Cultural Conflicts in the Workplace - And Differences

Written by: Harmandeep Kaur Grewal – MA
Last updated date : August 29, 2022

You may have seen a diverse set of people working around you in your office. In a diverse country like India, people belong to different cultural groups and speak different languages. Moreover, in diverse cultures, people will eat different foods. You may be a vegetarian while others might be nonvegetarian. Also, vegetarian people do not like to eat with others who are non-vegetarian. Therefore, food, language, and habits can create conflicts between people. For instance, if you are an English speaker then you will not be happy to communicate with people who do not speak English. Cultural conflicts in the workplace are common. Also, cultural differences in the workplace are there in your office.

Furthermore, you must learn different things about the cultures of other people. Therefore, you can avoid offending people. But you should never disrespect any other person just because that person dresses differently or wear different clothes. You can politely ask people about their culture and learn from them. Your school syllabus may have a subject that teaches to respect people from different backgrounds and not judge others. Moreover, you can learn the values to treat all equally. Also, if all your colleagues are treating others properly then

You may have seen a diverse set of people working around you in your office. In a diverse country like India, people belong to different cultural groups and speak different languages. Moreover, in diverse cultures, people will eat different foods. You may be a vegetarian while others might be nonvegetarian. Also, vegetarian people do not like to eat with others who are non-vegetarian. Therefore, food, language, and habits can create conflicts between people. For instance, if you are an English speaker then you will not be happy to communicate with people who do not speak English. Cultural conflicts in the workplace are common. Also, cultural differences in the workplace are there in your office.

Furthermore, you must learn different things about the cultures of other people. Therefore, you can avoid offending people. But you should never disrespect any other person just because that person dresses differently or wear different clothes. You can politely ask people about their culture and learn from them. Your school syllabus may have a subject that teaches to respect people from different backgrounds and not judge others. Moreover, you can learn the values to treat all equally. Also, if all your colleagues are treating others properly then

Chapter 1:
Cultural Conflicts and Differences in the Workplace

Cultural conflicts in the workplace that you witnessed. Also cultural differences in your workplace.

First of all, differences can occur due to generation gap. Furthermore, you may be a millennial and your manager may be from x-generation. So, he does not like the way you dress or your language and speaking style. So, you face conflicts and disputes. You can try to maintain rapport with your manager. If he refuses to acknowledge your efforts then you can talk to someone senior. Hence, it will be helful for you to maintain peace at your workplace.

Secondly, you know that people have tendencies to be racial towards different ethnic groups. For instance, you do not like tribal people who can’t speak properly and stay dirty. So, you hold prejudice against such a group of people. And, whenever you encounter tribal people you try to avoid meeting or shaking hands. Moreover, it is a very sad fact that many people judge others by the color of their skin. Moreover, they have formed assumptions that this particular community is drug addicts and so on.

Additionally, your belief and prejudice can lead to discrimination. You must never show bias towards people who belongs to different cultures. So, you can have peace and harmony at work. But, if you are discriminating then there will be fights which will make your life stressful.

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Chapter 2:
Sources of Workplace Conflicts

Cultural conflicts in the workplace that you witnessed. Also cultural differences in your workplace. You will see that there are several sources of conflicts like different backgrounds, education, religion, and so on.

  • First of all, conflicts because of different ethnic backgrounds. If your office is filled with people from different backgrounds then there will be conflicts. Moreover, you or your colleagues may not like people from different ethnic backgrounds. Therefore you will witness arguments and disputes at work. Also, it will become difficult for your management to handle such conflicts.
  • Secondly, you may notice that people hold preexisting mindsets about different cultures. So, you act on your beliefs when you see people belonging to different backgrounds. For instance, if you believe that people from the north or south are not clean then you will treat them in the same way.
  • Thirdly, in a multi-religious country like India, people fight because of different religious viewpoints. For instance, you are a Hindu and could not like to sit with a person of different religion like a Christian or a Muslim. And, if your manager assigns you tasks together with a different religious people then there will be arguments and fights that will follow. So, you need to learn to be cooperative when you come to work together dropping your beliefs at home. Moreover, you can work peacefully when you are not involved in having narrow mindsets.
  • Fourthly, your education may differ from that of your teammates which may cause a difference in opinion in a project and cause conflict. For instance, you want scientific study but your teammates are happy with using the existing data without any change in them.
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Chapter 3:
Examples of Workplace Conflicts

Cultural conflicts in the workplace that you witnessed. Also cultural differences in your workplace. You may have seen number of examples which causes disputes at work, like dress code,

Firstly, issues can arise at your office due to different dress codes. For instance, you are supposed to wear western suits at your meeting but you are used to wearing your traditional clothes. So, you take the topic to the management. Moreover, if your viewpoint is not considered by the management then you create conflict with the managers so much so disturb the peace at work. Therefore, you should write to the policymakers and try not to create arguments with people who have no power in your workplace. Also, issues such as dress codes are formed by your higher authority people. SO, others in your office may have no voice in it.

Secondly, your culture may not allow you to speak up against or criticize your seniors. So, you stay silent in your meetings. But, when you move to a more developed culture where you get the freedom to speak or criticize your manager then you stay quiet. Because you have learned to not raise your voice against someone higher in authority.

Thirdly, your way of communicating differs from other cultures. For instance, you are outgoind and well spoken person. BUt you immigrate to a country where girls are not allowed to speak up. So, you will face several cultural barriers. Therefore, people will say she is out spoken and does not listen to others.

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Chapter 4:
Methods to Work Out Cultural Differences

Cultural conflicts in the workplace that you witnessed. Also cultural differences in your workplace. You need to learn ways to manage your conflicts at work then you can be satisfied and happy.

Firstly, you can learn about culture of your colleagues and respect it. You can ask them questions. Moreover, you can sit with them during lunch if they are fine with it. And you can politely ask them about the food they make, and cooking oil, spices and so on. And you can invite them to house for dinner, if they are interested.

Secondly, you can host a cultural program for making your employees aware of the diverse cultures. Furthermore, it will be an ice breaker for you and your friends at work. You can share your thoughts and beliefs with people and ask them about their viewpoints.

Thirdly, as a manager, you should respond to holidays or festivals of your juniors. You can wish them properly and respect them if they wear their traditional clothes for a day.

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