication barriers in the United States is a very important thing for business. In today's global business landscape, understanding other cultures are important to increase the success of your company.
Understanding these cultures will help you improve your communication, trust, and perseverance in cross-cultural relationships. It can also help you identify potential risks and opportunities that could be faced while conducting business across borders.
About the United States
The United States of America commonly referred to as the United States, or America is a country comprising fifty states. The United States of America is a country in North America that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
The total area occupied by the state is 3,796,742 square kilometers and has a population of about 329 million people. English is the official language, but about twenty percent of Americans speak a native language other than English at home.
Unites States' culture-based communication style
- Americans often place a high value on having direct conversations (as a low context culture) that involve asking questions and getting answers back directly rather than just talking about things in general ways or being indirect about what they mean.
- Americans generally express themselves quite openly and directly, which may offend those from less direct cultures where people save their opinions for private conversations instead of openly expressing them in public settings.
- Americans also have a tendency to be more casual than other cultures. They don't always use titles when they're speaking in professional settings, and they may use nicknames or abbreviations for friends and family members.
- Americans do not like silence and feel uncomfortable when someone keeps quiet for too long. However, in other countries such as Japan or China, it's common for people to be quiet while they're listening to someone else talk or waiting for them to finish speaking so they can reply with their own thoughts on the matter at hand.
- American humor can be difficult for foreigners to understand because it relies heavily on sarcasm and irony.
- Americans often believe that it's important to speak loudly and clearly when they want to communicate something important to someone else.
Non-verbal communication in the United States
- Personal space: Americans tend to stand close together when they talk face-to-face; however, in many other countries such as Germany and France, people stand apart from one another when talking because it shows respect toward others' personal space.
- Body language: Non-verbal communication in the United States is very direct and open. People tend to use open body language, such as standing with their arms at their sides and leaning forward toward the listener.
- Eye contact: In addition to body language, eye contact is also important in the United States. Eye contact can be interpreted as either friendly or hostile depending on how long you hold it.
- Different ways of showing affection: In American culture, it is acceptable to express affection towards strangers or even friends by hugging or kissing them on the cheek.