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How can multicultural individuals contribute to teams?

Multicultural individuals can be a great asset to teams that are culturally diverse, but this comes with some challenges.

Multicultural individuals can be a great asset to teams that are culturally diverse, but this comes with some challenges.

In this video, hear from expert Associate Professor Stacey Fitzsimmons from University of Victoria, Canada as she describes how multicultural individuals contribute to teams.

Bridging and integrating

As Stacey discuses in the video, multicultural individuals can play an important role in diverse teams.

Multicultural individuals can help explain the behaviour of fellow team members and prevent cultural misunderstandings from occurring, particularly if they have culture and language skills relevant to the cultures on the team.

Research has shown that multicultural individuals are generally more mindful of cultural influences, which may help them to play a bridging role.

Multicultural individuals can also help team members to integrate their diverse knowledge and ideas to arrive at a more creative outcome.

Providing a different perspective

Another advantage multicultural individuals can offer teams is their unique perspective.

They tend to develop ways of thinking about culture that are more complex than monocultural individuals.

Because multicultural individuals are better able to think through different perspectives and are less likely to conform to a particular cultural viewpoint, having a multicultural team member may help safeguard against groupthink.

To get the most out of multicultural individuals in your team, consider what roles or tasks will maximise their ability to utilise their multicultural knowledge and skills.

Your task

Watch the video to hear Dr Stacey Fitzsimmons discuss multicultural individuals. Do any of her stories resonate with you?

Share your perspectives or similar experiences of being multicultural or working with others who are multicultural in the comments.

This article is from the free online

Leading Culturally Diverse Teams in the Workplace

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