Working With Diverse People
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2958 Downloads I Published: 05 Jan ,2019
In this globalized world, working with culturally and lingually different people has become quite common, where people from different states migrate to more developed countries in search of better jobs and better living conditions. In such cases, it becomes important for employees to cooperate with each other, interact and understand the cultural differences to invite a healthy working environment and ensure unity in diversity. A culture can be defined as a practice or behavior that has been implemented and shared from one to the upcoming generations through social interaction with family, peer group, school and other organizations. In this relation, this assignment sheds light on various aspects of embracing diversity within workplace.
a) Positive attitude towards culturally diverse communities helps to create a more cooperative environment within an organization. Keeping that as an ultimate goal, it is important to respect the diversity and welcome opinions. There is need of respect and positive response for different cultures, patient hearing of the colleagues in professional relationships while eliminating bias, identification, and avoidance of issues that are likely to cause conflict.
b) When people first meet a person from different cultural background, it is always pleasant to ask about his background and language. This creates a confidence for an otherwise uncomfortable person trying to fit in a new place. Sometimes employees sit and talk on subjects common to our understanding, while others find it difficult to comprehend. One must learn about culture and personal preferences because in many cases something which is normal in one culture is taken to be impolite for someone else. There must be cultural representation of members with respect for all and eliminates racism or negative attitude within an organization.
As stated by Alvesson and Sveningsson (2015, p.9), understanding the cultural differences allows everyone to share their ideas and inputs and also members feel as a part of the organization. Allowing each to speak and contribute enhances the confidence level, such that he is able to give his best and hence, generate new ideas for the success of the organization.
a) Every organization is based on mutual understanding and cooperation as the basic foundation. In cases, where a person leaves the native place, the person tends to be vulnerable to any negative attitude. That, in turn, affects the interest and productivity of the person. Hence, it is necessary to ensure that the employees are welcomed and loved.
b) A culturally competent person acknowledges and respects racial, religious, ethnic and cultural diversity. It includes acceptance of cultural differences and differences in communication, behavior, interpretation and problem-solving. This is important for the success of any organization. In order to embrace diverse ideas, a friendly relation can facilitate success (Holmes and Stubbe, 2015, p.16)
a) As stated by Moran et al. (2014, p20), modifying work practices involve appreciation of cultural diversity, respect for them, promoting workplace that do not bring in negative atmosphere, promoting cultural awareness and celebrating different festivals and forming cultural representation of committees. In other words it helps to create a homely atmosphere for these people such that they can work comfortably and show their potentiality in achieving success for the business.
b) When communicating with culturally different people that all prejudices are eliminated. It is important to focus more on what they say rather than their pronunciation. Sometimes it is difficult to resolve misunderstanding because of lack of proper communication, in such case, proper signs and gesture must be used to resolve the mistake as fast as possible. Each can discuss their cultural differences to get knowledge of and respect the similarities and the differences among them.
a) In case of dealing with clients speaking different language, communicating with them becomes quite challenging. In such cases more of small and short sentences to be used, avoid jargons and respond to their emotions, allow time for clarifications, use communication charts and signs or learn few of their expressions to better the communication skills. In cases where it becomes too difficult to communicate one can seek help of friends or interpreter who can speak both the languages.
b) There are many areas of misunderstandings like use of language and concept of time. Language is the major problem area, especially when in some culture it is important to use courteous words; a foreigner translates his native language directly to another language which may sound rude. In such cases, it becomes important to know the form of the language and the way people of that particular culture speak. In many cultures the definition of time differ, like in Japan time is money and coming late is taken as an insult, whereas in Italy and Arabian countries, it is alright to be half an hour late. Hence, people's attitude towards time is very important to consider in any professional field (Sue et al. 2015, p.33)
c) In cases where it becomes difficult to communicate with a client, an interpreter is required who is well versed in both the language and act as the mediator between the two.
I have been working in an organization where there were people from different countries, and I found out, although the work atmosphere was culturally healthy, it was difficult to cope up with few culturally different people, because of their unprofessional lethargic attitude and unwillingness to communicate, probably because of superiority complex.
a) Misunderstanding is quite common especially in culture where it becomes difficult to communicate. In many cultures for example touching of hair is taken as rude. Even if a person does so out of affection, the opposite person may think it to be rude. This would lead to negative attitude not only towards the people, but also the concerned person may think badly about the new place he has landed to. Gradually he develops wrong conception about the people and their culture and feels disinterested to work in that particular organization.
b) Communicating in their language is the biggest area of misunderstanding. It is important to consider that non-verbal communication is not welcome in all cultures. Just as speech differs gestures also have implications. In such cases, communication rules should be considered well. In many cultures touching of hair or talking about money is taken as inappropriate. Having such knowledge of differences will help people to avoid bringing such conversation, and indulge in that discussion that is likely to bring their interest. Hence, it is important to know their views and listen patiently to them (Trax et al. 2015, p90)
While working as a healthcare professional, I have noticed many difficulties especially while dealing with linguistically and culturally different patients. In one situation a French patient had visited the country with a personal work and met with an accident. Due to language barrier, it was difficult to communicate with him. The treatment went well, but when it was time for completing the formalities, it was very difficult to make him understand the norms. French has some similarities with English words and having some knowledge of French the situation was handled well. In a similar situation, I had the duty to look after a patient of a different religion, who was not very uncomfortable to interact with us. Probably because he was new to this country, or has experienced some hatred before, he was unwilling to mention his name. In another situation, a patient from a different culture was too rude in his behavior. Especially she did not like being touched and was looking differently at women professionals. It was hard to handle her; however, with professional attitude and care, she was brought under control.
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From the description provided in the study, it is evident that the organisational practice of different corporate entities needs to consider the diverse aspects of diversity in order to gain from the ideas and skills that that people from diverse areas pursue. In regards to this, the answers help to enrich the understanding of the readers and personal reflection indicates the benefits that would improve the performance of the learner in future.
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