From Billy Vaughn, PhD
Editor-in-Chief Diversity Officer Magazine.com
What are three examples of cultural collisions in the workplace?
Studies show that cultural diversity leads to increased innovation, competitiveness, and impact on the bottom line. However, harnessing that diversity is the key. One of the challenges is that cultural collisions increase as cultural diversity increases. This is one reason that cultural sensitivity training is so popular. What are some common cultural collisions you have experienced, witnessed or heard about?
Good day to you Billy!
Our experience is that there are many very visible cultural collisions. Yet the most dangerous are those that run below the level of consciousness. These emanate from deep programming and affect the decisions that we make in terms of who to work with, talk to, confide in and select.
The visible results of these decisions often emanate in cultural them and us collisions. You always choose “them”, and never “us.” (This is not always cultural – in fact it is often other areas of diversity – be they gender, personality, communication style, history, experience, level, education, age etc.)
It is at this point that all the normal signs show up – backstabbing, gossiping, negativity, clashes and arguing. It is then that personalities clash and work styles just seem so incompatible.
And this is where transformational team building plays a huge role in building diversity intelligence, as a component of emotional intelligence.