The 7 Don’ts of Multicultural Communication #4 – DON’T Assume a Culturally Different Person is Typical of All the Members of His or Her Cultural Group
A common byproduct of stereotyping is the tendency to think the behavior of one group member is typical of all group members and to only see in those group members what we expect to see. This has the potential to create many communication problems and unfortunately, often occurs without conscious thought (that’s the biggest problem with stereotyping - it happens without our recognition). Therefore, always strive to treat people as individuals and get to know your colleagues on an individual basis. Once again, decategorization (the conscious, cognitive process of reminding yourself to avoid assumptions by intentionally focusing on the unique nature of every individual) can be very helpful. Click here for more information on the decategorization process.
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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.