With roughly 1 in 4 individuals within Houston being foreign born, there’s likely to be cultural diversity issues within the workplace. For instance, there is a cowboy culture within Houston that is very unique. These cowboys tend to value hard work, which translates into waking up early and staying up late. Now what do you think would happen if someone from the cowboy culture happened to meet a millennial in the workplace?
It’s likely that they’ll have differences in opinions about hours in the workplace. Millennials are all about efficiency and flexibility. They tend to think that the work day ends once their work is finished, even if they had only been in the office for 2 hours. As a result, this can be a cause for conflict.
At ActionCoach, we emphasize teamwork, compassion, and cooperation within our culture. With the franchise being in well over 48 countries, we draw from the diverse backgrounds of those we work with in order to positively impact the world.
So how can you use the cultural diversity within your business to help you? You can start with DISC, a simple question and answer communication tool. You can use it to bridge the differences in culture and communicate effectively. Here’s a quick run-through of how DISC is reflected in different cultures…
DISC and Cultural Diversity
High Dominant Cultures
Northern Germany and South Africa tend to have high D characteristics. They take charge and want things done their way. They tend to strive for excellence, can be impatient, and are very competitive (strive to be #1).
So you, make sure that you’re as efficient and concise as possible because you do not want to waste the time of a high D. If you’re leading a high D, show them how they can win and let them take charge. If you’re working with a high D, listen to what they want to accomplish and help them reach that goal.
High Influence Cultures
High I’s tends to be from in Italy and Ireland. Both cultures have been noted as being emotional and wearing their hearts on their sleeve. Irish people are known for their expressive storytelling and deep connections within their community/neighborhood. While Italians tend to be known for their excellence and creativity in performance arts, fashion, and hospitality fields.
So you, compliment them and show them that you’re interested in what they have to say. If you’re leading a high I, listen to their goals/dreams and allow them to apply their creativity to tasks to make them entertaining. If you’re working with a high I, be supportive of their feelings and match their level of energy.
High Steady Cultures
Poland and Spain tend to have high S’s characteristics. In the history of both cultures, it is shown that they found ways to move forward and get along with the introduction of foreign elements. Polish individuals tend to be known for friendliness and for being hard workers. While Spaniards have a distinct culture that emphasizes family connection (i.e. – siestas).
So you, be sincere in acknowledging their efforts and create a cooperative team environment. If you’re leading a high S, listen to their concerns and provide assurances or ways to work through changes. If you’re working with a high S, be cooperative and pay attention to how things affect them because S’s tend to keep quiet when they’re offended.
High Conscientious Cultures
High C’s tend to be from Sweden and Switzerland. They tend to be methodical in their reasoning and keep their thoughts/feelings to themselves. Also, they tend to be more formal/reserved, reflective, and inventive.
So you, give them details because they want to know the why’s and how’s behind decisions. If you are leading a high C, allow them to work alone and listen to their reasoning/concerns. If you are working with a high C, talk to them about the facts and thoroughly explain your reasoning.
Remember, this is not meant to generalize how people behave. It’s just a step to help you bridge communication differences. Cultural diversity doesn’t have to be a problem within your business if you’re taking this first step in understanding others. It’s just like Brad Sugars says, “True communication is the response you get.”