Cultural Diversity in communication: Barriers and strategies to overcome

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MUHAMMAD ISHFAQ KHAN,

Nobody can deny the importance of communication whether it is on a personal level, societal level or organizational level. Some people compared it with water. Both communication and water are found everywhere in the world. Since the inception of this universe, people are communicating with each other through one way or another way. If we talk specifically about the communication on personal level and societal level effective communication is must to coordinate with each other or sending any kind of message whatever the medium is. Similarly, on organizational level or business level effective communication is an integral part because without it organization cannot perform effectively and efficiently. They are even unable to perform their basic functions. Therefore, to perform with decency and efficiency on personal, societal or organizational level effective communication is must.
Today the world is a global village because the world now becomes a single village. Now people are able to communicate with each other sitting in different areas of the world. Organizations are functional in different countries of the world and people from different culture, race, ethnicity, languages are working in these organizations.
Nowadays the business organizations are culturally diverse because people from different cultures are working together in the same organization and this is one of the reason of innovation and creativity.
When we talk about cultural diversity in business organizations, there are some challenges, which these organizations and people working in these organizations are facing. Every culture has different meaning of words, gestures and behaviours. For example in some culture, looking in the eyes when talking is considering rude and in some culture by refraining from doing so is considering disrespectful. Similarly, differences in languages, signs and symbols also creates hurdles in the process of effective communication. Therefore, on one side when we talk about the cultural diversity in business organizations and its relation with creativity and innovation, this also create problems and hurdles in the efficiency of the business organization.
This is the main challenge for today’s business organization. Therefore, to overcome these issues related to cultural differences business organizations needs some critical steps in order to achieve efficiency in their day-to-day functions. Like organization can arrange training sessions and workshops for those people who are from different cultures and countries and they should teach and train them that which is the feasible behaviour to communicate, what is the meaning of different gestures in that particular culture and organization, and tell them different ways of effective communication. Similarly, top management can communicate directly with those people who are from different cultures and ask them about their difficulties while communicating with the people of native people in the organization, and management should take some positive steps in order to utilize the skills and talents of those people in the organization.

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