Lacking Cultural Awareness in a Global World
Contributors: Vanessa Bravo & Erin Bohling
22 March 2022
In a world that never fails to surprise, navigating culture and relationships in business is a continual effort. Cultural awareness is an effective way to grow internationally and diversify in order to grow as a business. At LCG Brands, we have learned that it is crucial to understand that working with different people means applying our methods through different approaches with our main goal of educating them.
But how exactly do you do this if there is a war going on like the Russian-Ukrainian one? Significant world events like this would require additional learning steps in cultural awareness, especially in business and the workplace. If you were working with people from either Russia or Ukraine, it might be hard to know what to say to either of them. Using cultural awareness techniques such as acknowledging how your own culture shapes your perception of world events, working to understand cultural differences and similarities, and being conscious of the organizational culture and its effects can help you navigate communication. During these times, people around the world may be feeling emotions of stress, concern, and powerlessness. It is essential for organizations to utilize cultural awareness to ensure that employees and clients are feeling safe and supported in the workspace.
When the pandemic hit, LCG founder Jodi’s insurance company told her "due to this Chinese virus we will be closed." This kind of language is culturally insensitive and is a prime example to understand why the best way to approach an issue is by avoiding bias. This can be done by supporting the people around you in order to create a space of education and psychological safety in your business. To achieve this, it is important to lead with compassion and empathy and create a safe space for people to discuss how they are feeling. As an employer or founder, it is your priority to educate your people on the best well-balanced resources available to them.
National Center for Cultural Competence. “Curricula Enhancement Module Series: Cultural Awareness.” Georgetown University, https://nccc.georgetown.edu/curricula/awareness/index.html.
Health Action Alliance and the SHRM Foundation. “www.shrm.org.” SHRM, 2 Mar. 2022, https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/global-hr/pages/war-in-ukraine-how-business-leaders-can-support-employees-affected-by-the-crisis.aspx.
Seah, Leanna. “The Importance of Cultural Awareness in International Business.” Airswift, https://www.airswift.com/blog/importance-of-cultural-awareness