Communications Essay Paper on Striving For an Engaged and Effective Intercultural Communication

Chapter 12: Striving For Engaged and Effective Intercultural Communication

In this chapter Martin and Nakayama (2007) examines the motivational factors behind the engagement of a person in intercultural communication. Motivation entails a particular element of intercultural communication competence and the need to make commitments in relations and learn about oneself as well as others, thereby remaining flexible. Knowledge about oneself is attributed to understanding oneself (strengths and weaknesses). Other-knowledge entails understanding how individuals from other cultures behave and think to enable individuals to be more efficient communicators. Knowledge about linguistics is the knowledge of other languages apart from an individual’s native language. According to Martin and Nakayama (2007), D.I.E exercise is a device used to help communities determine their interpretive, descriptive or evaluative levels of communication. Descriptive statements in communication are non-judgmental, which is free from evaluation of an individual according to his/her own culture frame of reference.

However, there are four types of behaviors that an individual tend to exhibit or show to the society (Martin & Nakayama, 2007). They include; unconscious incompetence, which entails a private communication without adaptation to one’s communication style and failure to think about its inefficiency. Also, there is conscious incompetence, whereby an individual is aware of the deviation of the interaction, but fails to understand why things are going wrong. Both the conscious and the unconscious competence in intercultural communication are unconsciously used. Thinking strategies about reflection of own thoughts, adoption of a cross-cultural stance, sought and extension of artistic consideration and use of cultural knowledge assists to steer an individual’s everyday activities.

The use and application of the knowledge depicted from Martin and Nakayama (2007) include becoming interpersonal cronies, entering into dialogue, building coalitions, working for personal transformation, as well as social justice in an individual’s life. Many problems within relationships have their origins in a communication break-down and are as simple as not hearing correctly about the other person’s opinion because individuals are mostly caught up in their own perspectives. From Chapter 12 of the text by Martin and Nakayama (2007), communication is a link to any relation, and when one stops communicating, he/she starts losing the most valued relations in life. However, the last relationship of any kind consists of commitment, communication, as well as compromise. Communication leads to relationship, respects brings out love while trust binds people together. Therefore, the rationale behind chapter 12 is that individuals build their future through the words they exchange today.


Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2007). Intercultural communication in contexts. McGraw Hill.