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Students are asked to keep a learning journal during the semester to be assessed. The journal should not exceed 2500 words. The journal should document your learning and reflections about this unit (at the strategic, functional and operational levels) from both a local and international perspective.
The purpose of the journal is to:
Document your participation, development and progress in this unit.
Demonstrate your learning journey, using examples and discussing insights by focusing on particular points of interest.
The reader of your journal should be able to clearly identify, elements of the following:
How you have become more self-aware as a result of the topics discussed?
What, if any, behavioural changes have you made in your communication style?
What, if any, changes have you made regarding your beliefs, values and attitudes towards the topics discussed?
During the course of the program so far, what, situations did you face, that
Challenged your perceptions, attitudes, beliefs or behaviours and actions?
o Reinforced beliefs, values, behaviours, actions?
o You will work on now and in the future?
o Allowed you to discover something about yourself/others/communication that was new to you?
Working Across Cultures
Working across people of different cultures has been very inspiring and motivational for me. In today's age of globalization, many organizations work across different cultures every day. By working on projects with a diverse workforce across borders, it has given me further insight and skill sets for understanding people from different regions, countries and continents. This course has help me understand myself and the impact of my preconceptions and subconscious actions on others. It has helped me adapt easily to different circumstances that may arise whilst working in a cross-cultural environment. Furthermore, we know that cultures adapt as they come in contact with more people and evolving technology. Therefore, I have been always willing to alter my perceptions based on different experiences with people of diverse cultures (Brake, 2017).
To start with, I had a certain level of discomfort, uncertainty and ambiguity. However, I have always been curious to learn things that expand my views about different cultures. This involved me asking open ended questions to my colleagues and team mates about their cultures with a willingness to learn from their beliefs, work culture and traditions. If I did not understand anything, I was never afraid of any clarification. Herewith, many a times I found out that my assumptions were incorrect as I did not consider the perspective of the other person. I also learnt to empathize with people from diverse cultures to understand their approach towards various aspects such as communication, decision-making and information sharing (Brake, 2017). I always made efforts to build up relationships in my network. For the same, I made efforts to know people at a personal level and that too with patience and perseverance. This made me further identify differences and similarities between people of diverse cultures. A good sense of humour always helped me in difficult times of dealing and networking in a cross-cultural environment (Maclachlan, 2014).
I also practiced flexing between direct and indirect communication as well as formal and informal interactions. Locked in one style of communication does not help anyone to evolve further in the borderless workplace. This is because there is a lot of difference between what one prepares and what is encountered. My aim in working in a cross-cultural environment was to give respect to everyone. This did not necessarily mean agreeing to others. There ere times when I respectfully disagreed without any conflicts. The art of respecting everyone across diverse cultures involved learning about others, deep listening and resorting to minor adaptations. I also made efforts of imbibing theoretical knowledge about the 'Cultural Dos and DONTs'. This also involved making a list of difficult and confusing words being used across different cultures that may give rise to discrepancies in expectations following the use of a particular word or a phrase.
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