Accomodating cultural diversity

There are five communication styles that cover most cultures in the world. In direct communication, statements are made directly to the people involved.In indirect communication, communication is made through suggestion, implication, and other cues, and may be made within earshot or through a third party. Concrete communication assumes that issues will be better understood using stories, allegories, and examples. Abstract, on the other hand, uses theories, principles, and data. Intellectual engagement means that a disagreement is directly stated.

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It's assumed that the idea behind the disagreement is under attack, but not the relationship between those involved in the communication. Relational engagement involves being respectful of feelings and ideas. Americans tend to be linear, direct, detached, intellectually engaged, and concrete.

However, a lot of African, Pacific, and Asian cultures prefer circular, indirect, attached, and relationally engaged.

In France, the style is typically abstract, intellectually engaged, and detached.

In Spain and Latin America, it can be direct, linear, abstract, and relationally engaged.

In today's workplace, being culturally competent is critical not only to your success, but to the success of your organization, as well.

However, cultural competence is not something you can learn by passing a test or taking a class at work.

We'll examine what that means to you and your organization in this article.

As with a lot of words in the English language, the word culture has several definitions.

However, in the workplace, all the definitions of culture apply.

In essence, when in the workplace, we are blending the cultures of every individual and group to form the culture of the organization – and even the teams within the organization.

Your cultural baggage is like a suitcase that contains all your beliefs, values, biases, prejudices, and – in some cases – even your habits.

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