Is the cultural diversity impacting communication at work?

28 Nov 2016 0


I just attended “Mastering Workplace Culture and Communication” Workshop, and I learned things:) It was interesting to hear the participants’ point of view, and the fact that they come from various cultures and backgrounds make the session even more engaging and reflective.

I left this workshop asking myself:

How to be a good communicator at work? Is it complicated to have an effective communication in a multicultural environment? How to ensure our values and company’s culture align?

I have had the chance to work in many countries and with different backgrounds and I found that effective communication can be challenging in the workplace. Each person has nuances, intonations, accents and facial expressions that can influence the way a message comes across. We spend much of our day with managers, co-workers in order to accomplish the company’s goals and objectives. Knowing how to efficiently and appropriately communicate with one another is paramount to having a productive and respectful workplace.

With globalization leading to more interactions among cultures, it is crucial to be familiar with the preferences and behavioral patterns of our boss, our colleagues, our team particularly when those individuals come from a different continent. It’s so easy to feel frustrated by miscommunication. People can get personally offended even when they know the problem is just language.

Is it challenging to work in multicultural environments where your company has values and beliefs that are different from yours? How to keep your integrity and be flexible without comprising your values?

Here are my key takeaways from this workshop:

Whatever the language, the culture or the company’s culture is, there are some skills that we should all learn:

  • Listening: being an active and a good listener is one of the best ways to be a good communicator.
  • Assertiveness: many people find it challenging to project assertiveness precisely because it requires to walk a fine line between being pushy and pacifying. We can learn how to communicate clearly and work through challenges in a low-stress, no-drama, and self-honoring way.
  • Nonverbal Communication: the body language, eye contact, hand gestures, and tone are very important signals that convey how we are really feeling.
  • Clarity: we should say what we want clearly and directly.
  • Friendly Tone and Respect: being nice, polite and respectful will encourage the co-workers to engage in open and honest communication with us.
  • Open-mindedness: a good communicator is flexible and open-mind. We should be open to listening to and understanding the other person’s point of view.
  • Feedback: performance feedback can be very different across cultures. Being able to appropriately give and receive feedback is an important communication skill.

So, is the cultural diversity impacting communication at work?

I believe the languages and cultures are not barriers to communicate effectively at work, it all comes down to one’s sense of open-mindedness. And you what do you think?


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