Posted on July 28, 2020 at 5:24 PM
If you work for a company that has hired people from all over the world, you want to make sure those cultures feel seen, heard and appreciated at work. Sometimes that can be a challenge with different customs, traditions and norms in cultures. Here's a quick guide for you to show you how to best connect across different cultures in the workplace.
Be Open-Minded: This is the most important thing that you can do in order to connect across cultures in the workplace and improve your cross-cultural communication. Embrace the difference in ideas and different ways of doing things that people from other cultures bring to your workplace. Let them try it their way, open your mind and learn from them and you will be surprised at how many different ways there actually are of accomplishing goals in the workplace.
Facilitate Open, Meaningful Conversation: If you are confused or unsure about why someone from a different culture is doing something at work, be open and ask them! Create an open dialogue, show curiosity and ask them to show them their ways. Chances are they will have an interesting story to tell you about why they do things a certain way and it will expand your knowledge base and even inspire you to get creative.
Be Open to Different Communication Styles: It goes without saying, but communication styles vary from culture to culture. Just because someone is not communicating the way you think they should be, does not mean they are not communicating. This goes hand in hand with keeping an open mind.
Awareness: You need to become culturally aware in order to best connect across cultures in the workplace. Realize that you may have biases and assumptions about the other cultures in your workplace but quash those by interacting with them and finding out the reason why behind why they do things the way they do. This will help you gain an understanding of their point of view instead of just bringing your own biases to the table. Remember that just because you may have worked with someone from Spain in the past and you really could not disagree more with their work style, doesn’t mean the new person in your office from Spain will be exactly like that. Give people the benefit of the doubt and give yourself the benefit of the doubt to actually get to know them and communicate appropriately with them.
Research: Thanks to Google, we have the ability to research an endless amount of topics at our fingertips. For the very best cross-cultural communication, do some research! Find out what the different cultural norms are in each country and you will have a much easier time communicating in the workplace across cultures. It will also be much appreciated that you took some time to do some proper research.
The hurdles when it comes to communicating at work can sometimes seem endless. When you add different cultures trying to communicate on top of that, it can be a real challenge. Just remember to keep an open mind and an open, honest conversation and we promise you that in no time your cross-cultural communication skills will improve and be thriving.