The ways individuals communicate with one another reflect their own cultural background and context. In some cultures, people tend to convey messages explicitly and directly; verbal and written words are the primary way to deliver a message. In these cultures, it is the speaker’s responsibility to deliver a clear message to the listener. In other cultures, including many in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, messages are delivered through more indirect and nonverbal means. Key information is conveyed via context. It is the listener’s responsibility to understand the meaning by reading between the lines.

The terms low-context communication (LCC) and high-context communication (HCC) come from the anthropologist E. T. Hall, who used them to describe the way in which human communication styles differ. ...

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