2. Case study Sneha is a new employee from India. She speaks English well, but this...

2. Case study
Sneha is a new employee from India. She speaks English well, but this is not her first language. Sneha has arthritis in her left wrist. She writes with her right hand so this does not hinder her writing ability.She uses a high-context conflict style. You ask her if she would like to come to a staff dinner to celebrate the 5th anniversary and she says that she is not sure about it.

2.1 Research Indian culture. What might some of Sneha's cultural differences be? Whom do you contact to obtain training about understanding diverse cultural needs?

2.2 You heard one of your colleagues refusing to work with Sneha because of her disability. What strategy would you use to ensure you are working with awareness and sensitivity?

2.3 What are some ways to reflect on practices regarding behaviours that were used to deal with a situation involving other team members?

2.4 List specific actions to use to enable best possible communications for a new family from a non-English speaking country attending your service. What specific verbal and non-verbal strategies could be used?

Homework Answers

Answer #1

2.1 Yes, Sneha belongs to India, which has a high-context cultures. People are very careful in presenting their personal preferences and demands. Context is a very important parameter in answering a conflict. Moreover, unlike USA, where people are more direct in their answers, there are lot of unspoken information in a communication. So, when Sneha is saying that she is not sure about it, her body language is to be observed. May be she would like to join the staff dinner but uncomfortable about something or she is not interested to go to the staff dinner but thinks it to be rude to say a direct 'no' in the face.

Many reputed institution provides cross cultural communication training.

2.2 Sneha is disabled, but it is by no chance affecting her contribution to the company. She has got the job according to the abilities she has. So, there is no question of refusing to work. If she is in my team, I would like to distribute appropriate job to her. But, with this I would also keep in mind that she is not getting any undue privileges. It will boost her confidences and she will feel more inclusive in the team. I will not avoid her disability and at the same time I will not patronize it too.

2.3 I would aware my team members about how to work sensibly with her. If anyone behaves differently, proper action would be taken as per government/company guidelines.

2.4 As we know that India has a high-context culture, family and society plays a very important role in a person's life. So interacting properly with her family would make her comfortable. Though she speaks English well, there is a high chance that some members of her family doesn't know English at all. So, to speak with them I would make the communication more non-verbal i.e. more body language and expression oriented. I would take help of Sneha to convey my message to them or understand what they are trying to say. I may learn some gestures commonly used in India.

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