Communicating And Cultural Diversity
Diversity is a normal occurrence in today workforce. In today’s work place, there are more women, more minorities, and more physically disabled people are entering the work force. As a result, the workplace has cultural differences. According to the textbook Communicating Effectively, “cultural difference, in the broadest sense, include not just obvious difference among people from other countries, but also differences based on income, regional origins, dress code and grooming standards music preferences, and political affiliation. An understanding of cultural difference may not only facilitate communication, but it can also avoid potentially embarrassing or even insulting situations.” (Hybels & Weaver, 2007, p. 222) Employer in look for prospective employee who exhibit ample communication and interpersonal and can be a part of a teams. Due to the variety of cultures in the work forces, good communication and interpersonal skills are critical to a successful business.
Culture, as defined in textbook ‘Communicating Effectively’, is the ever- changing values, traditions, social and political relationships, and worldviews created and shared by a group of people bound together by a combination of factor.” (Hybels & Weaver, 2007, p. G-3) Although people share the work environment culture with their co-workers, they rarely share their identifiable culture with their co- workers. “Employers take diversity seriously and are willing to invest in training to preserve it.” The challenge to today’s employer is to ensure that its work force’s diversity is a source of strength, not one of conflict. Recognize, however, that it is not the sole responsibility of the employer to see that goal achieved; all employees share in that responsibility. A dissimilar group can work together effectively on mutual goals and objectives through consensus and cooperation. Miscommunication is a major source of intercultural discomfort and conflict. Communication verbal, written, and nonverbal goes beyond what’s said, written, or expressed. The process of communicating differs among cultures its how it’s said (or written or expressed), when it’s said, and why it’s said. These things comprise one’s communication style. Miscommunication can result when an individual’s style of communicating differs from that of another person. In today’s workplace, anyone can bet that, at some point, they will deal with a co-worker whose communication style differs from others. Learning how to communicate among cultures is a necessary ability no matter what type of career field anyone enter. We should keep in mind that when someone is unfamiliar with another culture, or when someone don’t recognize that there’s no “one way” of doing things, it’s easy to jump to the wrong conclusions or create a conflict through misunderstanding.
By recognizing that there are different styles, you’ll take a big step toward effective communication. This report is about the relationship effective communication with culturally diverse workforce. It outlines the theoretical framework that addresses the role of business communication in a global and diversified community. When there is high diversity in the workforce, there are people from many ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and their languages, religions and entire social background are different. To better address such diversity we need a standardized communication policy, where all employees, regardless of their background, can communicate better.
Multicultural teams often generate frustrating management dilemmas. Cultural differences can create substantial obstacles to effective teamwork; but these may be subtle and difficult to recognize until significant damage has already been done. People tend to assume that challenges on multicultural teams arise from differing styles of communication. But this is only one of the four categories that, according to our research, can create barriers to a team’s ultimate success. These categories are direct versus indirect communication; trouble with accents and fluency; differing attitudes toward hierarchy and authority; and conflicting norms for decision making.
The purpose of our project is to raise awareness and draw a clearer picture of cultural diversity. Appreciation and understanding of cultural diversity means not just tolerating differences among individuals or groups, but supporting and nurturing them. A variety of ideas, talents, skills and knowledge is a desirable attribute to any youth or family coalition.
Providing a supporting and nurturing environment enhances other goals of the coalition by exposing group members to new issues, ideas, information and cultures. Diversity creates opportunities for character development by teaching tolerance and respect for people and by encouraging concern for equity. A culturally- diverse coalition that values and nurtures people from all backgrounds is worthy of active participation. Such an organization will flourish and perpetuate. Managing diversity is at the core of leadership today requiring a continuously adaptable and fluid approach. For companies with global ambitions, success today stems from successful joint ventures and alliances. But while it is a simple matter to draw lines across the globe in the manner of the nineteenth century colonial powers and to devise an Atlas, there is no guarantee that such alliances will thrive or even endure. Experiencing diversity is a common component of a quality educational experience; to achieve excellence it is also imperative to achieve diversity”. The development of genuinely transnational business organizations, therefore, requires managerial approaches and systems which allow for variations deriving from such diversity. This might be “national” cultural diversity between nations, races or ethnic groups (in a two-nation joint-venture), intra-national diversity involving the range of cultures within a single nation or internal cultural diversity where managers need to deal with foreign-owned transnational companies in their own country. All this is well known, and there is indeed burgeoning literature on the management of cultural diversity. But the problems go deeper than is often appreciated: it is not simply a matter of minding manners or learning to deal with varying attitudes to punctuality. These are the surface manifestations of much deeper differences in mental structures. For while business is already global, management remains culture-bound. The management of diversity can be considered a response to the need to recognize, respect and capitalize on the different backgrounds in our society in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender. Different cultural groups have different values, styles, and personalities, each of which may have a substantial effect on the way they do business. Rather than punishing or stifling these different management styles because they do not conform to the traditional white (male) management methods, employers should recognize these differences as benefits. Not only can diverse management styles achieve the same results as traditional methods, but a diverse workforce can also help improve the company’s competitive position in the marketplace. Diversity, or sensitivity, training is now common place in the corporate world. However, small businesses need to be aware of these issues just as well.
The way forward includes cultural training, which is essential to avoid potential conflict, and to improve the disastrous failure rate of joint-ventures in the recent past. In fact, most firms with global ambitions now provide cross-cultural training in order to create genuinely international managers. This sometimes involves in-house training, also provided by consultants and business schools. Yet much of this training deals with the traditional, superficial problems without seeking to explore the deep causes of underlying cultural differences. Another problem is that much of the research and background material is rapidly out-dated as the pace of change accelerates.
Characteristics of the workforce are changing. Organizations are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity and nationality. There are now around 6 billion people on the earth, with most of the existing population and future population growth being in Asia. The populations of many western industrialized countries are growing more slowly than in the past, or than many developing countries. There is increased numbers of immigrants moving into Europe and America from developing countries, which leads to societal tensions. The potential costs and concerns are higher levels of organizational conflict, turnover, communication difficulties, and specific or discriminatory laws and regulations. However, the potential benefits are the higher chances of employing diverse skills, experiences and outlooks, more successful marketing strategies for different types of customers, improved decision making, and greater creativity and innovation. According to the roles that a manager has to play and depending on the cultural background of the employees, a manager needs to be able to perform many roles. For instance, while performing on the interpersonal roles in Mexico, machismo is important. However, in Asia, the South Asian and Latin America managers need to be warm and personal. In Germany, a manager must be decisive and have breadth of knowledge, while in China; he should be visiting all workers periodically, asking them about health and morale. In the US and Canada, employees discuss and may present recommendations to their managers.
Next, when decisional roles are considered, in France, Germany, Bangladesh, and Italy, managers believe that rigid controls and strict obedience to authority are needed to obtain high job performance. However, in the USA and Canada, managers learn to involve employees in decision making (participation). In playing informational roles, Japanese employees are company-orientated, so tend to be better informed. American employees are job-orientated and accept criticism as valuable performance feedback. In Latin America, employees are individual-orientated, striving for personal power. Relationships and loyalties are important here. Managers gather information from and work with individual members of a group. In Greece, teams work well only when a strong leader is available to set goals and settle conflicts and the leader often acts as a spokesperson and transmits information to others.
From the above examples, it is clear that organizational effectiveness depends in part on the effective managing of cultural diversity, which has become a significant challenge for organizations. A culturally diverse workforce raises several challenges to an organization, for which there is no easy answer. Acculturation processes are usually behind the success of a culturally diverse organization. This refers to methods by which cultural difference between a dominant culture and minority or sub-cultures are resolved and managed. REFERENCES
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Valuing Diversity- Part 111: Communicating Across Cultures. Copeland Griggs Productions, San Francisco, California.Order Now