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Cultural Preparedness for Working in ASEAN

Cultural preparedness is expected from individuals working or planning to work in the ASEAN region.
© Universiti Malaya

Cultural preparedness is expected from individuals working or planning to work in the ASEAN region, either from within or outside the region, and communicating either online or offline. The workplaces in the ASEAN region are staffed with people of different cultures, and they may also serve customers from diverse cultural backgrounds, as well as having different backgrounds of education, lifestyle, and so on. Thus, it is vital that both staff and customers are treated with respect and sensitivity.

Therefore, the important first steps are:

  • To learn about the differences between these individuals’ cultures and how those differences create different needs, and
  • To learn how to accommodate those needs.

To learn about the culture the following could be of help:

To learn about a culture, the following approach can help: First, learn basic greetings and phrases. Both verbal and non-verbal communication are crucial to understanding cultural differences. It is important to take the time to learn how people from the focal culture greet each other, including through body language. Learning the language is one of the best conduits to understanding another culture. Also valuable is knowing the culture’s value system, beliefs, customs, taboos, and social networking practices.

Developing such awareness beforehand reduces the possibility of cross-cultural misunderstandings that can lead to workplace conflicts.

© Universiti Malaya
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Multiculturalism In ASEAN

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