Business Communication Styles in Kenya

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Most Kenyans does not like direct and frank communication. In many occasions they will always attempt to support or put across their point in a way that the message is delivered in a most sensitive way possible. They will want to protect other people’s face and more so their relationship. However, the style of communication depends directly on the level of intimacy between the communicator and the person who the message is communicated to.

A more intimate relationship will tend to trigger a more direct communication. Diplomacy becomes of more importance in relationships that are newly established and more formal. Metaphors, analogies as well as stories are commonly used to make a point without necessarily causing harm to the targeted person. Most people in Kenya are uncomfortable with statements that are blunt and in most cases it may take one to keenly read between the lines before figuring out exactly what is being said. Therefore criticism should are made in private manner. Sometimes Kenyans may gesture for emphasis when speaking with loud voices being signs of disagreements especially in business situations.

However, louder tones may be normal in most rural areas. Mental instability may be indicated by anger, but Kenyans are very proud in getting control of their tempers. Since maintaining honor and dignity are paramount, Kenyans may offer what they believe is the expected response rather than say something that might embarrass the other person. Kenyans will work hard to ensure that they don’t do anything that might bring shame to the other person.

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