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In this world, there are many different cultures and languages to explore. Learning and wanting to understand different cultures will give you knowledge and background behind the people around you. When you can identify with other people, you can sympathize and empathize with them, too. This will help an individual be able to connect to another person with less misunderstandings. You can gather a basic understanding of those around you by doing some research on your own prior to needing the information. Cultural awareness is an essential issue in many communities, so as a nation we should grab every chance to learn about different cultures.

How Cultural Awareness Affects the Workplace

When you have a basic understanding of the cultural differences around you, you will be able to relate better to your peers. There are times in a work environment that you may clash with another employee because you are not sure how to communicate effectively with them. Open your mind to learning and discovering new ways to show interest in your coworkers and build better relationships with those individuals. It can prevent misunderstandings and embarrassment. This is really a valuable skill in and out of the workplace. Knowledge of different cultures can broaden your horizons and is a great way to absorb new information. Viewing situations in different perspectives will be extremely beneficial.

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You can travel to places like Italy, Poland or Spain and immerse yourself into their culture for a short period of time to learn more about their diversity. When you travel, you try their foods, see their museums to learn how that community became the community they are, and you may pick up on the language. Again, doing your own research from language translation sites or taking a class to learn the language/culture prior to traveling will assist more with the communication. Researching prior will help you tolerate others and not berate them because of their differences when you are the outsider in that moment. Taking the time to learn customs in a foreign area will allow you to have a richer experience.

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Understanding a culture also includes their food. What may be gross to you could be another country’s delicacy, so knowing their customs will prevent any unintentional disrespect to them while you are enjoying a hot meal. Every culture has their own meal choices that vary from fish, baklava or having rice as the main entrée with meats on the side. It is important to know your guests and how what you make or eat will affect them. Be mindful of the kind of meal you prepare based on that culture.

Doing research or taking a class to learn the language, custom and culture will prepare you for different encounters with all individuals across the world and prevent miscommunication or conflict. The ability to cross communicate with different people will be beneficial for the workplace, your everyday life and on any travel adventures.

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