I’m currently working on a training session that I’ll be running in a couple of weeks. I’ve been asked to specifically talk about appreciating cultural diversity. So I’ve started compiling a list of what the benefits of having diversity are.
Here are just a few I can think of at the moment:
– Food! Maybe it’s just because it’s near dinner time as I write this, but surely we all appreciate the fact that we can go to a food court in any shopping mall and choose from Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Australian, Korean, American, Mexican and probably a whole lot more cuisines….yum!
– Neuro-plasticity: this refers to our brain’s ability to learn new things. Research has proven that learning a new language or putting yourself in unfamiliar situations (like visiting a different country) can improve your barin’s neuro-plasticity, which helps prevent Alzheimers and other degenerative conditions.
– Free accommodation for your ’round the world trip: when you have friends and work mates from different countries, you can count on them to provide you some hospitality if you visit their home country. On top of that, you’ll experience the country from the locals’ point of view…something most tourists highly value.
– New ideas: When faced with a problem, a team made up of people from diverse backgrounds may have a greater pool of solutions and work out unique ways to work through it. What a bonus for employers!
– Broader vision: Before I interacted with other cultures, I would have easily imagined myself staying in the one place my whole life. Now my eyes are open to global possibilities-it has broadened my horizons.
– Tolerance: Learning to relate to people who are different to you (which, let’s face it, is not limited to other cultures-everyone on the planet is different to you) promotes tolerance and understanding. These days companies call it a “soft skill”- more like “critical skill.”
– Adaptability/flexibility: Another one of those “soft skills” that can be enhanced when you are regularly interacting with other cultures.
I’d love to hear if you have any extra ones to add to the list. Feel free to comment below 🙂
Now I’m off to eat a delicious meal from another culture…