Understanding Cultural Diversity

Understanding Cultural Diversity

Date: On Demand (access any time)
Investment: $285 per person
(Discounts for multiple participants)

INCLUDES: One-on-One Telephone Coaching

Globalisation today means that almost every business either has people from different cultures  working together or that they employ people from foreign countries, or do business across geographies, which means that as a manager or leader you need to be able to manage people across different cultures.

Different cultures have different ways of talking, dressing and eating, but there is also a lot more to keep in mind. The way they interact with superiors, how genders relate to each other at work, how they relate to time, space, authority etc. An awareness of all of these cultural differences can greatly help you to bridge the cultural gap at work and lead an effective and integrated team.

There are some things that you can do immediately to help you understand the culture of the people you work with, some things include:

  • Learning about their culture online
  • Getting a book about intercultural communication
  • Attend cross-cultural communication workshops
  • Travel or attend events that are specific to a particular culture
  • Be patient with both yourself and with them, it’s not easy to deal with people from a different mindset at work.

In this podcast we will talk about six ways that you can understand cultural diversity better:

  • Learn how your culture is perceived amongst others
  • Don’t stereotype
  • Understand the decision making hierarchy
  • Identify management styles
  • Understand their view of the world
  • Identify their need for structure and certainty

1. Learn how your culture is perceived amongst others

Take some time to understand how your values, attitudes and behaviours and communication style maybe viewed be someone from another culture. Seek feedback from your team on how they view you.

2. Don’t stereotype

While it helps to understand the values, beliefs and attitudes of a particular culture, it helps to remember that this is just an indication of how people might behave. In reality, a person can be very different from what you expect, so treat each person as an individual rather than a stereotype.

3. Understand the decision making hierarchy

In different cultures the decision making authority lies with different people than in your own culture. It also happens at a faster or slower pace than your own. In some places decisions are made by individuals while in other cultures, decisions needs to be made as a group.

4. Identify management styles

Management styles can be more masculine or more feminine, which means they can be assertive and competitive or modest and caring. This affects relationships and also negotiation and the way communication is carried out at work .

5. Understand their view of the world

Each culture has its own concept of how time progresses and the speed at which work needs to be done. Asian cultures often take much longer than Western Cultures as they view time as stretchable where Western nations are more concerned with the here and now.

6. Identify their need for structure and certainty

This will help you understand their risk taking ability, how much control you need to have on the group and the kind of governance that is required at work. Agree on a working style that balances what you and your teams culture needs.