Diversity and Cross-cultural Issues Exist Everywhere
They exist in every aspect of our lives.
A culture clash of some sort occurs as soon as two people get together, since no two people, even family members, have the same internal world or the same view of the external world.
In the broadest sense, you 'cross' cultures with every person you come into contact with, whether they are the 'same' as you nor not.
Most of the time, people accommodate, sublimate or ignore these different 'cultures', because of common ground, shared goals and like interests.
When people concentrate on similarities, the differences are less noticeable, or at any rate, less important.
Once we get a certain amount of common ground, we can 'get along'.
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Difficulties usually arise when the differences appear to be all there is.
When you experience or imagine the differences as stumbling blocks.
Indeed, differences appear like rocks at low tide!
Obvious Ones Are
- Ethnic background
- Racial background
- Religious beliefs
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Culture in the Workplace
In the workplace, all these may be the cause of culture clashes, but you can then add differences in working practises and communication styles between departments, with clients, with other companies and between senior management and other people in the workforce.
When cultures clash, no matter what the cause, things inevitably evolve into a 'them' and 'us' environment.
What happens next is that people go around collecting 'evidence' to prove that they are right and the other guys are wrong.
There are many avenues to take that will help cultures 'get along' better.
A good place to start is identifying and concentrating on improved communication.
Follow that by fostering mutual respect, engendering co-operation and creating shared visions.
This will begin to produce the sort of 'we' environment where all kinds of cultures can work side by side to everyone's benefit.
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