Today’s workers come from increasingly diverse environments including age, gender, race, language, and nationality. Beyond these differences, there are also other deeper cultural differences that can cause conflict, especially when working in a team setting. Therefore, it is important to find ways in which to work effectively and resolve potential conflicts as a team while taking these cultural differences into consideration.
You can do this by:
1. Knowing Yourself and Your Own Culture
Examine your own beliefs, values, biases, and prejudices. Being aware of our own cultures helps us to remain open to different ideas. We are able to compare and contrast different approaches without being threatened.
2. Learn others expectations
Expect that others will have different expectations, and that the only way we will know what expectations others hold is to by having a frank and open discussion about the nature of conflict, and how we prefer to deal with it when it arises.
3. Checking Your Assumptions
It is human nature to make assumptions. Therefore, it is important that we develop acceptable ways in which to check the basis of our perceptions. Failure to do so leads to inaccurate stereotypes and may foster negative feelings of hostility. Remember that your first interpretation is not necessarily correct. Be open to the interpretations of others.
Finally, fine-tune your listening skills. Effective listening supports the development and emergence of new norms that will reflect a deep knowledge for one another’s ‘ways.’ In turn, a strong and better team environment will also emerge.« Return to all articles