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Write a formal report to observe and analyse whether characters in a video scenario (from the choices given below) are showing effective cultural capabilities and maintaining a culturally safe space. Also, recommend how effective cultural capabilities of the characters in the video could be improved.

The report should:

  • Summarise and describe observations of the interactions related to aspects of cultural capabilities in the video clip.
  • Analyse (with formal references) the safe and unsafe aspects of the scenario,  including the physical location and interactions between actors.
  • Provide recommendations for creating or sustaining this video scenario as a culturally safe space.
  • Be written in a formal tone - avoid personal language, contractions and slang. (For more information, see link to formal writing in the Assessment Tasks Overview Summary Table.)

Aim of the Report

Cultural capability, Cultural self-awareness and cultural intelligence are the several aspects that determine whether a place is safe or unsafe. It is to be ensured that all these essential requirements are created in order to ensure a safe place. A safe place is created only when all the individuals present in the particular setting participates in a cordial and also positive manner. Cultural capability includes the skills, knowledge, behaviour and the systems that are required to plan, enhance and provide service in a culturally respectful manner.

1.2 Aim

The aim of the report is to describe a scenario, which resulted in  difficulties, that were caused due to differences in language of people , belonging to different culture  . The paper also describes why the situation is unsafe between two individuals as barriers in culture is noticed between them. The report also discusses several recommendations so that the situation can be overcome and hindrances in the communication can be resolved, which would lead to the creation of a safe space.

1.3 Scope

The report primarily describes the scenes that emphasizes on the misinterpretations due to the language difference between two individuals (Klitmøller & Lauring, 2013, pp. 404). This problem has been depicted in the video which is taken from   “Fawlty Towers”, which is a BBC Television Program where receptionist of the hotel, Polly handles the complaints of a guest Mrs. Richards, who barged and was being unfair to other guests (Spiers, 1979). The problem arises when she was told to communicate with the waiter Manuel, who speaks Spanish but the guest, Mrs. Richards was an English-speaking person (Flanja, 2009, pp.107). In the end, Mrs. Richards is frustrated  with Manuel and it is the evidence of  an unsafe place between them.

2. Summary and Observations 

2.1 Summary of the Video Clip

The television program which is depicted in the video is of  Fawlty Towers – Communication Problems, Handling Complaints, a BBC Television program. It was released on February 19, 1979 and it was episode 1 of the season 2. The TV program depicts a social setting where the waiter of a hotel was asked to assist a guest in connection with her reservation in the hotel. The waiter of the hotel, Manuel and the guest of the hotel, Mrs. Richards were the main characters that were involved in the depicted video. The other noteworthy character in the video was of the receptionist of the hotel, Polly.

2.2 Observations

The scene shows that Mrs.  Richards barged into the hotel, and  was being unfair to other guests, as she demanded all the attention, and desired to be treated first without giving chance to other guests. The receptionist of the hotel, Polly requested the waiter of the hotel Manuel to assist Mrs. .Richards in connection with her reservation in the hotel .This is where the situation of misunderstanding takes place , when Mrs. . Richards tries to convey her problems to Manuel but Manuel being Spanish replies her in Spanish language, which English-speaking Mrs.

Summary and Observations

.Richards could not understand or comprehend. Thus, this problem is created due to the cultural differences between two people. Mrs. .Richards is both disappointed and disgusted with Manuel as he was not able to answer her queries in English and it is an example that depicts an unsafe space between two individuals. This scene shows that the two individuals of different culture  ,one English and the other Spanish , if they talk to each other they would face lot of problems in understanding . Such disappointment and disgust from Mrs. .Richards proves that she and Manuel are in a place which can be deemed culturally unsafe considering the fact tht they are unable to communicate with each other .

The size of the place is small as it depicts a confined  workplace in  a hotel . Polly is the receptionist of the hotel, Manuel is the waiter of the hotel and Mrs. .Richards is one of the guests in the hotel . 

Table 1 Scene Description 

Scene Number/Time Frame

Sign of Empathy

Body language

Voice Tone

Scene 1: Polly communicates with Mrs. Richards

Polly shows cultural intelligence, as she is hospitable to her guests.

Impatience depicted from attitude of Mrs. Richards

Complaining from Mrs. Richards

Scene 2 : Mrs .Richards communicates with Manuel

Lack of cultural intelligence from Mrs. Richards

Disgust and disappointment shown from Mrs. Richards

Showing disgust from Mrs. Richards

3. Analysis

The term Safe Place can be used for the place or any particular environment where the particular individual can feel the confidence and can unhesitatingly express his or her emotions   without being criticized, harassed or discriminated on the grounds of differences in culture, gender, ethnicity ,sexual orientation and several other factors (Holley & Steiner, 2005 , pp.52). A safe place ensures that the self-respect of every individual  is guarded and it would create a strong atmosphere for respecting other people.  Cultural Intelligence or CQ can be defined as the ability of an individual to relate and also efficiently perform his or her  activities or duties in a environment or situation

which is culturally diverse  (Brislin,  Worthley & Macnab,  2006, pp.52). It is the capability of an individual to adapt to the differences in culture, as the person interacts with the people of different region that have a different culture ((Brislin,  Worthley & Macnab,  2006, pp.52) . Thus, it can be said it is the natural capability of an outside individual to interpret an unknown as well as ambiguous gesture of other individuals. It is the ability, which allows to cross the divides and dwell in the culture which are multiple in number. The cultural capabilities includes the behaviour, skills and knowledge that are essential to plan, support, improve and deliver the services in such a manner that it is apt and also it is respected by other culture .

Cultural self-awareness of an individual plays a very important role in building the  base of communication and cultural self-awareness also includes the capability of an individual to be are of the different cultural group and identify the cultural values and practices (Quappe  & Cantatore, 2005). It conveys the procedure to do things in a particular way. It defines the procedure to view the world .The awareness related to culture plays a very important role when there is interaction between people who belong from different cultures. It has been observed that the individuals interpret in the way, which is different from each other. The behaviour which may seem apt and justifiable in context of one culture may be inappropriate in context of  some other culture .

Table 1 Scene Description

Thus, it is necessary for a person who belongs to one culture to possess a strong cultural intelligence so that he has the ability to adapt with those individuals who are from different culture. This cultural intelligence would help to develop higher cultural capabilities for the person to make better adjustments (Kubicek,  Bhanugopan & O’Neill, 2017, pp.16). It also help to improve the cultural awareness of the person by being aware of the features of other culture. Thus, it can be said that by integrating the cultural intelligence, cultural capabilities and the self –awareness, it is possible to create a safe place for the people of different culture (Roestone Collective., 2014, pp.1352).

In the early part of the sequence of events, Polly displayed a high level of cultural intelligence by adjusting her behaviour with direct eye contact and maintaining a calm tone of voice even in the situation when Mrs. Richards was unjustifiably asking for attention from her . It is excellent example of cultural intelligence from Polly who showed proper gesture of hospitality to Mrs. .Richards .Polly’s cultural capability in her role of hotel receptionist, as it would make the guest feel safe as they enter the hotel (Holley & Steiner, 2005 , pp.52). However, Mrs. Richards showed a lack of cultural intelligence when she had to communicate with the waiter, Manuel (Livermore & Soon, 2015, pp.23).

She did not have the capability to comprehend that she and the waiter belong from different culture and should have adapted to the people of different culture like Manuel but on the contrary, she was disgusted with the fact that he was not able to understand her cultural language, English. This resulted in creation of unsafe place for both Manuel and Mrs. Richards due to the language differences.

4. Recommendations

After analyzing the report that is depicted in the provided video, the following recommendation can be stated:

  • Maintaining Patience - It is important to maintain patience in order to respect culture of each other. If Mrs. Richards and Manuel had shown patience in order to maintain respect of culture of one another, the scenario would have been completely different and it would have resulted in healthy relationship between Manuel and Mrs. Richards.
  • Respecting Language - It is evident that Manuel had little understanding of English language, he should approached Polly and told her about the inconvenient situation. Instead, Manuel decided to converse in Spanish, which could have hurt the sentiments of Mrs. Richards and it resulted in the creation of the messy situation.
  • Making Good Gesture – Both Manuel and Mrs. .Richards should make use of body languages and gestures in appropriate  way , which would enhance and develop the sense of interest for one another in the mind  . Both Manuel and Mrs. Richards should maintain their composure and expresses calmness and coolness through their attitude.


It is evident from the depicted video from the Television program, that the cultural incapability resulted in a environment which can be deemed as not a safe place for both the individuals .The TV program depicted a scenario how cultural incapability can create a situation of situation of unsafe space between two individuals. Manuel tried to be culturally capable by busing Spanish words to communicate with Mrs. .Richards. However, Mrs. Richards lost her patience, showed disgust in her attitude, and complained about Manuel to Polly.

The scenario took place because there was dearth of cultural intelligence from both Manuel and Mrs. .Richards. Mrs. Richards lost her temper and it showed that she is incapable of cultural adaptation .Thus in order to improve the condition, both Mrs. Richards and Manuel should neglect the cultural obstacles and pay respect to the culture of one another by showing patience.


Brislin, R., Worthley, R., & Macnab, B. (2006). Cultural intelligence: Understanding behaviors that serve people’s goals. Group & Organization Management, 31(1), 40-55.

Flanja, D. (2009). Culture shock in intercultural communication. Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai. Studia Europaea, 54(4), 107.

Holley, L. C., & Steiner, S. (2005). Safe space: Student perspectives on classroom environment. Journal of Social Work Education, 41(1), 49-64.

Klitmøller, A., & Lauring, J. (2013). When global virtual teams share knowledge: Media richness, cultural difference and language commonality. Journal of World Business, 48(3), 398-406.

Kubicek, A., Bhanugopan, R., & O’Neill, G. (2017). How does cultural intelligence affect organisational culture: the mediating role of cross-cultural role conflict, ambiguity, and overload. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 1-25.

Livermore, D., & Soon, A. N. G. (2015). Leading with cultural intelligence: The real secret to success. Amacom.

Quappe, S., & Cantatore, G. (2005). What is Cultural Awareness, anyway? How do I build it. Retrieved July, 17, 2008.

Roestone Collective. (2014). Safe space: Towards a reconceptualization. Antipode, 46(5), 1346-1365.

Spiers, B. (Director). (1979, Feb 19). Fawlty Towers, Communication Problems, Handling Complaints, Season

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