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“Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster.” – Geert Hoffsted
Listening to the fellows discussing their different cultures and learning about how all of their countries are very different made me think that this quote is absolutely wrong.
I think it’s important to be able to work around cultural differences and use them in order to strengthen, rather than weaken the group. I think looking at diversity as a weakness instead of a strength is divisive.
Looking around the world, there are a great many more similarities than differences. between people and countries. But it’s the ways that we are different that are better, it’s the different ways that we solve problems, connect with people and live our daily lives that can strengthen a good team.
Looking at differences as nothing more than obstacles is simply shortsighted. It completely avoids the fact that, with a little work and compromise, a team with a lot of cultural differences can accomplish more than a team whose thought process is the same. Looking at a problem from an alternative perspective can often solve it more efficiently, although working with multiple perspectives can sometimes be more work than working with a group who don’t have many cultural differences.
I know being in class with so many people from so many different backgrounds has expanded the way I look at the world. Though, at times, there may be signals crossed and meanings misunderstood, but I think that the end result will be much richer and more complete.

2 Comments on “”

  1. Some of the presentations also helped in dimystifying stereotypes about certain countries. I was able to have first hand information South Africa, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Serbia and Latvia about the beautiful things that are found in these countries.

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