Working In A Multicultural Society

Chu Nguyen

Society is comprised of many communities living together. A multicultural society is where values, beliefs, languages and certain conventions are distinctly different from our own. Although working in a multicultural or culturally diverse society comes with its own unique challenges, it also has many benefits. To create an ideal multicultural workplace, we can become more knowledgeable about key cultural aspects, such as:

  1. Assertiveness (skills, technology, methods, knowledge)
  2. Body language
  3. Communication styles
  4. Conflict
  5. Eye contact
  6. Gestures
  7. Humour
  8. Information collection
  9. Physical space
  10. Power
  11. Silence
  12. Time
  13. Wording
  14. Greeting(a)

Differences between cultures can be resolved harmoniously. There are no universal laws to ensure conformity in each culture, however, there are four basic guidelines:

  1. Be aware of your personal bias, style, preferences and focus
  2. Each part of an organisation or firm has its own unique culture
  3. Convey to others that you respect their culture
  4. Work in a manner compatible with the culture of the firm(b)

These guidelines are successfully applied in multicultural societies, including Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States of America. The guidelines are witnessed in many sectors, such as manufacturing, services and education.

In summary, mutual understanding and tolerance, co-operation and effort, good opportunities and planning, finance and well-allocated time will assure success.

Have a try, mate!

A Settler

Picture1

(a,b) Adapted from “Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development” book, select “Publications” at http://authenticityconsulting.com/.

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