Strategies for Supporting Diverse Cultures in the Workplace

As the world becomes more global and interconnected, the need to be able to adapt to people from other races and cultures is greater than ever before.

The world is greatly interconnected. Even small businesses in some remote village in the world are seeing situations where they need to interact with multinational customers, suppliers, and workers. The issue isn’t just of having diverse identities together inside one office. People have to interact with others from across the globe everyday in some way. Your colleague may be a remote worker in another country. Or you may have to interact with customers, suppliers and teams from across the globe.

No race is superior to another. However, ethnocentrism can make a person see their own race, nation, or culture as superior. Erasing ethnocentrism is vital if diverse teams are to function efficiently together. Otherwise, conflicts can arise. In addition, each race has its own temperaments and habits. Knowing and understanding these is vital for diverse groups to work together.

Being able to communicate with and handle diverse identities is a necessary skill in the global business context that is vital not just for business leaders and managers but all workers, both permanent and freelance.

Each race has its own temperaments and habits. Knowing and understanding these is vital for diverse groups to work together.

Learning to get along with and accept diverse cultures doesn’t have to be a difficult experience. In fact, it can be natural and enjoyable.  Here are some things employees can do on their own or employers can encourage workers to do that will help them understand and get along with diverse identities, become acquainted with foreign cultures, and reduce ethnocentrism:

1. Travel to other countries to experience other cultures. Choosing a tourist spot where people of many nations visit is a good way to get acquainted with diverse people.

2. Read about other cultures. This can be in books or travel magazines.

3. Watch TV or YouTube videos about diverse people and cultures.

4. Learn a foreign language. There is no better way to immerse oneself in another culture than to learn the language of the place.

5. Dine at a restaurant specializing in the cuisine of a particular place, such as Arab, French, or Thai. Food is a great way to bring people together.

By exposing oneself to and experiencing other cultures, employees and employers can make a diverse environment normal and thereby enable themselves to work well in diverse groups without conflict or unrest.

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Written by Kokab Rahman.
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