Our view of the world is instilled in us from our own particular cultural perspectives. This is often called ethnocentrism—the tendency to view and interpret the behavior of others through a personal cultural lens. In order to start learning how to connect across cultures, it is important that we start with understanding our own cultural lens, and realize that we need an outlook that takes into account how other cultures look at the world.
Future leaders will need to understand their own unique cocktail of talents, ambitions, biases, and vulnerabilities to help them manage the cultural differences they will face. Our (cultural) rules will not always work with or in other cultures. Rules will differ not only on what hierarchy means, but also on how we negotiate, influence, view time, build relationships, and engage in many other behaviors.
So before any of us in positions of leadership (personally and professionally) start to make critical decisions in our lives, it’s important we examine our biases and ensure that we are being inclusive with our thoughts and actions.
Use your DIFFERENCE to make a DIFFERENCE.