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Challenges to Expect in a Multicultural Environment

Updated on August 29, 2013

Multicultural Environment: the Emerging Reality in the Current World

The global village we are living in as the representing civilization of 21st century does not allow physical distances of different parts of the world to be staying apart from others. In one way the so called chauvinistic nationalism finding its way through extinction, the other way people are having more access to different countries under diverse cultural umbrella. You like it or not, it has been a demand of time to acclimatize yourself to the changing trends leading to the ultimate fusion of multicultural environment.


Challenges to Brace for in a Multicultural Environment


Under the sky of a diverse culture an individual or an institute face certain challenges in carrying on a successful communication, building trust, developing relationship or mutual understanding with others. The challenges that we all encounter might appear in a dual nature: one relates to the personal traits or ability of an individual while the other, more elaborated one, correlates to the cultural dimensions influencing the living style and behaviorism of the individual. The most striking challenges of both two natures are as follow:


  1. Bridging between Communication Gaps: this is probably the most crucial one in developing relationship and establishing trust in a multicultural environment. In a successful communication both the verbal language skill and the non-verbal signs, expressions, gestures or body language matter to a great extent. In verbal communication skill, it is very likely that a non- native user of a language will find troubles in understanding the accent, pronunciation, dialect, idiomatic expressions and some social languages of the native users. Again, communication through the non-verbal channels like certain body movements may vary from culture to culture and thus paving way to misinterpretation of an expression carrying a message.
  2. Understanding Personality Traits: every individual can be identified with one or more personality traits that they are motivated by in each of their actions. Even in a same cultural exposure, people may differ from each other with their personality traits understanding which will be very important in approaching them. People around you might be introvert, extrovert, ambivert, altruist or even egoist; and you can not think of treating each and everybody in the same manner as long as you want a success in managing them.
  3. Understanding Cultural Dimensions: we can leave behind the soil we brought up in, the air we breathed in, the people we know by our souls and the community we had been exposed to, but while crossing the borders, cultural identities are the things we can never ever abandon. One must understand the various cultural dimensions as a must thing to ensure success in a diverse culture. Cultural dimensions as illustrated by Geert Hofstede may prove efficacious in understanding cultures that differ on the dimensions of individualism versus collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and achievement versus quality of life orientations. Fons Trompenaars’ model of cultural dimensions illustrating universalism versus particularism, achievement versus ascription, affective versus neutral may also of great help in determining challenges in a multicultural environment.


Opportunities to Develop Relationship in a Multicultural Environment


Though there are many challenges in pursuing success in a diverse culture, you have your chances too. There are lots of opportunities you may find to develop relationship with your fellows from another culture; all you need to do is to just pick them. First thing is of course, your personal assessment of you: know your personality traits, cultural components mattering your behavior and make a balance between these things to stay simple, approach honestly, welcome others in your arena warmly and to show positive attitude toward other cultures in a friendly manner.


Atique

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