Top performing businesses and organizations know that the demands of global commerce require mature diversity management skills. Customers and co-workers come from a variety of backgrounds, and their customs, thinking, behavior, values, and communication styles vary accordingly. Our cultural understanding and literacy, along with our assumptions about business etiquette are being challenged by major demographic shifts that bring us face to face with new people and unfamiliar ideas. Successfully navigating the ever-evolving workforce and marketplace requires effective and respectful communication between people with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
No matter how well we attempt to understand each other, we are increasingly finding that communication is hard. Within the workplace we are often surprised at how differently people approach their jobs. Unfamiliarity with cultural communication styles can lead to misinterpretation, misunderstanding and even unintentional insult.
This densely packed Guide is the easy-to-use resource that identifies areas of key differences and subtle distinctions among cultural communities which, when unknown, may compromise trust and cooperation. We highlight communication tendencies observable among many U.S. cultural groups as a tool for fostering cross-cultural interactions that are comfortable, meaningful and inclusive.