How to make them work
Availing of conflict mitigation training to employees will work a long way in checking the occurrence of the same in the workplace. Employees will gain insight in effective handling of different opinions, styles and views. All workplaces contain individuals of diverse cultural backgrounds regarding issues like music, ethics, race and religion. Individual’s actions and behavior on issues like communication, approach to conflicts, attitudes to task completion and decision-making modes differ. Cultural differences result in differentials in concept of time and managerial skills.
These issues may have adverse effect on workplace environment and productivity. Music may accelerate or slow down productivity. In instances where employees insist that they work better when they have their favorite music playing in the background, laziness and excessive joking can result. Some employees may take undue advantage of the situation to laze around while others may positively utilize the opportunity to heighten productivity. The genre of music playing could be a major cause of conflict as everybody ahs their favorite types of music.
Individuals need to reach consensus at to what mutual music they wish to listen to (Allen, et al, 2002, 16). Some employees may be strict religious adherents while other may be less rigid. Strict religionists should check to ensue that they don’t preach their beliefs to everyone in the firm as this offends people of other religions and those who aren’t religious. Workmates may find it hard to reject a colleague’s preaching because after all they are talking about their God. This generates an uneasy scenario.
Religious workmates may perceive their colleagues’ politeness as an invitation to continue their preaching activities. It would thus be prudent to leave religion out of workplace discussions as it breeds a lot of tension. Cultural differences don’t necessarily result in problems; rather the associated subtle depictions could result to communication hindrances. Cultural awareness aids in maximization of performance potentials in firms. Training on cultural awareness assists multicultural workforces identify the problem and design appropriate modes of thrashing out their differences.
Augmenting ones cultural knowledge base by learning about other cultures through the internet or in books is one way of developing cultural awareness. Persons ought to avoid the generalization trap most prevalent in databases on other cultures’ information and view other people as individuals. Individuals ought to utilize information they obtain relevant to the cultural environment at work. Associated benefits and further learning will follow after this. Workmates need to be open-minded and shun entertaining assumptions regarding their colleagues.
This will enable avoidance of the idea that a particular approach is wrong and the other right. The blame game should be avoided after negative occurrences. One ought to apply cultural awareness in assessing what cultural dynamics contributed to a problem and implement solution strategies as a base for future reactions (Pammer, Killian, 2003, 45). Cultural awareness also encompasses active listening. Individuals should strive to pay attention to others words, mode of expressions, prevailing context as well as grasp any subtle meanings.
Workmates who are culturally aware relay knowledge to their colleagues in their multicultural workplaces. This assists in building skills in the team members. Diversity signifies strength when it comes to problem-solving as holistic solutions are derived by culturally-diverse problem-solving groups. With diversity, conflict resolution is approached from a broad range of perspectives with the resultant generation of more innovative remedies. The intellectual input of every involved party allows a holistic resolution whereby various cultures and styles are considered.
Recognition that ones gender, ethnicity, race and sexual orientation influence their self-perception assists in catering for every individuals need. The uniqueness of every party is put into consideration (Hanlan, 2004, p. 76). It is clearly evident that approaches to diversity in the workplace need to change with the dynamic world to better understand differences and emphasize commonalities in the process of conflict resolution. This will foster peer learning among employees, accordance of dignity and respect to all and capitalize on the merits of diversity in perspectives.
Allen, M. , et al, (2002). Interpersonal communication research: advance through metaphysics. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Mahwah- New Jersey; pp. 16, 49. Hanlan, M. (2004). High performance teams: How to make them work. Praeger, Westport- CT. Pp. 32, 76. Neck, C. P. , Smith, W. J. , Godwin, J. L. (1997). Thought self-leadership: A self-regulatory approach to diversity management. Journal of Managerial Psychology. Pp. 190-203. Pammer, W. J. , Killian, J. (2003). Handbook of conflict management. New York: Marcel Dekker; pp. 22, 45.