Organize and Implement Multi-cultural Activities Within Your Organization

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One of the reasons most people possess some form of prejudice for other cultures is because of their lack of understanding of other people, different than their own. They simply have not been exposed to these different cultures in a positive way. The old saying, “People will criticize what they don’t understand”, validates this point.

So, what do you do if you want to help your employees in your organization become more opened minded and understanding of each other’s cultures? One suggestion is to create the opportunity for multi-cultural activities.

A few years ago we lived in a different subdivision in Canton, MI. Our township is well known for its diversity. Yet, many people still were not aware of each other’s cultural differences and similarities. What our subdivision did to help educate everyone in it was to put on an annual picnic where, each year, residents would bring a dish to pass that was representative of their cultural background. It was so much fun getting to know more about our neighbors, most of whom we had never even met. The food was delicious and very different than what I was used to eating. The conversations and comments about the different dishes that were served helped to open up our awareness of each other’s different culture. There is something special about eating with people you have just met. It seems to bridge the gap between being a stranger and becoming a friend.

How about your company or organization? Could you or one of your staff organize a cultural potluck lunch? As part of this event, why not have the participants discuss their cultural background and how the significance of the particular dish they brought relates to it. It is through these types of activities that people become more aware, accepting, and comfortable with others different than themselves.

Tom Borg is president of Tom Borg Consulting, LLC. He is a business consultant, speaker, coach and author. He helps companies and organization become more profitable by increasing their value and lowering their costs through the professional development of their managers and employees.

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