Values And Communication

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate March 2002

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Values are the desired characteristics or goals of a culture. They involve what a culture deems as something positive or as something negative. Values are often offered as the rationale for the way in which people communicate. Picking from what Shalom Schwartz's ten universal value types that serve as guiding principles within a culture, I score high on Stimulation and Self-Direction. The reason why I value these values is my culturally collectivistic background. In-groups have a major influence in these cultures. And within my peers, we collectively share values of individualism and self-direction. My hate for monotony, need for creativity, independence and love for life all gravitate on my values of Stimulation and Self-Direction.

Obviously, the values that I esteem have an impact on the way I communicate and on my decision-making. I avoid anything that seems boring or monotonous. I enjoy flirting with risk, tend to drift towards situations that have scope for uncertainty and excitement.

The flip side would be the urge to make decisions impulsively, completely disregarding the Look before you Leap advice. That sometimes affects communication, both verbal and non verbal. Since in Indian culture, respect for elders is a positively enhanced value, there is always an unconscious respect while communicating with people who are senior to me, both by age and status. Though I personally value Self-direction, my communication is normally convoluted and indirect, thanks to some cultural uncertainty coupled with a high context and high power distance cultural.