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Hints for Multicultural Managers

Pierre Casse’s Recommendations for Multicultural Managers

Culture provides people with a meaningful context in which to meet, to think about themselves and face the world. This bring challenges for managers working in a multicultural organisation.

Here are some recommendations from Pierre Casse:

  • Be aware of your own culture and its limitations. Know that every behaviour is influenced by some basic cultural assumptions, values and beliefs.

  • Respect the other culture. Tolerance is a necessity for effective cross-cultural interactions.

  • Listen, observe and learn from interactions. Each situation is different and requires adaptation. Listening and observing our's as well as the other’s behaviour is very useful.

  • Practise empathy. People prefer to associate with those who give the impression that they understand things from their point of view.

  • Avoid stereotypes. Generalisations lead to misinterpretations and ineffectiveness.

  • Avoid attributions. Explaining others’ behaviour using our own frame of reference leads to misunderstandings and communication breakdown.

  • Tolerate ambiguity. Tolerance of ambiguity helps you cope with the unavoidable stress of the intercultural setting.

  • Be persistent. Fleeing and withdrawing may be justifiable in the short term but in the long run can create problems and deadlocks. We have to be patient.

  • Source: Pierre Casse: Training for the Multicultural Manager.

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