Communication can only be effective once the context of the communication is taken into consideration. In certain societies or groups, meanings are constructed and expressed in different ways. For example, in individualist cultures, precedence is normally given to precision. Consequently, the more straightforward a message is, the more likely it will receive a positive response. On the other hand, collective cultures such as Asian or African communities tend to prefer elaborate messages that put in mind all the group relationships and hierarchical dynamics involved.
Furthermore, these same cultures tend to give precedence to roles in their communication styles consequently, acknowledging one’s position can be a very effective method of exchanging information with such parties. Conversely, when one’s target audience belongs to the Western culture, then it would be safer to emphasize more task-related elements such as data, deadlines and so on.
It is always essential for one to be aware of the values that a particular individual holds when communicating to them and this is often affected by the nature of the community that they come from. For example, persons form Australia, Europe and the US tend to dwell more on the financial aspects of deals and their communications will revolve around these. The same may not be said of collective cultures. It is also necessary to realize that not every single community will embrace technology in the same manner.
In other words, there are always certain preferred methods over others. For instance, telephone exchanges may not be preferred by members who have strong native tongue interferences and whose accents will be a problem to the recipient; instead, such persons may opt for email as this will minimize biases causes by imbalances in language accents.
Methods of conflict handling in communication are also quite important in determining how effective an exchange will be. Some cultures or genders may not opt for addressing problems head-on and may circumvent the issue so as to save face. Others may get straight to the point. When these two diverse groups are brought together and need to communicate, a breakdown may emanate when the preferred choice of conflict resolution has not been embraced by the disseminator of the communication.
It is also necessary to be sensitive about the nature of authority and gender in different communities. Some may be a bit conservative and may not fully embrace the idea of dealing with a woman in high authority. This is especially common in very technical professions such as engineering and architecture. Therefore, a communicator who comes from a less conservative background may need to be aware of such differences and thus avoid friction between concerning priorities.