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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