Communication Styles In Kenya

Published: 09th July 2010
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In Kenya, communication styles vary according to age, class and gender. Generally when starting a conversation, one foremost asks about the health, family and business of the other person. Communication is supposed to leave the other person's spirit up. To drive a hard point home without being too direct, Kenyans use metaphors, analogies and stories. This is in order to protect the other person's face. Diplomacy is used in more formal relationships or a new relationship.

A message is always put forth in a sensitive way. Frankness and directness is not the usual way to handle things in Kenya. It is up to the person receiving the message to read between the lines and come up with the true and intended message. Criticism is always done in private, so is rebuke. It is very rude to shame someone in public. Showing controlling an ugly situation is expected of every person. Showing off anger is considered like being mentally ill.

Before beginning a business discussion, the parties must inquire about the other person's family and health. Most Kenyans go to great length not to bring shame to family members and friends. Even in communication, one only gives the expected message not the intended one. People go to great length to not bring shame and dishonor to the other person's life. Even taking blame on behalf of another person is considered alright. Low tones are normally used though in rural areas, high pitched voices are the norm. If you are a visitor to this country, you must know how to really communicate with the people around to avoid conflicts.

Dickson is the Chief Tour Guide and one of the Directors of Adventure Africa Expedition, he has traveled in many countries in Africa where he built the spirit of adventure and discovered nature hidden wonders in especially tailored walking trails like in Kisoro in Rwanda and Bwindi in Uganda both for Gorilla tracking. For more information on his work please visit http://advenafrica.com/index.htm




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