Working across cultures is a new experience for many people. Intercultural communication can be a lively and creative affair. However, occasionally, due to the inability to interpret people correctly communication can become challenging. Developing an understanding of someone's culture, their communication styles, and behaviors can go a long way in improving relationships and becoming more successful in an intercultural environment Payne, 2006).
Working within the confines of multicultural organizations, communication issues will inevitably become a distraction to the principle parties. This essay describes, explains, and rectifies a situation that illustrates an intercultural communications issue within a work environment; describing the context, the principle players, and the outcome of the situation; followed by a diagnosis of the communication issue and strategies for dealing with the issues.
Communication IssueLowe's Home Improvement has more than 1650 stores located in the US and Canada with plans to build 60-75 more stores in 2009.
With more the 228,000 employees the average is more than 100 per store which makes Lowe's an employer of a culturally diverse workforce (Lowe's, 2009). In one of its North Carolina stores, six employees were selected to complete a special project. The employees were to select a partner which resulted in three teams of two employees; each team completing his or her portion of the project. The employees selected included three African-Americans, two Caucasians, and one Hispanic.
As the four of the employees paired up, John one of the Caucasian and Manuel, the Hispanic were the last to become partners. John was not pleased with having to work with Manuel. Not that John was prejudice; the issue was that Manuel spoke very little English. As a result, John had a very difficult time communicating with Manuel. When John attempted to instruct Manuel on how their portion of the...