Multicultural communication tips for today’s world
Fostering a cohesive and productive work culture can be a challenge. There are the interests of different departments to manage, time pressures, budget limitations and a host of different personalities. To top it off, people in today’s workplace come from a variety of different backgrounds: different nationalities, ethnic groups, religions, etc. People in your organization may have vastly different concepts of work, interpersonal communication, and group harmony. Multicultural communication skills are a must. The good news? They’re surprisingly easy to practice.
Multicultural communication can be an intimidating concept for many. In business, we have plenty of other things to worry about, and usually, we just want to get the job done. With a culturally diverse team, however, it’s also important to avoid giving offense unnecessarily. It is important to avoid being a cultural rube.
If you’re concerned about adding yet another thing to your to-do list, don’t worry. The following five tips require very little effort, and in multicultural communication, it’s the effort that counts. By keeping these things in mind, you can go a long way toward endearing yourself to your colleagues, management, or employees, creating trust, and fostering a more cohesive work environment.
1. Keep an open mind.
This may sound obvious, but keeping an open mind is the most important thing you can do in relating to people of different cultures. People simply don’t do things the same way. If, of course, someone’s differences are destroying the work flow and group culture, that is another matter. When that isn’t happening, an open mind is critical.
Keeping an open mind means, in part, not stereotyping. We are bombarded with cultural assumptions every day, particularly in the media, and being an effective communicator means letting go of our own preconceived notions about our team members and the backgrounds they come from.
For example, if you believe that all Latinos arrive for a 9:00 meeting at 9:40, you will project that belief in your interactions with Latino members of your staff. Also, if you have Hawaiians on your team and think that all they want to do is lounge around, hit the beach and surf, your interactions with them will suffer.
These and other preconceived notions about different cultures are simply not true. Your staff may be quite dedicated, committed and punctual despite cultural differences. It’s a matter of self-awareness on our part. It helps to ask ourselves: Am I holding on to any preconceived notions that are getting in my way? Simply asking the question helps to create an open mind that creates an inclusive and more pleasant work environment.
- Crop markets moved mostly higher again Thursday night
- Fall-applied herbicides work better on some weeds
- TekWear partners up on new crop monitoring technologies
- Harvest delays impact crop performance, study shows
- Hogs were the exception to the bullish rule Thursday
- Sugarcane aphids found in North Carolina
- How much corn can the ethanol industry use?
- Economist: Taxing P could reduce risk of algal blooms
- Commentary: Government wants farmers to quit farming
- Ag markets made a generally mixed showing Thursday night
- What is the relationship between maturity group, yield?
- Commentary: Ambulance-chaser lawyers take on Syngenta