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Getting you thinking about cultural diversity

Aug

04

Getting you thinking about cultural diversity

cultural communication

 

The is an old adage, ‘Do unto others as they do unto you.’ This may seem sage advice, however it does make the assumption that there is a underlying general understanding.

The most ordinary thing in the world is to see things through your own eyes. The most extra-ordinary thing is to see things through the eyes of others. Enlightenment comes when you see things differently. Let me explain further, I overhead this comment, as I stood by an office photocopier recently,
‘I cannot understand his attitude, I treated him just the way I would like to be treated…’ I was tempted to interject and say, ‘Perhaps you could try treating him the way HE wants to be treated.’

And there’s the rub. You understandably see the world through your own filters don’t you? You have your own culture default setting.

Do you wish to voice your opinion or share your experiences? Have you had to recognise and accept cultural differences? How did this made you feel? Was the situation dealt with effectively? Did all parties feel happy with the outcomes? Do you have a great story with a learning point?

If so, please contribute on this blog and share your knowledge and expertise.

Getting You Thinking…

1. To what extent do you feel that cultural ‘ignorance’ impacts on the positive performance of your team/group/business?
2. If you had a cultural ‘problem’ who would you turn to for help/guidance/advice?
3. Does the company have a cultural awareness manual?
4. How confident would you be to run a conference call with 5 different cultures at this moment?

Culture Shock
1. Has a foreign colleague ever done something that has surprised or startled you that you came to realise was a cultural difference? (Story)
2. How did it make you feel?
3. What did you do about it?
4. What did you learn?

Communication Styles
1. Have you ever noticed a particular style of communication that a foreign colleague had that you found interesting/different? E.g. overly polite or lack of please & think you, very direct (rude) or totally vague, shy or retiring, lacking in confidence (story)
2. How did it make you feel?
3. How did you respond?
4. Have you changed your style/attitude to accommodate it?
5. What did you learn?