Most multinationals now see the diversity of their workforce as an important commercial strength, giving insights into the mindset of a wide range of customers. So getting on with colleagues from different backgrounds is part of your job, but what does it mean in practice?
Some of what constitutes a person's cultural outlook is easily visible. Clothes, customs, food and body language all vary widely across cultures. Other aspects of culture, such as faith or lifestyle, can be identified if you ask or look closely. But being fully sensitive to your colleagues' diversity means understanding their differences in outlook. These are things that are not so easy to see or label, but which have great potential to cause disharmony.
Take attitudes to authority: some cultures encourage challenge and debate, while others value obedience. Yet either can be misundersto