You will prepare and submit a term paper on MGT 501 SLP. Your paper should be a minimum of 750 words in length. On the contrary, I was pleasantly surprised by my score in the quiz on African affairs. This is because I have not particularly taken a course to do with African affairs, and yet I got only one question wrong. 2.0 How Culturally Aware Am I? From my experience in dealing with people from various cultural backgrounds, I have learnt that I have strength in establishing mutually beneficial relationships with culturally different people. Sometimes, a person from a different cultural background and I can reach a mutual agreement on how to do something, even though we do not particularly hold the same views. Most of the times, this is achieved through compromise and an evaluation of which way best suits the situation, thus ascribing to the “my way and their way” form of cultural awareness (Gardenswartz & Rowe, 2001). In such cases, therefore, I chose to appreciate our cultural differences and not try to force similarities. This way, if the chosen way does not work, we can always resort to the way of the other culture, where possible. This has taught me that there is no single culture that has “one best way” of doing something (Gardenswartz & Rowe, 2001). Nonetheless, I recognise that I am not fully culturally aware. Although I recognise that there are different cultures, I am sometimes biased in passing cultural judgments on people. For example, I question the necessity of bowing to a senior person while greeting them, as the Chinese do. I sometimes think that such an action portrays inferiority on the part of the person doing the bowing. In addition, I am particularly judgmental of those cultures that, for example, still practice female circumcision in Africa. I question their beliefs and end up convinced that nothing could, in my culture, rationalise such practices. My primary step is devising ways of appreciating people, given that I am familiar with the fact that I am capable of building rapport with people from numerous cultures and I intend to build on that. Next in plan should be identifying the reasons why some persons from some cultural milieu conduct themselves in a specific way whilst others react to other situations in a different way. Later on, I should use my connections with persons from varied cultures to allow me to gain a clear understanding of their conduct and opinions. Consequently, I will get to a point where I am on recognisable terms with the fact that I have an approach of doing things, while a different person has their way of conducting themselves. I think I should first of all do more research, for instance, on why some Africans observe female genital mutilation, so as to evade my shortcoming in making judgment on the culture of other persons. I believe more research will allow me to be more knowledgeable of the reasons why female genital mutilation is such a critical ritual of passage. Secondly, I should endeavour to put myself in the situation of the person I criticise on the basis of their culture and see if I would have done anything in a different way, if I were the one in the alleged culture. 3.0 The Significance of Cultural Understanding to Managers It is fundamental in a managerial setting that managers increase their levels of cultural awareness, as this goes a great mile in determining the outcome of organisational activities. As Gardenswartz and Rowe (2001) put it, a manager may be required to pass information to employees, or to solve conflicts among employees.
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