Conflicting perspectives

In an increasingly global and diverse workplace, sometimes the heart of the problem is that people differ from each other in age, gender, ethnicity or personality type.

Conflict has been acknowledged as an important aspect of modern management. Despite the negative effect of conflict, it can achieve productive outcomes if managed effectively, such as improved relationships, more effective task completion and more creative problem solving and innovation.

As the multicultural work force has become a reality due to business globalization and migration, cross-cultural conflicts may cause more attention than usual in today’s organizations. Increased cultural diversity in different settings calls for abilities to adapt to the unfamiliar environment and to learn to work and live productively with people from different cultural backgrounds, which highlights the ability of intercultural sensitivity.

The multicultural perspective in conflict resolution has important benefits for leaders and organizations. If it is not taken into consideration, then groups in conflict might otherwise default to their own specific culture. Given an appreciation of multicultural complexity, they are less likely to accept quick and easy, but wrong answers by imposing their cultural perspective on others. Therefore, by understanding a range of culturally different approaches to conflict resolution, peoples’ practical and theoretical options for resolving conflict are increased.

A multicultural perspective of conflict resolution interprets the conflict in a multicultural context that helps explain that conflict meaningfully in terms of causes, processes, and effects. Inter-culturally sensitive persons can perceive various stimuli in their surroundings and to stand in other people’s shoes; they are highly aware of what is going on in the interaction and can accept the existence of the differences. They like to take the challenges of dealing with cultural differences and have high self-confidence in managing cultural interactions. Such persons are not likely to ignore other persons’ needs, to leave the problem, or to use harsh strategies that may result in more tensions.

In the workplace, conflict causes a massive degree of frustration, pain, discomfort, sadness, as well as anger. It is a normal life aspect.

In the world of today, organizations hire employees from diverse geographical locations with dissimilar cultural and intellectual backgrounds, as well as various viewpoints.

In a working environment where people have disparate outlooks toward the same problems, disagreements are bound to happen.

Conflict is inevitable because we’re human beings and come from different backgrounds. That’s why organizations need to remember to bring people together to get to know each other, recognize colleague’s accomplishments and gain a better understanding of the value of colleagues’ experience

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