How Do Language and Culture Affect Workplace Success ?

I am involved in an online discussion on how language and culture affect workplace success. The moderator has framed the discussion in there terms;

exploring the more subtle cultural differences of communicative style – those rules of communication that we all follow more or less unconsciously, but which change from culture to culture, and thus are frequently implicated in misunderstandings, stereotypes and discrimination in the workplace. It is my belief that workplace success requires more than just language and technical skills. The workplace is an inherently political site, and we need to prepare our students to navigate it successfully. “

The follow is offered as a resource for the participants.

“Interethnic Communication: How to Recognize Negative Stereotypes and Improve Communication between Ethnic Groups.”

My view;

I have worked in France, Hong Kong and Japan, and have always had around 40% immigrants, of a variety of origins, employed at my company. We have not had problems, and we could not possibly get into the cultural differences of each of these employees. We deal with them as individuals.

I am of the view that successful employees soon figure out the dominant culture in the work place and adapt. I do not see much that language teachers have to offer here. What are your views?


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