Managing Diversity:

Cultural Intelligence

10 Guidelines for Multicultural Collaboration

Managing Cross-cultural Differences and Leveraging Diversity


Adapted from Working on Common Cross-Cultural Communication Challenges, Marcelle E.DuPraw and Marya Axner



  1. Learn from generalizations about other cultures, but don't use those generalizations to stereotype. Use them rather to understand better and appreciate other multifaceted human beings.

  2. Remember that cultural norms may not apply to the behavior of any particular individual. We are all more complicated than any cultural norm could suggest.

  3. Awareness of current power imbalances is necessary for understanding each other, solving problems, working together and build synergies

  4. Honest acknowledgment of the mistreatment that has taken place on the basis of cultural difference is vital for effective communication. Use this as an opportunity to develop trust.

  5. Don't assume that yours is the only right way to communicate. Keep questioning your assumptions about the "right way" to communicate. Communicate trust and build rapport by talking in your client's preferred mode.

  6. Search for ways to make the communication work, rather than searching for who should receive the blame for the breakdown

  7. Listen and empathetically and actively.

  8. Honor others' opinions about what is going on. Try to understand different perceptions of the same reality. Put yourself in the other person's shoes.

  9. Suspend judgment, and try to look at the situation as an outsider. Take different perceptual positions.

  10. Practice, practice, practice.