We live in a melting pot. For example, if there is a military base in a town, the town has two distinct cultures: military and non-military. Most cities have married and single people in it. Those are two different cultures, as well; single people often have different views than those of their married counterparts. We have now identified four different cultures: married, single, military and non-military.
You get the point. Since there are several cultures living and working in the same places, it makes since that we all get along. And part of what brings us to that point is understanding. Going into a business transaction knowing some of the expectations of the other party, makes for a much easier completion of that transaction.
For example, if you go into a workplace that is owned by an Arabic company, it is good to know that they don’t particularly like entering into business or employment arrangements until they feel that trust has been well established. If you sense reluctance on their part, you will understand that it is nothing personal; it is just their cultural views.
In the massage business, we don’t know who will come in to see us. Being aware of cultural views allows us to relate to potential clients in a way that will make them feel at ease. People who feel comfortable tend to seek out the same places and service providers that made them feel that way.
By the same token, we don’t know who we may end up working with. Silence or a reluctance to engage in office gossip by a co-worker might be misconstrued as a sign of haughtiness and superiority, where the fact is that, culturally, engaging in that behavior might be considered to be disrespectful. If we are cognizant of these behavioral characteristics, we can go a very long way in promoting positive collaboration and communication.