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Misunderstandings In Culturally Diverse Workplaces Essay

1205 words - 5 pages

This essay will explain issues that occur in culturally diverse workplaces and describe how personal conceptions may contribute to misunderstandings when working with others in culturally diverse workplaces. This essay will also discuss the impact of cultural differences when conflict occurs and it will give suggestions on how to resolve and manage this conflict. An explanation of who to discuss the conflict with in a work environment will also be discussed in this essay. The issues that arise in a culturally diverse workplace need to be known and identified by counsellors to ensure they are aware of any obstacle forming.

Cross-cultural conflict can arise from a range of issues. These issues include language barriers, customs, roles and status, differences in non-verbal behaviour, personal space, appearance, gender, religion and responses to authority (Open Colleges, 2012, p.47-49). While working as a professional in a multi-cultural country it is important for counsellors to understand the influence these issues can have on relationships in the workplace with both clients and colleagues. Fontes states, when the client and counsellor come from different cultures, obtaining correct basic demographic information can be challenging due to atypical family configurations, facts that have been lost or changed in the process of immigration and lying (2008, p.282). These issues may be overcome with honesty and confidence once the counsellor and client have strong rapport. It is important for counsellors to understand their own cultural concepts and how they may contribute to conflict when working with others. As a young female, I understand that in many cultures I would be recognised as incompetent and unhelpful. However, by using learned micro-skills and showing professionalism, maturity, empathy and understanding it would be possible to begin building a positive and trusting relationship, which I believe is the key to successfully working with clients from another culture. I understand that in order to ensure a positive relationship with cross cultural clients I need to recognize their behaviours, attitudes, beliefs and status differences. To begin building rapport I need to be open-minded and match their behaviour, appreciate and embrace our cultural differences, adapt to accommodate the needs of their culture, do not assume they are what their culture is -respect the client as a person and understand them fully and have patience with their responses and ways of interacting. By understanding my own pre-conceptions about other cultures I am able to positively contribute to misunderstandings when working with others. When conflict occurs in a culturally diverse workplace the cultural differences of persons involved will impact on the outcome of the situation. If a counsellor is unable to avoid conflict then it is important to address and resolve it.

As professionals, counsellors need to recognize when conflict has occurred and determine how to...

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