Blog post by Brone Ram
I mean humanity has warred over which culture is better than the other since Adam ate an apple. We see the competition every day on social media about what looks better, what building is more beautiful than the other, what society is better well equipped than the rest. Social Media can often both be a very dishonest depiction of people but a very true reflection of culture.
“Culture is our mental programming, that tells what our good, bad, wanted or unwanted behaviors are, what we should and shouldn’t do, what is welcome and not welcome.”
- Julien S. Bourrelle (TEDXArendal)
Culture both fortunately and unfortunately is so vast that it we have so many subcultures it can either make or break an economy. Which is why scientists and academics have spent years and some entire careers on attempting to improve cross-culture communication. It is a tool that can assist you in making new friends, ensuring more productive work environments and even prevent wars.
For the entire first year of my Middle Eastern recruitment career, I had been not stepped a foot in the MENA region. I read up on Labor Law, average salary bandings per vacancy, on the different industries and its influence in the market, the evolution of the UAE from a single commodity market to a booming super-economy and much more in attempt to become an expert. I had spent a year learning everything I thought could know about this amazing historic region.
Truthfully it was really only when I arrived in Dubai to feel the intense sweaty heat of a mid-summer Arabian night; to swim in an ocean that is both so easy and harsh on the eye; to get a haircut and a massage for only $5, stand next to the tallest building in the world and become slightly overweight from gorging on addictive Bombay curries daily, is when I could truly speak from the heart and express myself with passion when discussing the culture, region and what it meant to apart of it’s very beautiful society.
You see only when I was are able to go beyond my own cultural understanding and show empathy in a unique matter that I could only really achieve from living within that environment was I able to take the time to breakdown the reasoning for the correct actions and decisions made within that culture and I was able to bridge a gap of understanding and create an environment where I am not seeing what I wanted to see, but rather see the truth of the situation.
McKinsy released a report that analyzed 366 companies in the US, UK and Canada and Latin America and found when companies commit themselves to a more diverse leadership, they are more successful. Overall the report stated that diverse companies were more likely to win over top talent and thus improve things like employee satisfaction which will lead to higher ROI.
Culture has a clear and definite effect on recruitment and us as the professionals within this diverse industry should make it our duty to ensure that good cross-communication is a pillar of expertise within the profession.