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Cultural Competence in Business Careers: Valuing Diversity Essay

Business professionals have a special task in understanding diversity and communicating effectively with members of different groups. Types of diversity that need to be focused on both on a personal level and in working environments include ethnicity, gender, and culture. Stereotypes need to be unwound and truth found in the individuals that a manager of other business professional must deal with. Understanding that perpetuating stereotypes is unhealthy and setting a positive standard of interaction and communication is key.

Workplaces can become explosive environments when concerns surrounding difference are not properly addressed. Discrimination can ruin individual lives and wreak havoc for businesses. The act of dealing with discrimination and implementing it’s opposite, understanding, can only happen when there is clear and consistent communication between managers and other leaders in business and their subordinates. The initial phase in developing a healthy workplace is the personal understanding of a manager’s own place in the community and in their career.

While a manager may be a minority with power in their organization, they may come in conflict with the opposite scenario in their community. These power issues are important to understand, as power can be abused and employees should not bear the brunt of any personal

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issues on the part of a manager, who has not learned to deal with his or her power struggles. Similarly, managers may be of the majority group (white, male) and his position may be envied or distrusted by his those whom he manages.

Without communication of these issues, there will only be misunderstandings as different groups cannot understand why others behave in such a manner. Looking to one’s own prejudices as a manager is important, as is looking at the possibility that others may be prejudice toward them. Instead of becoming defensive or feeling the need to defy stereotypes, a manager must be proactive and begin communicating with their employees to divert any possible discrimination on the part of all parties.

Having diversity awareness training is one way to facilitate communication, although a manager or other professional may be able to assert the need for understanding without the formality of a class. The smaller the organization, the easier it is to take a more laid back and comfortable approach to helping others understand how discrimination and ethnocentrism effects those around them. However if the organization is large it may be impossible to be informal and formal classes may need to be implemented. It may be uncomfortable when these type of subjects, gender, culture, ethnicity, etc…

, are discussed, but it will open the door for future informal and comfortable communication. Whatever method is used to implement the facilitation of communication within one’s employee base, it is wise to always be open to dealing with these issues and to stay on the current trends in workplace ethics and employee relations. Managers have many responsibilities in their various roles in the business world. But, one of the most important skills that a manager must possess is understanding of others and of him or herself.

Communication is the currency by which good businesses thrive, without understanding of others, communication would be limited and business success would be threatened. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance for managers or other business professionals to implement a facilitation of understanding diversity and the effects of ignoring this. Whether formally or informally, a manager must make the decision to divert discrimination and encourage empathy. References Diller, Jerry V. (2007). Cultural Diversity: A Primer for the Human Services 3rd Ed. Brooks/Cole.

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