Misunderstandings in Culturally Diverse Workplaces

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This essay will explain issues that occur in culturally diverse workplaces and describe how personal conceptions may contribute to misunderstandings when working with others in culturally diverse workplaces. This essay will also discuss the impact of cultural differences when conflict occurs and it will give suggestions on how to resolve and manage this conflict. An explanation of who to discuss the conflict with in a work environment will also be discussed in this essay. The issues that arise in a culturally diverse workplace need to be known and identified by counsellors to ensure they are aware of any obstacle forming. Cross-cultural conflict can arise from a range of issues. These issues include language barriers, customs, roles and status, differences in non-verbal behaviour, personal space, appearance, gender, religion and responses to authority (Open Colleges, 2012, p.47-49). While working as a professional in a multi-cultural country it is important for counsellors to understand the influence these issues can have on relationships in the workplace with both clients and colleagues. Fontes states, when the client and counsellor come from different cultures, obtaining correct basic demographic information can be challenging due to atypical family configurations, facts that have been lost or changed in the process of immigration and lying (2008, p.282). These issues may be overcome with honesty and confidence once the counsellor and client have strong rapport. It is important for counsellors to understand their own cultural concepts and how they may contribute to conflict when working with others. As a young female, I understand that in many cultures I would be recognised as incompetent and unhelpful. However, by using le... ... middle of paper ... ...of how to resolve it successfully. A reflection on my own cultural concepts has enabled me to understand how personal values and beliefs may contribute to misunderstandings when working with others and how the impact of cultural differences can affect conflict. It has also explained where to get assistance if needed if conflict arose. This information will be used in my work when counselling clients from a different cultural background. Works Cited Open Colleges (2012) Student Workbook: Work within a structured counselling framework. Open Colleges Sydney, Australia Geldard, D., and Geldard, K. (2012) Basic Personal Counselling: A training manual for counsellors (7th Ed.) Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education Australia Fontes, Lisa Aronson, May 23, 2008, Interviewing Clients across Cultures: A Practitioner's Guide Guilford Press, New York, ISBN: 9781606230534
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