Most of us try to avoid getting into a conflict situation.
We view conflict as unpleasant and may find ourselves ill equipped to solve a conflict situation. Furthermore, we often see conflict as something negative, though in and of itself, conflict is neither good nor bad. Conflict can, in fact, create productive brainstorming between colleagues, result in out-of-the-box solutions, but it can also hinder collaboration and slow work processes.
Cultural conflict occurs when different cultural values and beliefs clash. Cultural conflict is more difficult to solve if we are not culturally competent and experienced in identifying the conflict and pursuant working out ways to solve it in a culturally respectful way.
When in a conflict situation with a person from another culture, ask yourself the following critical questions:
There are a few key strategies that can help you improve understanding and managing conflict:
The fact that we don’t always understand others does not mean that they are wrong. In culture, there is no RIGHT or WRONG, there are just different values that drive peoples’ behavior.
Becoming culturally agile is adopting a new way of behaving, it requires practice and patience, but the more you practice the better you will become.