To succeed in leadership roles and team activities, it helps to learn about the perspectives that affect your workplace culture. In a nutshell, people come to work with different expectations for how workers should act. When you understand how people feel differently about aspects of your workplace culture, you can interact more effectively with them.
The meaning of "team" differs for workers from diverse backgrounds. A recent psychology article explains how some US individuals describe a team in terms of sports anecdotes, whereas many Latin American individuals describe a team as a family. With these two interpretations of "team," workers expect different behavioral norms to apply to their relationships with their co-workers.
"Achievement" has diverse meanings in the workplace and can demonstrate the importance of perspective. In a culture where hard work by individuals helps the team achieve its goals, co-workers can actually enjoy accountability to teammates. In a culture where management awards the achievement of high-performing individuals yet gives little or no recognition to the team, workers have little reason to collaborate as a team. As a worker, you can pick the kind of culture you want to work in based on your workplace values.
Cultural values have different meanings based on your role. A manager and a secretary might associate different values with a workplace culture referred to as "democratic." A manager may feel he and his fellow managers do not have enough authority to make autonomous decisions regarding their employees -- managers must always gain consensus in a democratic workplace. A secretary might believe she has the right to participate in high-level policy decisions because her democratic workplace often asks for her input.
Perspective helps make sense of your social role and expected behaviors. There is significant discussion on embracing diversity in the workplace. Diversity is broad; basically, someone is from a diverse background if he or she has personal qualities that differ from yours, not just ethnicity and gender. In addition, a person is diverse if he or she does not share a social membership or common background with a group. By celebrating diversity, you can work well with people regardless of their differences.
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