Different Minds, Different Cultures, Different Thoughts
Some years ago I managed a Purchasing and Materials Management department while working for a Swedish American global corporate company. The people working in my team came from Europe, Asia and Africa. There were several of us.
Naturally given our different cultures and nationalities we had different views and different perspectives. I initially thought this was counterproductive but then realised it was related to the opinions of different people from varied cultures.
Different Cultures Give Different Perspectives
I came to more appreciate with time that people are not necessarily right or wrong but we all need to understand the other person’s point of view and recognise that people have a different perspective and way of looking at things. Undoubtedly it is very important for a leader and a professional to realise and appreciate that.
Consequently people get along better when individual views and thoughts are respected, heard and recognised. You do not necessarily always agree but none the less you listen to that person and you hear what they have to say. You better appreciate their point of view.
Problems occur when negative people refuse to listen and never give people a chance to have a voice. I realised this fact a long time ago and it has served me well ever since.
Be grateful to others for their words, their wisdom, their passion, their thoughts and what makes them who they are. Sometimes it’s hard to understand some people but by attempting to, you are at least making an effort. Show understanding to people, look at things in different ways. You’ll better understand and respect other opinions.
Different Cultures May Have Different Views
When dealing with people from different cultures and nationalities there are also cultural views to take into account. Generally people from western countries like America and Europe are more extrovert while people from eastern Asia countries are more introvert. Sometimes it’s better to be a mixture of both worlds.
With varied cultures there are special characteristics and there is also the West V East culture and the different ways that peoples of the world do things. When you understand better and also respect these different cultures your already half way to achieving more harmony and understanding within your team.
The mindset of different cultures has to be respected. Some western cultures almost demand a fast decision when negotiating. However these days it is more generally appreciated and observed that it is better to firstly build rapport, get to know the other person / people much better and build trust.
Once you have established a foundation you can build on that and then the chance of success is greater.
Listening to others, especially with a third ear and employing body language while recognising any body language signals that you would might have otherwise missed is very important. In your professional capacity it is necessary to stay focused in order to achieve a positive result.
Having the right mindset from the beginning generally favours a successful outcome due to the time invested in planning for a more favourable result.
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