Treat diversity as your asset for uncommon gains
As the workplace becomes more diverse and increasingly international, project managers need to better understand cultural differences. This article features an interview with Sheilina Somani, winner of the 2002 PMI European Palme D'Or for soft skills. Ms. Somani believes that project managers who fail to take into account cultural diversity have failed to manage their risks or utilize the assets of their team. Diverse people coming from different backgrounds can bring different perspectives and attitudes to a project, and help to accommodate culture within the business context. Being aware of the different ways that people from other cultures think and react can help project managers avoid conflict and misunderstanding.The article contains a discussion of the 'seven dimensions of culture' as formulated by cross-cultural consultant Fons Trompenaars.