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It's hard enough to get people on board with an idea in your head even when everyone in the room has a similar background and culture. How do you handle cultural barriers in the workplace?

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Listen to them- don't try to defend your idea but rather seek to understand their objections. This will help you either reshape the idea or learn how to reframe it to get alignment

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If you can't get it past the cultural differences of 4-5 people in your office, how on earth is your idea going to get past the general public?

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We're all smart people here, so let's not misconstrue what the core question is. I'm not saying that working with people from different backgrounds is a hassle and that we need a wall. What I'm saying is that often I work with extremely brilliant people, yet often we're like ships passing in the night when trying to come together on an idea. They think of an amazing idea but explain it through references to their culture and I'll just miss it or vice versa. The worst is when you try to distill it and strip away the nuances of the idea, it's not as strong and the insight gets lost. Just seeing if anyone had effective startegies to improve collaboration.

Try finding an example they can understand in their own culture. The world is smaller than you think. Consider yourself lucky you come from a westernized world where the other parts copy from and look up to. You would be surprised what other cultures know about us.

I agree with Associate Director but would add that I've come up against a lack of culture understanding between Americans - I've even noticed it amongst the same generation and from the same area. The internet allowed us to define our culture and its references differently. You just have to keep looking for that common ground and be willing to learn about / become a part of that different culture/sub-culture (and so do they). It takes a ton more work but it's worth it.

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