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Diversity and Effective Communication Across Cultures Presenter: Elizabeth Ortiz, Ed.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Diversity and Effective Communication Across Cultures Presenter: Elizabeth Ortiz, Ed.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Diversity and Effective Communication Across Cultures Presenter: Elizabeth Ortiz, Ed.D.

2 Defining Diversity Illusive – Difficult to define because diversity means different things to different people. – Ever evolving and expanding. – Open Inclusive definition. – No cookie cutter recipe. Copyright DePaul University

3 Dimensions of Diversity Copyright DePaul University Language Appearance Education Thinking Style Working Style Marital/ Dependent Status Geographic Location Gender Mental/Physical Ability Race Ethnicity Sexual Orientation National Origin Age Level Function Region Credentials Work Experience Service Line Tenure with the Firm Industry Special- ization Role in the Firm primary secondary organizational Adapted from Loden 1991 Workforce America Military Status Values Religion Class Diversity Dimensions

4 What does diversity mean to you? Copyright DePaul University

5 First Challenge – Know Yourself Copyright DePaul University Examine your own attitudes, values, and beliefs Know yourself and your own culture Acknowledge your own assumptions both positive and negative Confront Stereotypes Gender Exercise

6 Second Challenge – Seeing the world differently Realize everyone has his/her own cultural lens through which they frame their reality and view of the world. That view may be different than yours. No right or wrong just different. This differing interpretation may lead to conflict. Learn to grow and advance because of diversity not in spite of it. Don’t desire assimilation but strive for incorporation of differences. Copyright DePaul University

7 Third Challenge - Balancing Learn to recognize when our own perceptions interfere with our interactions and decision making. Do we only see one side? Are we stuck in hierarchy? Do we consider all perspectives? Do we think the other person has to change? Are we willing to change? Copyright DePaul University

8 Definition of Terms Cultural competence: A set of competencies and skills that individuals and organizations can use to create a truly inclusive environment. Cross cultural communication: The ability to successfully form, foster, and improve relationships with members of a culture different from one's own. It is based on knowledge of many factors, such as culture's values, perceptions, social structure, and decision-making practices, and an understanding of how others communicate.

9 Why communicate? Hopes The possibility of dialogue Learning something new Developing friendships Understanding different points of view Developing human connection Developing trust and deeper meaning in the workplace

10 Why don’t we engage? Fears Being judged Miscommunication Being misunderstood Patronizing or hurting others unintentionally Making a mistake Being labeled



13 Active Listening: First strive to understand than to be understood- covey Be other-directed; focus on the person communicating: Follow and understand the speaker as if you were walking in their shoes Listen with your ears but also with your eyes and other senses. Be aware: non-verbally acknowledge points in the speech: Don’t agree or disagree but let the conversation run its course Be involved: Actively respond to questions and directions. Use your body position ( lean forward) and attention to encourage the speaker and signal your interest.

14 10 Tips for cultural communication 1.Practice, practice, practice. Realize that this process takes time. 2.Don't assume that there is one right way to communicate. Keep questioning your assumptions. 3.Don't assume that breakdowns in communication occur because other people are on the wrong track. 4.Listen actively and empathetically. 5.Respect others' choices about whether to engage in communication.

15 10 tips continued 1.Stop, suspend judgment, and try to look at the situation as an outside observer. 2.Be prepared for a discussion of the past. Use this as an opportunity to develop an understanding from "the other's" point of view, rather than getting defensive. 3.Awareness of current power imbalances. 4.Remember that cultural norms may not apply evenly to all. 5.Be aware of non-verbal cues(eye contact)

16 Communicating Across Difference

17 What would you do? Group Exercise The problems in intercultural communication usually come from problems in message transmission. In communication between people of the same culture, the person who receives the message interprets it based on values, beliefs, and expectations for behavior similar to those of the person who sent the message. When this happens, the way the message is interpreted by the receiver is likely to be fairly similar to what the speaker intended. However, when the receiver of the message is a person from a different culture, the receiver uses information from his or her culture to interpret the message. The message that the receiver interprets may be very different from what the speaker intended.

18 Diversity is a Life Long Journey Make the mental connection: making a conscious effort to grow, learn, and move forward with cultural understanding and competency. Learn through life experiences and human interactions. Diversity competency takes time, reflection, and real work. Copyright DePaul University

19 References Avruch, Kevin and Peter Black, "Conflict Resolution in Intercultural Settings: Problems and Prospects," in Conflict Resolution Theory and Practice: Integration and Application, edited by Dennis Sandole and Hugo van der Merwe. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993. Nichols, Edwin J., a presentation made to the World Psychiatric Association and Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria, November 10, 1976. Avruch and Black, 1993. Working on Common Cross-Cultural Communication Challenges", Marcelle E.DuPraw and Marya Axner "Breaking Through Culture Shock", Elisabeth Marx "Building Trust Across Cultural Boundaries", Ira Asherman, John W. Bing, Ed.D., and Lionel Laroche "Developing a Culture for Diversity", Chris Speechley and Ruth Wheatley "Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind", Geert Hofstede "Language Is More than Just Words", Alix Henley & Judith Schott “Working on Common Cross-cultural communication challenges”, Marcelle DuPraw and Marya Axmer. “Understanding and Overcoming blocks to communication”, 1000

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