Happier Way Original –
A common phrase we hear all the time is “it’s a small world.” And truly, it is! In the era of zoom conferences across time zones, knowledge sharing and information dissemination taking place across vast geographical areas in what seems like no time at all, new and improved modes of communication enabling collaboration across continents in real-time– the world is effectively made smaller! What does that mean for organizations that focus on gathering resources and generating impact worldwide? A multicultural work environment!
Multiculturalism and diversity at the workplace are not new phenomena, however larger sensitization and the removal of outdated communicational barricades have enabled even more diversity. This promptly calls for smooth and respectful multicultural collaboration at the workplace.
Given the immense amount of diversity at work and the differences in culture leading to differences in opinions, values, priorities, multicultural collaboration can seem daunting at first! But don’t panic, here are some tips to ensure respectful, inclusive, and productive multicultural collaboration:
- Make Sure Everyone Is Heard:
One of the keys to an inclusive conversation is to encourage everyone to express their opinions and discuss their diverse points of view. This has two functions: firstly, it removes assumptions and stereotypes that are pre-existing by directly putting all opinions on the table as opposed to letting these pre-existing notions rule the discussion. Secondly, it levels the playing field as all stakeholders are welcome to contribute, this already establishes that no one voice is greater than the others.
- Create Leadership Opportunities for Minorities:
Often it may be the case that groups that do not have historical representation in powerful conversations are already disadvantaged in terms of their access to leadership roles. This means that you will have to actively create leadership opportunities to provide a collaborative platform where discrimination is directly addressed and minorities are given their substantial rightful say in how the collaboration proceeds.
Diversity brings with itself a lack of common ground, this is a good thing for productivity and brainstorming that culminated in creative, out-of-the-box, and unique outcomes! To allow for such outcomes to happen in the first place, every position and opinion must be treated with empathy. When we don’t have common ground with another person, we are often unable to relate with them since we are unable to understand where they are coming from. This can be changed by actively practicing empathy. If we make empathy a part of the conversation, then collaboration can be more inclusive and our knowledge about other cultures can also be enhanced!
Multicultural collaboration is the need of the hour in workplaces that rely on multitudes of cultures, races, ethnicities in the organizational framework to make goals turn into reality! In such global organizations facilitating multicultural collaboration can lead to greater productivity, more inclusive employee experiences, and a better world at large!