How To Effectively Communicate In A Culturally Diverse World

January 27, 2022

How To Effectively Communicate In A Culturally Diverse World

Communication is not only the way we talk to each other, but rather it also entails the way we make interpretations, create assumptions and form decisions. However, this is greatly dependent on our upbringing. As workplaces are rapidly becoming vast and businesses are expanding to include numerous cultures and various geographic locations, it is important to learn to effectively communicate with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

A productive workforce is one that supports diversity along with balancing the pressures of management, time and cost. It is up to the leader or management team to create an environment that implements the necessary communication tactics in a culturally diverse organization.

Fortunately, there are many resources available that can help you understand the basics of dealing with a culturally diverse crowd. Mediation Services offers several courses that can help to build a respectful workplace and improve team resilience.

Why Is There A Need To Effectively Communicate?

Cultural diversity and conflict are universal realities. Hence, understanding how to deal with a culturally diverse crowd will increase the success in your workplace and your relationships. As a leader or a manager, it is important to recognize the cultural elements in conflict and gain a framework for working in cross-cultural settings.

Our environments are becoming increasingly diverse. This makes our workplaces interesting but also contributes towards increased tensions. The main reason behind this is diverse interpretations and world views. Many employees don’t really understand how to interpret certain gestures and ways of communication, since communication norms greatly vary across cultures.

Hence, over the years, cultural sensitivity has become an essential trait for maintaining a healthy, productive and respectful workplace.

If you are unsure regarding the approach you should follow when it comes to examining the dynamics and complexity of culture in a workplace, you can always enrol in one of our courses or contact us for more information.

What We Believe In

At Mediation Services, there are a few set beliefs that we follow. These beliefs form the basis of how we approach communication in an environment with cultural diversity. These are:

  • No culture is superior to another culture.
  • No culture or group is perfect.
  • We perceive and interpret actions and behaviours differently. Our perception is selective and relative.
  • We communicate all the time, whether we are intending to or not.
  • Pure 100% accurate communication is not possible.
  • Every interaction is intercultural communication.
  • Self-awareness, that is, knowing and articulating one’s cultural factors and identity, is essential and the starting place for understanding and learning cross-cultural communication.
  • Culture is extremely complex and a person’s individual cultural identity, as well as the group identity, is dynamic. It changes or evolves over time.
  • Cultural factors interact within an individual and the group.
  • Cultural evolution is happening continuously.

The Onion Metaphor for Culture

Culture is visualized using many methods. However, one of the most popular models is the onion model. It shows how culture has several layers. The onion model has further interpretations but the simplest one consists of five key layers.

  1. The outer layer represents politics, economy, environment, ecology and climate.
  2. The next layer is ways of earning a living and the way members of the culture spend their leisure time.
  3. The third layer is social structures such as family, work, religion and class.
  4. The fourth layer entails language of communication.
  5. In the centre of the onion are the underlying values and cultural assumptions which influence all of the other layers.

Foundation Of Culture

To analyze and effectively communicate in a culturally diverse environment, it is important to understand the foundations of culture. Some of the foundations that we work with include:

  • Culture is learned
  • Culture is shared
  • Culture is individual
  • Culture changes continuously
  • Culture is relative
  • Culture is contextual
  • Culture is visible and invisible

Learning to Effectively Communicate In A Culturally Diverse Environment

To effectively communicate with people from other cultures, the first thing you have to do is become culturally self-aware. This includes defining who you are and analyzing how others see you. After this, you have to define what is your cultural composition, and how you self identify.

At Mediation Services, our cultural diversity, communication and conflict course entails all these activities to help you adapt to cultural diversity.

About Us

Mediation Services in Winnipeg offers training programs to help you learn mediation and leadership skills. We conduct online zoom and asynchronous webinars for different issues. Such modules will help you to improve your communication and solve family, workplace, or personal conflicts. To check out our training courses, visit this link here or contact us for further assistance.


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