Effective intercultural interaction begins with the right attitude. Without it we tend to react to differences by judging others based on the perspective of our own culture. The following 7 Helpful Attitudes lead to a recognition of positive intentions instead of negative conclusions.
- Optimism/Confidence– Those who interact well among people of another culture believe that cultural encounters can be embraced, understood and worked through. Without this perspective, you’re not likely to make progress. If you lack confidence, stick around this blog – we’ll baby-step you along your way!
- Appreciation of differences – We often meet differences as something to fear. At best, many people merely tolerate differences. However, those who are effective view them as beneficial.
- Comfort with uncertainty – Many intercultural situations include a level of confusion and ambiguity. You just don’t understand what’s going on! A mindset that anticipates and accepts this fact is tremendously helpful.
- Open-mindedness – In a new culture, things don’t always mean what you think. Maintaining an open-mind in response to unfamiliar behavior is a much better response than judging the behavior.
- Cultural Humility – No attitude is more destructive to cultural engagement than thinking that your culture is superior to others. Understanding that all cultures have good and bad aspects is more constructive way to engage
- Curiosity – Opportunities to learn about new cultures are enriching and honoring to others. Understanding this, curious people are eager to learn and understand cultural differences.
- Assume Goodwill – When you don’t know what a cultural norm means, do you assume the worst? A more constructive attitude, among people you have reason to trust, is to assume goodwill.