If you aspire to be a successful administrative manager, you need to be aware that cultural barriers in your department can present their share of challenges.
First-generation immigrants can be most challenged in the workplace. Many immigrants often socialize exclusively with workers from their own country. As a result, they sometimes remain unaware of U.S. social etiquette and find it difficult to follow colloquial English and American idioms. Often cross-gender and cross-cultural barriers can present a problem in worker-to-worker exchanges and worker-to-supervisor communications.
For example, some cultures believe that looking directly at one's superior is a sign of disrespect. Some supervisors may interpret this as evasive, non-committal, or less than truthful. Other cultures display elaborate body decorations on their hands, and other parts of their bodies as an omen of good luck. Still others may wear ethnic clothing.
Be proactive and initiate your administrative department to learn about the culture of your new employee. The goal is to make them feel comfortable by being as inclusive as possible. Do this on their very first day on the job by displaying an appropriate coffee mug, an office welcome card or potted plant that is appropriate in their culture.
The important thing to remember is to not intimidate the new worker but to treat them with respect and dignity. Accept their cultural differences and highlight the similarities of your new employee with the rest of your staff. Keep in mind that what many consider cultural barriers are simply layers that, once uncovered, will reveal the gifts they bring as a human being.
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