• User AvatarMiriam McKenzie
  • 17 Feb, 2020
  • 2 Mins Read

Effective Communication in Culturally Diverse Workplaces

Juggling an organisation that has employees of different genders, generations and ethnicities, as well as different personalities and all the other things that make us up as people, can be really challenging. For a “culture of acceptance” to run through an organisation, it needs to start at the top. Policies (in line with current regulations to begin with), through to an excellent induction, and systems that ensure a diverse business can be managed exceptionally well if done properly — understanding your people should be mandatory.

The more we learn about ourselves and how we like to be related to, the easier it is to relate to others. This can reduce the amount of miscommunication in a workplace, which then, in turn, decreases time lost in repetition and reduces stress.

What’s My Learning Style?

Think of yourself as a jigsaw puzzle. Just a simple one, only a few pieces. They might be big, they might be little. Once made up, you can see a picture of you. The pieces that make you up include your gender, age, ethnicity, values, learning style, personality type, communication style, strengths, plus, IQ and EQ.

You will find a multitude of tests online to discover who you are, you may have even already done some. But have you passed this information on to your boss or colleagues? As an auditory learner, I find noise challenging when I’m trying to focus. Loud voices talking on the phone, people’s ring or text tones, and certain music are all very distracting. Either one of two things will happen.

1. I’ll get really frustrated and have to find a quiet place to work. If it’s an open plan space with no quiet rooms, I have to go home (to work!!)
2. Distract others.

Do you know your learning style? How do you learn best? This can go a long way to discovering your best working environment, how you like to receive information, how your colleagues like to receive it, and how to present information to them. Knowing this information can increase productivity due to less misinterpretation of instructions and poor performance. Poor performance could also be a result of “wrong skill set, wrong job”, so check out a strengths-based test for that.

We all learn differently; we are all made up of different “stuff”, but we’re all people. The oft-quoted golden rule, the principle of treating others as you want to be treated, stands true in every sense and situation.

Test Yourself

Follow the link to take the VARK test and find out your learning style! It’s free and will take a matter of minutes. The most important part is reading the definitions. https://vark-learn.com/the-vark-questionnaire/