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Cultural sensitivity is needed in the digital age

credit: From Jagrit Parajuli to AIXabay

The recent presentation on Saturday night via the video link was a sufficiently typical scene in the world since Covid-19.

In essence, we all started working digitally on the screen and built trade relationships. But something was wrong about what some audiences could see that night.

The majority of participants came from the Gulf region, all officially wearing robes and wearing headdresses suitable for their culture. Meanwhile, Western participants were dressed casually and their attitude was sometimes quite informal. Arab participants were unable to comment politely, but body language indicated that carelessness had been pointed out. A phone call after the event confirmed that one colleague quit his presentation early as a result of lack of courtesy at the show.

It must be acknowledged that the transition to the use of video calls and other digital communications is full of cultural norms suitable for British life.

Some parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, are in an era of more informal, digital work that accepts a mix of work and family life, but not in other cultures.

The question is what happens to the intercultural government and its trade-related relationships if we rely on remote interactions.

It is important to get our digital relationship right with the world.

This means paying more attention to cultural perceptions, thinking about what needs to be changed in digital routines and behaviors, and implementing a new kind of hybrid way to build and protect relationships. .. People need to form relationships with people, not alternatives to sophisticated technology or ultra-modern digital avatars.

First of all, we must admit that the transition to the use of video calling and other digital communications is full of cultural norms suitable for British life.

This includes habits that were previously considered inappropriate. Wear pajamas at the morning meeting. Eating and drinking. Start housework on the screen. The casual approach caused other problems. I even made negative comments when I thought my laptop’s microphone was muted. And, more generally, excessive reliance on casual communication. Get things done by replacing face-to-face meetings and phone calls with simple emails.

The Middle East is a clear example. For Muslims, it’s clear and simple. The rules of life and the constituents of respectful human behavior are set out in the Koran. Just as a start, we have to make digital communications about how Muslims need to attend prayer calls and may not be able to answer the phone on Friday. Young Muslims are digital natives and may be willing to take advantage of digital tools, but that doesn’t change the fundamental way of thinking about “right” behavior. Organizations in the region do not electronically sign transactions without establishing relationships, even when video and other remote contacts are performed perfectly.

Hybrid relationship
In other words, we need to be aware that we are overly dependent on digital relationships. The associated savings are not worth it if the business does not take place or the partnership begins to collapse. We need to be aware of the issues of digital influence, more about practices, how they meet the needs of different cultural contexts, and how we can set up hybrid relationships such as: You need to be careful. Social contact; the process of calculating details is done remotely. Also, if you have a mix of local presence from some members of your team and other members are participating in a video call.

Most importantly, the organization is willing to invest in both time and integrity. When dealing with other cultures, no matter what region you are dealing with, there are no shortcuts. In many parts of the world, business leaders want to “break bread.” They need to sit at their desks, shake hands, and watch them sign contracts with their dear new partners. That means not only sending electronic contracts, but also believing in the power of eye-to-eye trust and giving up time to show the right level of respect for your human partner.

Cultural awareness training is the first step. That’s how to learn the rules of the game. But like sports, knowing the rules of rugby is different from being able to take your position in Scrum.

Recognizing the potential for problems such as unconscious prejudice, working across cultures and dealing with all the complexities of establishing relationships requires experience, time and support. In the same room, there are more subtle traps and pitfalls than ever before.

Cultural sensitivity is needed in the digital age

Source link Cultural sensitivity is needed in the digital age

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