4 Steps to Cultural Understanding
Updated: Apr 24, 2021
1. Appreciation and understanding differences is a key first step. You have to come from a place of respect and acceptance of the culture. You are not renouncing your culture nor are you agreeing with everything in the others culture. You are trying to find the middle ground.
2. The path of empathy is where you venture outside your comfort zone and adapt your behavior where appropriate. You are putting yourself in the other persons shoes to discover reality from their viewpoint. Be curious, open, ready to learn, respectful with humility and ask good questions that will allow them to feel free to express their feelings and thoughts about your culture.
3. Assimilate your behavior and perspective. Assimilation comes with a price and requires you to do some major self-questioning, be willing to be misunderstood and judged by others from your culture and hold yourself to a higher standard of accountability. You are consciously raising your assumptions and become the creator of your own reality.
4. Blending the best of both cultures is creating synergy where the sum of the two cultures are greater when they are working together in unity. This requires both parties to be open to adapting and adjusting for the good of the group. It will take work from both parties to create a blended work culture that leverage the values that benefit all.