Communication is the basis of society’s existence. Society is not only made up of individuals, but also to the greatest extent depends on the interaction of these individuals – communication. That is a valid part of every organization, especially if many cultures are merging together. Then it is important to figure out how to implement positive intercultural communication in the workplace.
The bigger the company gets, the more employees it has. Therefore it is no wonder that in today’s day and age cultures are merging together more often. Each and every company holds the responsibility to provide free and open communication to every employee.
In this article find out more on how to provide your company with positive intercultural communication in the workplace.
Finding a golden middle ground
Today, it is important to be ready to understand the perspectives of all cultures in the ever-changing reality of the world. You have to learn how to do so without judging them from a momentary division into economically successful or unsuccessful.
When starting the path to learning other cultures, one must be ready to abandon stereotypes and realize that it will not be just a technical language learning. Intercultural communication allows you to get to know each other and mutually respect differences, finding a golden middle.
Cultures have always borrowed a lot from one another, so we cannot speak of a pure “Eastern” or “Western” culture. The most important thing is to be positive in your intercultural communication in the workplace.
Learn more in the article Communication in workplace.
Intercultural communication tips
Intercultural communication is not always easy, yet has to be done effectively. Here are some tips that can be useful for both sides.
1. Do not hesitate to observe
In order to better understand the norms of different cultures, it is usually recommended to observe the representatives of these cultures. It means to observe their behavior and traditions.
However, it is also worth observing “your own”, including in contact with representatives of other cultures. It is even a good idea to observe your colleagues as well, following what seems to be successful.
But the most valuable thing is to notice the mistakes. Error analysis is important, which is the most important step before a repeated “action”. Use other people’s observations as well.
2. Remember you’re being observed too
Remember that in the process of intercultural communication you are being observed. Notice words, gestures, as well as facial expressions and clothing. Others have developed a certain pattern of what they expect from you. Your actions may match and may be the exact opposite of these expectations.
For example, during an observation in one of the public institutions that serve third-country clients, its employees are dressed more than provocatively. It is neither an office nor a more casual style of dressing. What is observed there can claim to be a high fashion spectacle. In the interviews with the employees, it became clear that the dress code had been developed.
3. Fight stereotypes
Academic literature says that we often lose the “battle with stereotypes in ourselves”. Stereotypes make life easier and simplify the perception of the world. The theories describe how the fight against stereotypes should take place.
The best way is to get as much knowledge and information as possible. Then you can also find out that, contrary to popular beliefs, not all Italians are communicative, open and love small children, or that not all Germans like order.
The preconceived, black-and-white perception of the world begins to dissolve when real communication with real people takes place. At the same time, it cannot be denied that cultural norms exist and influence people’s perception and behavior. This applies not only to stereotypes about a group of people belonging to another culture, but also about one’s own group.
In conclusion, there are many ways to create positive intercultural communication in the workplace. All you have to do is be open minded and do not judge people before meeting them based on what you think you know.
Check out some of our other articles on organizational culture – Why is onboarding important and How to improve onboarding process.