How to manage cultural differences in the workplace?

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Australia is one of the most multi-cultural societies in the world – one in four was born overseas and 46% have at least one parent who was born overseas (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4102.0-Australian Social Trends - April 2013). Therefore, it is not a big surprise that we have different types of people, personalities and cultures in today’s work force.

Cultural differences can be shown in form of communication to teamwork, perception of time, formality or different cultural calendars. It is vital to understand, communicate and interact with people across different cultures. Below are some tips on how to manage cultural differences in the workplace.

 

1 – TEAMWORK

It is important to have an open mind towards new culture and embrace the different dynamic on shared teamwork rather than focus on individual differences. See other people’s opinion as an opportunity to expand your horizons.

 

2 – MODEL THE RIGHT BEHAVIOR

Everyone in the workplace should lead by example and embrace and respect diversity Put harmony before being right and use a sense of humour.

 

3 – AWARENESS

A good way to get to build a healthy work environment is to celebrate cultural celebrations and make everyone aware of your co-workers’ perspectives and way of life.

 

4 –COMMUNICATION

The best way to practice effective communication in a multi-cultural environment is by keeping an open mind, have some knowledge of cultural differences, practice active listening and watch your nonverbal communication.

Published on by Daniele L.