Communication issues in the workplace

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Anyone in a work environment having an understanding of what good effective Intercultural communication in the workplace entails will enhance every person’s ability to experience a successful and professional work experience. People can be exposed to misunderstandings in the workplace due to conflict of interests.

These conflicts of interests can be rooted from a variety of cultural differences among distinctive ethnic backgrounds other than our own, and international individuals who are in our country solely for education or temporary work. Lack of proper understanding or skills of diversity in the workplace can cause many discrepancies among coworkers. People live in an increasingly complex world. One element of this complexity is the mixing of different cultures, languages and faiths. Within the business world intercultural communication is vital for success.

Effective communication between colleagues from different cultural backgrounds ensures a team is working harmoniously.


There was a Caucasian tall skinny man with glasses who worked as a Deejay in West Virginia while attending West Virginia University. He was part German with somewhat of an accent. He had previous experience with all genres of music. His plan was to finish school and return to Germany to pursue his dream of being an internationally known Deejay. He was invited to a national hip hop celebration to perform as an artist and as a Deejay.

The coordinator informed the African American Deejay’s that there would be a Caucasian Deejay coming to assist with them at the job. When he arrived to the celebration, there was a huge table of all African American Deejay’s setting up their equipment. He was told by the coordinator to set up as soon as he arrived there. So he walked up to the table of Deejay’s and they started laughing at him. They made fun of him and ridiculed him thinking it was a joke that he came to Deejay. They made fun of his appearance and did not take him serious. He went to the coordinator and told the coordinator the situation.

The coordinator came over to the table of Deejay’s and explained that he was one of the Deejay’s to be performing and to clear a space for his equipment as they would not do before. Without hesitation they apologized and cleared a space for the German Deejay to set up his equipment. Diagnosis Conflict is a clash of values that is a common occurrence in the workplace. In this particular situation the Deejay’s at the national celebration being all African American may have misjudged the German Deejay for his appearance and accent.

They may have underestimated his ability to Deejay effectively based off of his appearance of different culture and his accent. Because this was a hip hop celebration they seemed to have assumed that he was incapable of livening up the crowd. This common situation of conflict needs to be addressed more in any workplace. More often executives are expected to work internationally, hence business and social contacts between people of various nationalities increased. As these people come from disparate cultural backgrounds, geographical barriers gave way to communication barriers that lead to tensions and conflicts. The important for leaders of any organization properly to train its employees of cultural differences and how to handle situations that may arise is increasingly important. The coordinator may have not properly informed the German Deejay of what he would be exposed to during this particular job. As a result it was somewhat of a culture shock for the German Deejay. This was a culture shock for the German Deejay especially not knowing what to think or expect.

If the coordinator would have notified the African American Deejay’s of the complete extent of the German/Caucasian man’s nationality or description it would have made it easier for everyone involved at the job. The African American Deejay’s were use to working with other African American Deejay’s experienced in hip hop only. The German Deejay felt like an outcast when the African American Deejay’s made fun of him and nonverbally displayed he was unwelcomed by not clearing a space for his equipment due to their poor lack of judgment. Solutions

Any person being of a different ethnicity in a completely different country can expect to experience a conflict of interest at any workplace unfortunately. A decision to be made upon the leaders of the organization to enhance its entire employee’s of the importance of diversity skills and how it can lead to success. If the coordinator would have informed the African American Deejay’s of the nationality, talent, skills, and capabilities of the German Deejay then perhaps the African American Deejay’s would have been more welcoming to the German Deejay.

The German Deejay could have gone to the human resources department of the organization and he or she could offer help for this situation. Any coordinator of any national event should always inform its employees of any possibility of conflicts of interests or lack of understanding of misjudgments that may occur and how to handle a situation like that. In order to come to appreciate and understand people from different cultures, empathy is vital. Through putting yourself in someone else’s shoes he or she will come to see or appreciate their point of view. Everyone makes or has assumptions about others. Assumptions are beliefs rather than objective truth and are usually influenced by a number of subjective factors. Any employee of any workplace must take interest to understand the differences between cultural norms, beliefs, and values within each culture and that they are all distinctive. People should always respect other cultures in order to create a civil and fair work environment. Conclusion

Diversity skills are very important to have in any work environment. Without efficient knowledge or understanding of other cultures and the capabilities of behavior from one culture to the next, conflicts of interest may arise. If employees and leaders can work together to access and prevent any bad situation from happening it would be beneficial to the organization as well as the employee’s. Regardless of the ethnic background of a person, monitoring our own behavior can always be a way of building opportunities and the ability to enhance strengths of comprehending the importance of eing equipped with proper knowledge on the expansion of diversity among worker’s anywhere.


  1. Teo, A. (2006, December 13). Intercultural Conflict in the Workplace: Every Organization’s Nightmare. Ezine Articles. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles. com/?
  2. Intercultural-Conflict-in-the-Workplace:-every-Organizations-Nightmare=385503 The Six Steps to Intercultural Communication. (). Kwintessential. Retrieved from http://www. kwintessential. co. uk/cultural-services/articles/intercultural-communication. html

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