Cultural understanding means that you recognise and respect that people come from diverse cultural backgrounds that are different to your own, meaning they may hold different values and belief systems.
It is about understanding the similarities and differences between cultures, and acknowledging that they are equally important.
Sometimes people will think or act differently to what you’re used to, but this does not make it wrong.
Cultural understanding requires taking an interest, learning and identifying what you could gain from someone else’s views.
The modern world is very multicultural and diverse, meaning you’re likely to be living and working with people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. You’re also likely to be working with people of various generations who may have been brought up with a different set of values or beliefs.
Acknowledging that people think and act differently and displaying cultural sensitivity is not just a desirable skill in the workplace, it’s a must-have.
An employee that holds a cultural understanding is less likely to encounter conflict or frustration, and generally has better work relationships. When a company is culturally diverse and everyone understands and respects each other’s beliefs, it can lead to innovation and creative ideas.
Acknowledging everyone’s unique perspectives can help a company remain competitive, and also make employees feel more included and engaged.