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Meeting the needs of culturally diverse clients by enhancing employee cultural understandings

Coaching, with its focus on listening, questioning, and exploration of self, especially values and beliefs, can be a highly effective way to develop understanding of a range of cultures. Such understandings have a positive impact on a person’s own - and where coaching is used throughout a business - all employees’ ability, to comprehend differences in communication and how professional relationships are formed, as well as alternative relationships with different concepts of ‘time’, rules, hierarchy, negotiations, humour, and so on.

The supportive environment that is developed by coaching provides a safe space for employees to grow their skills and build strategies for working together. In turn, this can help with short- and long-term business development, especially around decision-making, planning and operations. Some of the benefits include the:

  • Enhanced ability to meet the needs of a culturally diverse range of clients through employee cultural knowledge  (Australian Multicultural Foundation, 2010), and an associated reduction in complaints / grievances.

  • Improved knowledge, understanding and relationships with culturally diverse market segments (Australian Multicultural Foundation, 2010).

  • Reduction in employee turnover.

  • Enhanced sense of inclusion, cohesion and productivity amongst employees.

  • Enhanced reputation as a business, and as an employer, with culturally diverse communities (domestic and international) (Australian Multicultural Foundation, 2010).

  • Increased customer satisfaction and number of referrals  (Australian Multicultural Foundation, 2010).

  • Lower costs and higher profitability.

  • More effective communications and marketing (Australian Multicultural Foundation, 2010).

Reference

Australian Multicultural Foundation. (2010). Managing Cultural Diversity  Training Program Resource Manual. Retrieved from http://amf.net.au/library/uploads/files/MCD_Training_Program_Resource_Manual.pdf

Image

Challenging Stereotypes. CC ( BY NC ND ) licensed Flickr image by Jake Brewer: https://flic.kr/p/8usR2

 

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