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Questions and answers to Seagull CES CBT test for seamans about Rules of Multicultural Communication

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Welcome to the website where you can find answers for the CES test on the subject «Communication Culture». This site will help you as a marine specialist improve your knowledge with the help of open information, where you can find questions as well as answers for them. CES/CBT based on practical information and marine specialists experience.

CES tests developed for evaluating seaman basic knowledge by Seagull Company (rebranded as «OTG»), is an evaluating online-tool, used for revealing any professional preparation needed in specific fields of knowledge, defined by STCW.

CES tests have proven themselves as good tools for the selection and recruitment process, as well as advancing the level of knowledge of the current officers and crew. Ocean Technologies Group use various subjects for question creation, which includes:

  • Crowd and Crisis Management;
  • Integrated Navigation System (INS);
  • Ballast water management;
  • Handling and Stowage;
  • Vessel operation management and safety;
  • Marine engineering;
  • Maintenance and repair, etc.

«Communication Culture» subject includes theoretical and practical information about safety working with electrical equipment. Knowledge of this information directly shows employee’s competence who holds a relevant post on a vessel. Multicultural communication is crucial on a vessel because it allows individuals from different backgrounds to work together effectively and efficiently. When there are people from different cultures, languages, and customs working on a ship, communication becomes even more critical. It’s important to establish clear lines of communication that everyone can understand, regardless of their background.

This page contains answers to Seagull CES (Crew Evaluation System) test about Communication Culture, and serve as a database of questions and answers, using which seafarer can prepare to exams for getting certificate of competence, or just to challenge yourself with knowledge in this theme.

CBT CD – Communication Culture.pdf


Use the search below to find question.

Amount of questions: 43.

Right answers marked with this sign .

A 4th Engineer has seen that some of the entries made by the 1st Engineer in the Oil Record Book are incorrect. The 4th Engineer is aware that such incorrect entries may lead to heavy penalties if found during inspection by port authorities. However, the 4th Engineer is hesitant to raise the issue in case the 1st Engineer either sees it as questioning his capability or gets insulted. Which one of the following cultural orientations is the 4th Engineer showing?
High power distance.
Low power distance.
High uncertainty avoidance.
A newly embarked young officer from a high context communication culture wants to approach his superior from a low context communication culture to pass on some information. How should the young officer effectively deliver the message?
Be factual and direct in saying his message.
He should ensure that he makes a lengthy introduction before getting to his point.
Use indirect words to avoid confrontation.
Avoid communicating with his superior.
A newly promoted 3rd Mate from a high-power distance culture joined the ship recently. Most of the shipboard officers and crew are from a low-power distance culture. Which one of the following actions can you take, as the Chief Officer, to help the 3rd Mate to adapt to the culture onboard?
Encourage him to speak up and become more assertive.
Act on his behalf and be his spokesperson during meetings.
I will do nothing.
Let him come up with his own ways to adjust.
According to Edgar Schein, culture is divided into three layers. Select, from the following, the one that contains these three layers:
Artifacts, norms and values, and basic assumptions.
Reactive, calculative and proactive.
Outer, middle and inner.
Artifacts, beliefs and stereotypes.
According to Edgar Schein, which layer of culture refers to a group’s idea of right or wrong and what is good or bad?
Norms and values.
Basic assumptions.
According to Edgar Schein, which one of the following is the term used to describe a group’s unspoken and subconscious rules on how to act, think and behave?
Basic assumptions.
Norms and values.
Although it is not an official rule, it is widely accepted by all seafarers that smoking is only allowed in the day room. Select the option containing the word or phrase that correctly fills the gap in the following statement. According to Edgar Schein this is an example of ____ in the layers of culture.
Basic assumptions.
Expressed values.
Standard practice.
As a 2nd Engineer, you observe that a number of maintenance jobs involving engine ratings are not completed as scheduled. Considering that most of the engine ratings are from a collectivist culture, how would you notify them of this concern?
Ask the concerned ratings individually in private about their reasons for not completing the scheduled jobs.
Call for a meeting and tell them directly that I am not happy with the maintenance backlog.
Report it to the Master and let them decide the next actions.
Give them additional time to finish all pending jobs.
Despite the fact that Bosun has several years of shipboard experience, he has been very open to accept ideas of other crew members. He believes that his ways of doing things may not always be the best ways at all times. Which one of the intercultural competencies given in the options does the Bosun show?
Intercultural Communication.
On your first day of working on board the ship, you were amazed to find out that no safety signs are posted in the workshop. In spite of this, all crewmembers are wearing the necessary personal protective equipment, PPE. Select the option containing the word or phrase that most accurately fills the gap in the following statement. This display of good safety behaviour is an example of ____ in the layers of culture identified by Edgar Schein.
Basic assumptions.
Norms and values.
Reactive level.
Select the option containing the word or phrase that most accurately fills the gap in the following statement. People from ____ culture tend to think only of themselves as individuals; they are more focused on their own goals.
An individualist.
A collectivist.
A high uncertainly avoidance.
A maritime.
Select the option containing the word or phrase that most accurately fills the gap in the following statement. Emotional need for rules, agreements, and regulations to avoid unfamiliar situations is a characteristic of a culture with:
High uncertainty avoidance.
Low uncertainty avoidance.
Low-context communication.
High-context communication.
Select the option containing the word or phrase that most accurately fills the gap in the following statement. When dealing with people from collectivist culture, you have to remember that it is only appropriate to deliver critical feedback:
In private in order to avoid embarrassing the person.
In the presence of other crew.
During the monthly meeting.
In the crew mess room.
Select, from the following, the word or phrase that most accurately completes the following statement. In a low-power distance culture, subordinates are expected to be consulted, however, in a high-power distance culture the subordinates are expected to be:
Told what to do.
Careful in making decisions.
The following signs about smoking were handed to you. Which of these are you going to use if target group are more used to high-context communication?
Thank you for not smoking.
Smoking is not allowed here.
Smoking is strictly prohibited.
No smoking here.
There are seafarers from some cultures who will simply say “Yes” even if they do not really understand the instructions. They simply do it to avoid losing face but in reality, they really mean “maybe” or “I don’t understand”. For which one of the following communication styles is this behaviour typical?
High-context communication.
Direct communication.
Active listening.
Low-context communication.
When you go onboard a ship, you will get a first impression of the shipboard safety culture by observing items such as helmets, coveralls, safety shoes, goggles and safety signs. Select the option containing the word or phrase that correctly fills the gap in the following statement. According to Edgar Schein these items are considered as ____ in the layers of culture.
Basic assumptions.
Expressed values.
Safety equipments.
Which of the following scenarios is an example of a poor personal attitude towards different cultures?
The other crew members make fun of the unique voice tone of a crew member from Eastern Europe.
The Captain allows his Muslim crew to do their regular prayers.
The Chief Cook ensures that appropriate meals are prepared for all nationalities.
The German Chief Engineer knows very well when to get firm and when to take it lightly when dealing with the Indian Motorman.
Which one of the following is typical in a low power distance culture?
Leader and subordinates work closely together and consult each other.
Privileges and status symbols for leaders are both expected and popular.
Subordinates expect to be told what to do.
Subordinates are hesitant to express their doubts and disagreements with leaders.
Which one of the following is typical of people from an individualistic culture?
Every one usually has a right to a personal opinion.
Subordinates except to be told what to do.
People value harmony and loyalty to the company.
Leaders are expected to take all initiatives.
Which one of the following statements about collectivist culture is FALSE?
Everyone has a right to privacy.
People avoid direct confrontation.
People avoid disagreeing with someone’s opinion in the presence of other people.
Opinions are predetermined by group membership.
Which one of the following statements is a feature to be expected in an individualistic culture?
Laws and rights are equal for all.
Relationship prevails over task.
Direct confrontation is avoided.
Individuals prefer to use high-context communication style.
Which one of the following statements is typical of a group orientation or collectivist culture?
Individuals focus on how to ensure good interpersonal relationships.
Individuals speak frankly about personal options, regardless of what other crew members will say.
Each individual competes with other group members to be regarded as the strongest member.
Individuals think only of personal interests and benefits.
Which one of the following terms is NOT a dimension of culture according to Hofstede?
Safety maturity.
Power distance.
Collectivism versus individualism.
Uncertainty avoidance.
While the Captain is presenting his ideas during a safety meeting, the Messman offers his opinion on the matter. The Captain acknowledges him and even encourages others to come out with their own ideas, even if they will be in conflict with the Captain’s own ideas. Select the following, the phrase that correctly completes the following statement. This scenario is typical in cultures defined as:
Low power distance.
High power distance.
Uncertainty avoidance.
Group orientation.
You are a junior officer from a culture with high context communication style while your Scandinavian Captain communicates in low context. Which of the following actions best describes how you should act in order to communicate effectively with the Captain?
Express my ideas and opinions in a straightforward manner.
Be very careful with my choice of words in conveying my message.
Think twice before speaking and speak politely.
Wait for his permission before I speak.
You are an officer on board a ship and you have a multi-cultural crew. In communicating with other shipboard personnel, which of the following practices should you do?
Use the communication style matching the culture of the person you are talking to.
Use high context communication style for ratings and low context for officers.
Always use the low context communication style.
Only use the high context communication style.
You are scheduled to meet an American executive next week. As part of your preparation you have read some material on culture and found out that most Americans prefer the low-context communication style. In order to ensure that the meeting will go smoothly, which of the following measures will be most appropriate?
I will be straightforward and concise with my statements during our discussion.
In between discussions, I will tell jokes and funny stories in order to spice-up the meeting.
I will start by introducing myself. Before the end of the meeting, I will also ensure that I have gained a lot of knowledge about their personal life.
I will take it as an informal meeting.
You are the Chief Engineer from a low-context communication culture. You are about to set a meeting with your crew members who come from a high-context communication culture. How will you address the crew in an effective way?
I will bear in mind that I need to be more patient in encouraging everyone to speak-up, and avoid embarrassing individual crew members in front of others.
I have to impose my authority. Straightforward communication style is most applicable in this case.
There’s no need to go around the bush. I will say what I want to tell them. They will definitely respect what I will say.
I will be direct in my communication. I may hurt other people’s feelings but at least I am honest.
You want to develop the intercultural competencies of your crew. In one of your toolbox meetings, a rating comes up with an idea which is exactly the same as yours. How should you handle this situation in order to encourage others to participate in the meeting?
Acknowledge the rating and give him the credit.
Tell him that you have thought of the same idea earlier.
Tell him to come up with a better idea.
Ignore him since you have the same idea.
Which safety behavioral headlines below do you believe are influenced by our cultural background?
Professional and personal skills.
Ability to communicate.
Sharing information.
Group roles and duties.
Which safety behavioral headlines below do you believe are influenced by our cultural background?
The way we manage time.
The way we learn from our mistakes.
Our ability to cooperate.
While addressing questions concerning onboard safety risks, the Captain was able to learn and understand how it was like working with people from high power distance culture. Which statements below pertain to the Captain’s experience?
Everything he said was accepted and agreed upon.
At one point, the Captain said something which he realized later on to be wrong, but no one corrected him.
The meetings was short.
The Captain did not experience much initiative from crewmembers.
The meeting lasted for a long time.
The Captain left with a lot of new ideas gathered from crewmembers.
While addressing a spillage risk during the bunker operations, the Captain was able to learn and understand how it was like working with people from a collectivist culture. Which statements below pertain to the Captain’s experience?
The AB, who experienced the situation and knew that his colleague didn’t follow procedures, did not say what really happened.
Only the Bosun or 2nd Officer said something.
The Bosun spoke on behalf of the ABs.
The best way to give corrective feedback to an AB from a collectivistic culture is to do it away from other crewmembers.
Everybody wanted to give his opinion.
It was primarily the AB who made a mistake while doing all the talking.
Which behavioral characteristics listed below are classified under weak uncertainty avoidance?
Tolerance of deviant and innovative ideas and behaviour.
Citizen competence versus authorities.
Belief in generalists and common sense.
Opponents can be personal friends.
Belief in experts and specialization.
Citizen incompetence versus authorities.
Which behavioral characteristics below are manifested in low power distance culture?
Parents treat children as equals.
Children treat parents as equals.
Teacher expect initiatives from students in class.
Students treat teachers as equals.
Centralization is popular.
Teachers are expected to take all initiatives in class.
Which behavioral characteristics below are manifested in high power distance culture?
Privileges and status symbols for managers are both expected and popular.
The ideal boss is an autocrat or good father.
Subordinates expect to be told what to do.
Wide salary range between top and bottom of the organization.
Decentralization is popular.
Narrow salary range between top and bottom of the organization.
Which behavioral characteristics below are classified under strong uncertainly avoidance?
Acceptance of familiar risks, fear of ambiguous situations and unfamiliar risks.
Students are comfortable with structured learning situations and appreciate right and wrong answers.
Teachers are supposed to have ready answers to any questions.
Need for rules, even if these will never work.
Comfortable with ambiguous situations and unfamiliar risks.
Teacher may say: “I don’t know”.
Which behavioral characteristics below are classified under individualism?
Employee-employer relationship is supposed to be based on mutual advantage.
Everyone has the right to privacy.
Everybody is expected to have a personal opinion on certain matters.
Laws and rights are supposed to be applied to all.
Group(s) intrudes private life.
Opinions are predetermined by the by the group.
Which behavioral characteristics below are classified under collectivism?
Harmony should be maintained and direct confrontation should be avoided.
Trespassing leads to shame and loss of face for the individual and group.
Collective interests prevail over individual interests.
People are born in extended families or other in-groups, which continue to protect them in exchange for loyalty.
Speaking one’s mind is a characteristic of an honest person.
Trespassing leads to guilt and loss of self-respect.
To be able to understand the term culture, it is important to understand the meaning of the word – how do we define it and what does it mean to us. However, before we give the answer, we would like to hear your perception of the word culture. Answer the questions below and let us see if we share the same perception:
Culture influences our idea of what is polite or impolite.
Culture models our individual perception of what is right or wrong.
Culture means that a number of people share a number of common habits, ways of living, or rituals.
The way we communicate with each other is heavily influenced by our national culture.
Safety onboard a ship is never influenced by our national culture.
It is always easy to tell the difference between the various cultures.
During the meeting, the Captain found it difficult to get a clear answer from the group on what happened. He called the Chief Engineer coming from a collectivist culture to seek advice. What advice do you think the Chief Engineer will give the Captain?
Explain the procedure to all crewmemembers involved in the incident.
Initially, discuss the matter with the 2nd officer.
At first, deal with the matter discretely to avoid embarrassing the person(s) involved.
If the Captain wants to give the AB a corrective feedback or warning, the best thing to do is to discuss the matter with him discretely.
To continue what the Captain was doing.
Get angry and force crewmembers about his opinion.
After the meeting, the Captain called the 1st officer coming from a high power distance culture to discuss the matter. What do you think the Captain might have said to the 1st Officer?
The Captain would like the crew to become more assertive when discussing safety problems.
That the opinion of the crewmembers is as important as his own.
That he expects all crewmembers; therefore, it is everybody’s responsibility.
Safety concerns all crewmembers; therefore, it is everybody’s responsibility.
That he will be hoping for more inputs in the next safety meeting.
The Captain informs the 1st Officer that he appreciates the way the crew accepts and acknowledges his opinion.

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