Following you will find a brief list of Dos and Don’ts in intercultural contexts. Have a look!
Be open: meet people as people! Be a conscious actor and be culturally agile in every situation.
Be self-aware! This is the first step to develop intercultural competence.
You, as a leader or superior, have to be convinced of diversity. You can live the example and incorporate diversity aspect into every part of your work/team/organization.
Be interested in different people and their viewpoints: Try to understand what they think about things that you think are normal. It will lessen chances of misunderstandings and widen your horizon.
Confront your own stereotypes and biases.
Be aware in actions, don’t let your cultural autopilot take over.
Carry a learner’s mindset: It is essential for a fruitful and successful journey together.
Be conscious of your body language and understand the non-verbal dimensions. (-> Non-verbal communication)
Be flexible and able to adjust according to the context.
Use jokes carefully.
Don’t compare individuals to national cultures, less so act only according to the macro-knowledge you have possibly acquired (through books, lecture, from others, etc.) about a “culture” when interacting with an individual. Always remember: -> Zoom in and out (Cross.Ref)
Don’t be afraid of conflict: It is normal and might not always be a bad sign! -> Conflict
Don’t let ethnocentrism rule you.
Don’t rush processes, for example the onboarding. Relationships and a sense of belonging is what makes all humans tick. It takes time to build up but will pay off in many ways.
Don’t assume deliberate negative behavior – most of us do not intent to make work life harder on purpose. Assume positive intent and question the reasons behind a behavior.
Don’t take understanding for granted or assume anything, rather clarify.