Accommodating cultural diversity

Taboo topics of conversation, biases in spiritual, political or social issues and the nuances of life experience differ between cultures, making it a challenge for co-workers to find a common ground when communicating.

Conflict management styles vary dramatically by culture as well, creating possible tensions.

This positive identification creates a basis for the development of effective communication and instructional strategies.

Social skills such as respect and cross-cultural understanding can be modeled, taught, prompted, and reinforced by the teacher. Interviews with African-American high school students who presented behavior challenges for staff revealed that they wanted their teachers to discover what their lives were like outside of school and that they wanted an opportunity to partake in the school's reward systems.

Many of these behaviors and strategies exemplify standard practices of good teaching, and others are specific to working with students from diverse cultures.

A number of these behaviors and strategies are listed below.

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A diversity calendar is a helpful tool to ensure meetings are successful, and deadlines are met.Imagine an employee from the Netherlands, where people see arguments as a constructive and necessary part of communication, trying to solve a problem with an employee from Japan, where public disagreement is deeply offensive, and you'll begin to grasp the types of problems that can arise due to cultural differences.In the past, it may have been commonplace for entrepreneurs and corporate managers to develop their own unique communication style for dealing with customers, business partners and suppliers.The more different cultures work together, the more cultural competency training is essential to avoid problems.Cultural problems can range from miscommunication to actual conflict, all endangering effective worker productivity and performance.

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