This post will focus on misunderstandings cross-culturally. Everyone at some point will experience a cultural misunderstanding if they interact for a long enough with another country. Most of the time they can be resolved quickly and painlessly. However, there are certain occaisions where more detailed explorations into culture and asumptions.
Here are a few tips:
- Identify cultural assumptions
- Be willing to learn about other cultures perspectives on the topic.
- Have self- awareness of your own cultural practices, prejudices, bias etc. This will help you solve the conflict easier.
- Empathy is important.
- Examine your own cultural values to see where they might clash with another person’s values.
- Learn about how the culture in question resolves conflicts.
- Build on common ground between you and the other party.
- Break down the power structure. Work to empower them to share their side of the story.
- Look for a mediator who understands both cultures if possible. Hire an expert if necessary.
- Remember that the process of resolving serious misunderstandings can take time.