Communication problems can occur in any type of organizational setting. People misunderstand each other for a wide variety of reasons, and these misunderstandings can occur between people who are culturally similar as well as those who are different. However, there are some unique issues to consider when people from different cultural backgrounds come together. Specifically, there are three problems that commonly occur. I refer to these problems as the Barriers to Effective Multicultural Communication and they include stereotyping, a lack of understanding and judgmental attitudes. I will discuss these barriers in my next 3 posts and I will describe steps we can take to reduce each barrier and improve the communication process.
Next Post: March 2, 2014 – The Barriers to Effective Multicultural Communication #1: Stereotyping
Over the past several months, I have proffered 15 tips you can use to create inclusive organizational environments. To summarize and for easy reference, I have listed these tips below with a hyperlink to each blog post:
Next Post: February 24, 2014 – The 3 Barriers to Effective Multicultural Communication
Facilitate a cultural audit and make changes as needed. A cultural audit evaluates your organization’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to diversity practices related to recruitment, selection, retention, training, performance management, customer service, compensation and the use of outside vendors. For example, an audit might pose questions such as:
Hold a series of town hall meetings. These meetings, which are open to all organizational members, provide a forum for discussing topics of common interest (e.g., diversity issues). The goal of these meetings is to build a stronger community through the open exchange of information and ideas. Town hall meetings offer several benefits including improved organizational communication, enhanced decision-making regarding diversity efforts, a greater sense of ownership and involvement on part of employees/community members, and reduced confusion and miscommunication regarding diversity goals and activities.
Next Post: February 10, 2014 – Creating a Climate for Diversity: Tip #15
Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes is an author, speaker, coach and consultant. He helps his clients develop the skills needed to communicate, resolve conflict, solve problems and improve performance in diverse organizational settings.