Toward Employability in an Era of Globalization: The Need to Change Regional Communication Traits
Human beings tend to look for similarities in things and people. We are especially good at discovering nuances in appearance or behavior and classifying people according to these traits. Unfortunately, assumptions are often made about an individual’s ability to perform based on observed traits. Individuals are grouped in our minds with other persons who have exhibited similar traits. These traits often are of no value in predicting performance. When people engage in social interaction, they make assumptions about an individual first based on nonverbal cues and then on verbal cues. Each person carries a volume of stereotypical ideas that is first learned from family and then modified through experience. Assumptions are made and opinions formed about individuals based on matching the nonverbal and verbal cues with these preconceived stereotypical ideas. These assumptions then color the nature of our future interactions with that person. Some of the ways that we stereotype people are by gender, ethnic group, race, country of origin, hair color, dress, language, and accent.
Journal of Technology Studies, Vol. 22, No. 2, Summer/Fall 1996, 67-69.