Dealing With Cultural Sensitivity In The Workplace

In the world we live in, with a supremacist leader as the leader of the free world, it seems that culturally ignorant people feel free to demonstrate their ignorance. Lately, cultural ignorance and overtly offending people have been maximized, and this behavior is slowly becoming the norm.

At work and in life, leaders are the ones to demonstrate exemplary behavior when dealing with people from different backgrounds. They have to be emotionally and culturally intelligent.

Wondering how to adjust yourself with different cultures, to become more culturally sensitive and create a healthy workplace?

Cultural Sensitivity Workplace

What is culture?

Culture is a dynamic and complex system of shared values, norms and symbols that distinguishes groups of people from others and that bound them together. It is demonstrated most often in literature, art, religion, language, traditions.

Furthermore, culture is learnt, and shapes one’s personal behavior, values, thoughts, experiences. for example, it defines one’s reaction to conflict or our problem solving skills.

Culture lays the basis for purpose, a higher calling and meaning in life. It is built on morals and a set of unspoken rules. It also conditions our perception for failure and success.

What is cultural sensitivity?

Cultural sensitivity is being aware that everyone is not the same. It means being able to learn from different people, to understand their backgrounds, to collaborate and cooperate with them, without being judgmental.

Cultural sensitivity means viewing everyone as a unique individual. It promotes unity and has become a skill that is most useful in the world of today.

Why is cultural sensitivity important?

Cultural sensitivity is detrimental because it introduces the concept of identity, of cultural appreciation, of cultural differences. It consequently increase the feeling of belonging and of safety. It improves communication, the quality of work in multinationals or when dealing with coworkers from different backgrounds. In addition, it removes the idea of cultural superiority.

Contrasting cultures bring a diverse set of knowledge, competencies, perspectives and ideas. If positively and purposefully harnessed, culture differences can trigger innovation, creativity and improve job satisfaction.

How to become a culturally sensitive leader?

Work is a part of an individual social identity. Corporate has its own culture, with its norm, its rules, its own values and own systems of beliefs. If the culture is healthy and positive, people easily feel empowered, valued and give better results.

In the corporate culture, managing people with different backgrounds is complex and full of challenges. Regardless of the laws in place, there are a lot of micro aggression towards diversity.

To create culturally sensitive environment, and subsequently a healthy workplace:

  1. Encourage self-awareness and self-development. Change is an internal process that requires self-analysis and self-respect beforehand.
  2. Stay authentic and don’t try to appropriate or claim someone else’s culture.
  3. Be mindful, be open to new experiences and don’t hesitate to explore and learn new things.
  4. Remember, with every interaction, that every person from a different culture is a human-being.
  5. Embrace people who are different from yourself. Get to know the person’s background to understand their behavior, how they operate in society and how they experience life.
  6. Listen actively and respectfully to people and when speaking, choose your words carefully.
  7. Avoid imposing your ideas on people and forcing them into a box of stereotypes.
  8. Take the initiative and learn other people’s dynamics through personal experience or prolonged exposure.
  9. Identify some idioms and sayings. Also, pronounce their name correctly and accept silence as an act of communication. Learning their language will consequently improve communication.
  10. Show appreciation for someone else’s culture. On one hand, demonstrate empathy and avoid judging them. On the other hand, don’t pander too much to someone else’s culture.
  11. Ask probing open-ended questions. Avoid asking too many questions as not to overwhelm your interlocutor.
  12. Help your employees to understand the company’s culture, expectations, goals and code of conduct.
  13. Work on your social skills. Focus on building healthy relationships.
  14. Effectively navigate conflicts brought by cultural differences.
  15. Pick up on emotional and non verbal cues during conversations.
  16. Take and provide diversity trainings.
  17. If you are part of the majority, seek understanding before seeking to be understood. opening up to minorities will help them accept yours faster, to face challenges better and will increase their work performance.
  18. Respect that other people won’t want to integrate your culture. 
  19. Allow people to express freely their values. This will increase their interactions with others, their work performance and their well-being.
  20. Learn to compromise.
  21. Encourage your team to travel more and to approach diverse group of people outside of work.

Adjusting or understanding a culture is a long process. Learning and adjusting to someone else’s culture doesn’t mean that you have to deny your own. It just means that you are able to work and collaborate with people from diverse culture.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

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Confidence Plan — How To Build A Stronger You, Mastering The Practical Skills Of Winning by Tim Ursiny

In Confidence Plan — How To Build A Stronger You, Mastering The Practical Skills Of WinningTim Ursiny believes that building self-confidence does not only rely on positive self-talk, on words of affirmation, on changing our thought patterns or other mental strategies.

To build long-term confidence, Ursiny believes that we also have to develop emotional, behavioral, relational and spiritual strategies.

For Ursiny, confidence is an important factor to fulfilling our dreams, for achieving real success at work and at home, for building and maintaining healthy relationships, for understanding and communicating with others.

Confidence Plan

Recognizing the importance of confidence

Struggling with confidence either means that you suffer from low self-esteem or that you are living, working, breathing in the wrong place. If you have never suffered from lack of confidence, then you have never left your comfort zone.

Needless to say, confidence is the opposite of humility. It is the belief in our abilities to perform, to get results from our performance, in our worth and in our opinion of ourselves.

In addition, we all internal regulator that measures our level of confidence, depending on our successes and failures, that forces us to take action and that can be explained by different factors. We have a level to which we will not allow ourselves to fall or to rise. It is important to identify those levels in order to rewire our expectations and reset our internal regulator.

To recognize the importance of confidence:

  • Learn from adversity. Through resilience, “quality that allows us to pick ourselves back up after experiencing hardship or trauma”, you grow your confidence despite failure.
  • Embrace your past, enjoy your success, get over past failures and learn from your mistakes. People who hide or don’t observe their past tend to repeat the same mistakes and miss out on opportunities.
  • Assess your current abilities, behaviors, habits, blind spots, strengths and weaknesses. Welcome feedback from trusted people around you and make the needed changes.
  • Stay focused on your vision and be optimistic that you are going to get there.
  • Work on your attitude. Attitudes are composed of what we think, how we feel and what we do. And, when all these aspects are aligned, we are more peaceful and more confident. Therefore, to constantly adjust your attitude:
    • Watch your self talk, reward positive thinking and remind yourself of your own competencies.
    • Take time off for yourself, enjoy the company of your friends and family.
    • Practise future behaviors in fictional situations.
  • Identify the motivations for reaching your goals and take the steps to grow.

Challenging personal comfort zones

The way we perceive ourselves or a situation can seriously impact our confidence. To challenge your personal comfort zones:

  • Use different techniques to control your thoughts and to remain present. Some turn to meditation, some to God and others to religion to instill peace of mind.
  • Avoid making snap judgements that create insecurities and that easily lead us into error.
  • Avoid self-fulfilling prophecies and remain optimistic. Sometimes, when we believe that we can achieve something, our subconscious will arrange our actions and behaviors to match that expectation. Believing that good things will come to you will help you live a happier life.
  • Don’t be your own self-critic. Use words of affirmations to motivate you and to reach higher grounds of success.
  • Identify the embarrassing thoughts and seek new ones.
  • Stop negative thoughts from taking root in your mind. For example, use the highly effective rubber band technique:
    • Put a rubber band around your wrist.
    • When negative thoughts come in, snap the rubber band.
    • Tell yourself to stop the thought pattern.
    • Replace the negative thought with a positive one.

Building confidence in failure

Most often, our behavior and emotional response are illogical. To gauge your emotional level of confidence and to gain sight into your emotional core:

  • Evaluate your behavior in stressful situations and your relationship with compliments.
  •  Start journaling.
  • Take responsibility for your feelings about yourself and about how others make you feel, for your successes and failures.
  • Avoid  negative opinions and hypothesis about people and yourself. You will end up attributing negative connotations to every single one of their behaviors and only confirming what you already belive.
  • Don’t allow past hurts to define your future.
  • Use visualization techniques and your 5 senses to deepen your confidence, your emotional core, to increase self-control and resilience.

Understanding the limits of self-confidence

Fears have a knack for decreasing our confidence. To understand the limits of self-confidence:

  • Act more confidently so you can become more confident.
  • Identify what drains you and what fills you up with energy. We usually feel stressed when there are elements out of our control because we feel less powerful than we think we are. To feel better, shift your focus on things that you can control.
  • Identify the goal to grow your already existing confidence. Then, stop and measure your progress.
  • Identify your fears then face your fears by gradually desensitizing and exposing yourself to them. “Confidence is not the absence of fear” but means that “fear has no control over you”.
  • Avoid procrastination. Procrastination tends to intensify our fears.
  • Expose yourself to embarrassment more often.

Building confidence through the 5 approaches

The culture and the people we surround ourselves with have a huge impact on our self-confidence. To grow your confidence through mental, emotional, behavioral, relational and spiritual strategies:

  • Identify people who drain your confidence, that judge your abilities and capabilities. Assess their actions, learn to deal with them effectively or learn to repair the relationships.
  • Find out whether or not you are draining someone else.
  • Create and increase your support system that defines your social identity. In this support system, we feel more comfortable being ourselves.
  • Consider how conflicts impact your confidence. Conflicts are born from prejudices, stereotypes and differences in opinion. Firstly, center yourself around your own opinion in order not to be threatened by someone else’s or to become defensive. Secondly, build relationships that promotes trust and loyalty.
  • Forgive and give back to your community to help you grow.
  • Invite feedback from people you trust and respect.

Transcending self-confidence

To find our higher levels of confidence, we must believe that there is something bigger that us and we must tap into our spiritual being. To transcend your self-confidence:

  • Identify your purpose and higher calling. This way, you won’t accept environments and position that don’t satisfy you or that don’t play to your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Examine how you can bring significance to your work, what you want to be remembered for, that mark you want to leave on earth.
  • Practise what you preach.
  • Develop a deeper relationship with God.
  • Build a personal mission statement.

Review

Confidence Plan — How To Build A Stronger You, Mastering The Practical Skills Of Winning, by Tim Ursiny, is written for those who want a better life for themselves, a more positive vision of life, or to assess their level of confidence. It is also written for those with low self-esteem and for those who struggle with self-confidence.

Confidence Plan — How To Build A Stronger You, Mastering The Practical Skills Of Winning is transformational and can be used in our professional life as much as our personal life. Through his book, through immediate practical exercises, Tim Ursiny seeks to impact people long-term.

Tim Ursiny provides us with timely, implementable exercises that you can work on, on a daily basis. You can work on the exercises in six weeks or you can work at our own pace. It is therefore necessary for you to select the techniques and sections of the book that speak the most to you.

Favorite quote(s)

In any situation where two people are competing with relatively similar skills, the more confident person will always succeed at a greater level.

The way we view a situation can have serious ramifications. Our perceptions will often dictate what we do, how we feel, and how we interact with others.

Our minds are capable of processing a huge amount of information. This is both a plus and a minus concerning whether this information aids us or hurts us.What goes on in our minds has a powerful impact on our confidence and our behavior. Having the wrong stuff in our heads is dangerous to our success.

We cannot control what others say to us, but we definitely can impact and change what we say to ourselves.

One form of conflict is a result of prejudice and stereotypes

No matter how confident we are, no matter how successful we become, no matter how powerful we feel, there is something bigger than us.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Tim Ursiny

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Tim Ursiny

authorTim Ursiny, PhD, is the president and founder of Advantage Coaching & Training. Tim Ursiny is also the Author of the Confidence Plan — How To Build A Stronger You, Mastering The Practical Skills Of Winning.

Building And Maintaining Healthy Relationships In The Workplace

Deep long-lasting work relationships in corporate can take your career to the next level.

In a world where technology has taken over, where interactions are made behind our computer, where misunderstandings often foster and loyalty is a luxury, building relationships is challenging but can make the difference.

Wondering how leaders build and maintain long-lasting relationships in the workplace?

relationships workplace

The benefits of healthy relationships in the workplace

Building work relationships is difficult in itself. Mostly, because we don’t have the luxury of choosing who we hang out with.

In addition, highly skilled, smart people easily lose their jobs because of their low social skills, of their poor behavior and their lack of emotional intelligence.

The quality of the work relationships has direct impact on the quality of our lives. Indeed, healthy relationships have a tendency to reduce the effects of stress, to improve job satisfaction, quality of life, to keep us motivated and enthusiastic. They are a great indicator of whether or not we love our job.

Build and maintain deeper relationships

Thinking that work relationships are not worthy is a mistake. Leaders and employees have to make quick decisions while getting along with everyone, in multicultural contexts, with people from various backgrounds.

  1. Be authentic and comfortable with yourself first.
  2. Believe that you are worthy of relationships.
  3. Believe that you are trustworthy, that people are trustworthy even though you are aware of snakes in the grass. You can demonstrate trust by soliciting people’s opinion in one on ones.
  4. Believe that relationships are important to your career and to your self-development.
  5. Be reasonable. Monitor your behavior and what you say to people on a daily basis.
  6. Be patient and wait for an opportunity to present itself. Prepare yourself in the meanwhile by taking training and becoming an expert in your field.
  7. Get to know your audience, the decision makers and the influencers in the workplace. This means that you have t identify and anticipate their triggers, their motivations, their challenges, their needs. For example, ask specific questions to discover what someone cares about. Furthermore, discreetly get their attention and align yourself with them.
  8. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Respect yourself and the people around you even though they don’t reciprocate. Also, respect their time and opinion, accept them for who they are.
  9. Expect the best behavior from people even if you don’t like them and even though their behavior is not the best.
  10. Stay positive and develop your emotional intelligence to understand your emotions, those of others and to sustain your work relationships.
  11. Increase self-awareness. Assess your people skills and seek to develop them.
  12. Be assertive and clearly set boundaries to your relationships.
  13. Stay on top of corporate opinions and make sure you align yourself with them.
  14. Work on being more approachable. For example, if you are serious, smile a little more often. If you are very private, reveal a little bit about yourself to your coworkers.
  15. Identify and adapt the corporate communication style in order to express yourself. For instance, learn how to cordially disagree with your coworkers.
  16. Avoid destructive conflicts and avoid making enemies uselessly.
  17. Keep networking and making your new-found contacts your most valuable allies.
  18. Invest time and energy into your employees. Create a sense of unity and openness and show team spirit. Don’t allow people to feel excluded or disconnected and promote collaboration.
  19. Increase your team’s self-esteem. Make people, mostly your younger workers, feel good about themselves. You can do this by giving out meaningful assignments and validating the contributions of your employees. If your employees are not able to fulfill their duties, coach them or send them to a training instead of taking away their responsibilities.
  20. Help others in their work and help them to succeed.
  21. Share purpose to gather everyone around your vision.
  22. Address important issues in the room during meetings and don’t allow them to grow.
  23. Involve your employees in the decision-making process.
  24. Listen actively to understand your teams deepest needs, to build trust and loyalty before trying to influence and persuade them.
  25. Avoid gossip and spreading negativity. Gossiping will not dissipate misunderstandings but will only exacerbate them.
  26. When a situation turns sour, identify the reasons why. Look at yourself beforehand, own a piece of a problem, avoid shifting blame and see how you could have positioned yourself differently. Also, to maintain relationships, quietly make amends, repair past damages, be accountable for your actions, without needing to ask for forgiveness or without begging.
  27. At work, we connect differently with our coworkers and sometimes take that connection outside of the workplace. With some coworkers, we are comfortable enough to talk about our private lives, families and are able to take the relationship beyond the workplace. We either think that our coworkers are out friends and families or we either don’t care to be liked by them. It is therefore necessary to learn how to discern personal and professional connections in the workplace.
  28. Show appreciation by publicly and privately congratulating your team for their great work.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle. by Brad Lomenick

H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle.According to Brad Lomenick, in H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle., there comes a time in a leader’s life where he or she has to transform, renew and rediscover himself or herself.

Intentionally or not, leaders develop habits throughout their lives, that dictate their approach to work and to the tasks that they accomplish daily, that take their ideas and turn them into concrete results. Habits also shape leaders core values and personalities, behaviors and daily actions. This is why leaders must look at their old leadership habits, invest the time to break bad ones, sustain the good ones, create new ones, and seek to reboot themselves.

It is therefore necessary for leaders to take a decision to implement change within them and within their organization, and for them to be committed to the task.

According to Brad Lomenick, it is foundational for leaders to revisit the motto Humble, Hungry and Hustle. This mantra categorizes 20 core leadership habits and conveys the right philosophy in order to become a catalyst leader and contemporaneous influencer. By being humble, leaders are able to discover who they really are. By staying hungry, leaders are able to figure out their destination. By hustling, leaders search for the best way to reach their destination and goals.

BE HUMBLE: “Who am I?”

Leaders, at the beginning of their transformation, have to develop habits of self-discovery, of openness, meekness, conviction, faith and assignment.

  1. A Habit of Self-Discovery: Know who you are. Creating a habit of self discovery signifies that the leader has to purposefully and continually observe, listen, understand and define who he or she is. Self discovery is a never-ending process. Most leaders identify deeply with their organization and tend to lose their sense of self. However, they must learn to connect with the organization without merging with it or without changing themself into something else, without creating an illusion of self that will crumble at the first obstacle. They must know their strengths, weaknesses and values in order to succeed. Their scale of influence will reflect their level of self assessment. Furthermore, it takes courage to present the true self to the world and bravery to resist the factors that shape us and impose themselves on us.
  2. A Habit of Openness: Share the real you with others. Leaders must learn to be open and vulnerable with their followers and with those closest to them even though the higher they are on the “ladder of influence and power, the more difficult it is to be open”. Leaders must keep it real and be authentic: they show who they really are with they followers, they don’t hide their weaknesses nor their emotions, and they know what to do with what they have discovered about themselves. Leaders evaluate their value of connectedness, create deep relationships, are skilled communicators, answer dreaded and difficult questions if they can trust their interlocutor, know how to apologize to those that they have wronged or hurt, have a confidant outside of work that they can rely on and lean on for tough decision. Leaders are also transparent and can admit when they make a mistake. Of course not everything should be disclosed and not with everyone and less should be discussed the more the circle of influence increases.
  3. A Habit of Meekness: Remember it’s not about you. Developing a habit of meekness leads to quiet confidence, avoid leaders from becoming arrogant and from turning inward while on the path of self discovery. Indeed, the company culture should not revolve around the leaders, should not seek the leaders approval and should not suffer from their absence.
  4. A Habit of Conviction: Know your principles, stick to them and live out your convictions. Leaders must have conviction, integrity, strong values, strong moral compass, protect their reputation, and stand up for what they believe in, for what us right and against what is wrong.
  5. A Habit of Faith: Prioritize your day so God is first. Taking the habit of putting God first allows to visualize the bigger picture, to stop worrying about the future, to ignore what people are saying, to fulfill a higher purpose, to remain grateful towards God. Leaders are able to gain spiritual discipline and grow spirituality by speaking and mostly listening to God on a daily basis.
  6. A Habit of Assignment. Pursue your purpose. Leaders must learn to their innate proclivities to accomplish their assignments and live out a higher calling.

STAY HUNGRY: “Where do I want to go?”

  1. A Habit of Ambition: Develop an appetite for what’s next. Ambition is mist often seen in a negative light and is always associated to a negative adjective. However, ambition is what pushes leaders forward and gives them the will to do better. Leaders have to be careful of how they feed their ambition appetite in order to cultivate healthy work relationships and to fuel other healthy habits.
  2. A Habit of Curiosity: Keep learning. Leaders have to listen more than they speak and ask probing questions.
  3. A Habit of Passion: Love what you do. Passions bond people together, create memories, sustain long-term enthusiasm and zeal. It is up to the leader to fuel his or her engaged and feed his or her enthusiasm to the organization.
  4. A Habit of Innovation: Stay current, creative, and engaged. Leadership requires innovation, pushes for change and doesn’t need a title nor an official position to initiate change. Rather it necessitates courage, steadfastness through failures, stamina and an environment for change. Leaders must challenge the status quo, refuse to coast and build habits of exploring new ideas.
  5. A Habit of Inspiration: Nurture a vision for a better tomorrow. Leaders look to the future and hope for a better tomorrow, have a vision for the future that makes work life more enjoyable, motivational, learn to communicate their vision and persuade the crowd.
  6. A Habit of Bravery: Take calculated risks. Leaders confront their fears and push through them, get out their comfort zone and are never comfortable in one position.

HUSTLE: “How will I get there?”

  1. A Habit of Excellence: Set standards that scare you. Leaders must thrive to be the best at what they do and to produce the best effort in order to succeed.
  2. A Habit of Stick-with-it-ness: Take the long view. Success in life requires preparation. Leaders have to resist current movements of instant and uncommon success stories, the pressure to innovate and continually create better and innovative products. Instead, they have to discipline themselves, learn to be faithful, learn to be grateful and to discern what is important in order to build their legacy.
  3. A Habit of Execution: Commit to completion. Leaders translate their ideas into action, enjoy bringing their actions to fruition, make an effort to deliver the best product without slacking off or slowing down.
  4. A Habit of Team Building: Create an environment that attracts and retains the best and brightest. Leaders must invest in their employees, motivate and stimulate them, show appreciation and help them create good relationships with one another. In addition, because culture building cannot be delegated, leaders must take it upon themselves to create a pleasant work environment for their team, generate positive memories and experiences with their team.
  5. A Habit of Partnership: Collaborate with colleagues and competitors to generate a higher revenue or to pursue a higher purpose. Partners bring new perspectives, new improvements to your organization, a new set of skills and competencies. Forging alliances requires strategy, intention, thoughtfulness, time and energy. However, forming relationships with other leaders and partnerships with other organizations is essential, especially when climbing up the ladder.
  6. A Habit of Margin: Nurture healthier rhythms. Leaders must learn to manage their time effectively, to unwind and reset their batteries in order to be more effective.
  7. A Habit of Generosity: Leave the world a better place. Leaders are generous with their time and energy and not only their money. They help others become successful and give without expecting anything in return.
  8. A Habit of Succession: Find power in passing the baton. Leaders have to learn his to let go and continue their legacy by finding their succession.

Review

H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle., by Brad Lomenick, is a compelling and insightful self-development book where Brad Lomenick recaps his professional experiences at Catalyst, draws conclusions from his leadership style and allies spirituality with leadership.

Throughout his entire book, Lomenick shares numerous tips on how to become a better leader. He also references several of his peers such as John Maxwell, Stephen Coven and Laura Vanderkam, and divulges alternate leadership tips.

In my opinion, there are two major take-aways from this book:

  • firstly, in order to lead others you have to figure out who you are first. Indeed, people tend to follow you, your personality, your values instead of following your job. Furthermore, you cannot tell others how to behave in certain situations and which route to take if you don’t know which one you would take yourself. Some would say to lead others, first lead yourself.
  • Secondly, in the morning, before checking your emails or drinking coffee, develop a habit of seeking God first.

Favorite quote(s)

But leadership is more than hard work; its habitual work.

In my experience too few leaders recognize the importance of habits in life. One researcher at Duke University, for example, found that more than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren’t actual decisions, but habits.1 When you rise in the morning, nearly half of your day will be determined by the patterns you’ve either intentionally created or passively allowed.

Your sense of identity will help determine your scale of influence. Ignore it at your own peril.

Know your own strengths, limitations, and values. Have relational transparency and genuineness. This involves being honest and straightforward, and not playing games or having a hidden agenda. Be fair-minded and do the right thing. Effective leaders solicit opposing viewpoints and consider all options before choosing a course of action. They’re open to the fact that they “may be wrong” and someone else may have the best idea. A true leader has an ethical core and knows the right thing to do.

Leaders must make honesty and trust the standard for their organizational culture.

Never satisfied, but always content is the posture of a properly ambitious leader.

The best leaders are people of integrity and principle who know the difference between principles and preferences. They are willing to stand up for the right things and stand against the wrong things. These leaders value their reputations, their consciences, and their values.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Brad Lomenick

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