Motivation in a Highly Multicultural Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

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IV. Reminders to Help

Kim & Lyons (2003) report that games can be successfully used to instill and enhance individuals' abilities to succeed in a multicultural firm. Game playing possesses numerous characteristics which could enhance the learning of competencies areas of skills, attitudes and beliefs, and knowledge. Games which include low-risk potential can increase a sense of safety, reduce vulnerable feelings, while also, and enhancing multicultural awareness.

For example, the use of games can balance out the inherent hierarchy between the trainees and the instructor (i.e., it levels the playing field) and potentially lead to an increased sense of safety on the part of the trainees" (Kim & Lyons, 2003). Increasing an individual's sense of safety can work tom eliminate prejudices and allow students and trainees to more readily examine their personal norms; cultural values; attitudes and beliefs that influence them. During the process, as confrontation likely decreases, they may improve their multicultural understanding and decrease limitations that constrain them. In playing games, trainees may become more willing to try new actives, as their fear of making mistakes decreases. In addition, trainees' may begin to feel less vulnerable, and in behavioral encourage them to begin to more openly share their emotions, in turn, helping them to become more "real." Playing games can also strengthen a group of individuals' camaraderie.

For the knowledge dimension of multicultural counseling competencies, games can provide an interesting and perhaps enjoyable way to gain multicultural knowledge about various ethnic groups. Culture-specific information can be incorporated into games, and the trainee's accurate and inaccurate perceptions about the culture can be explored without fear of negative retribution " (Kim & Lyons, 2003). During the course of playing a game, discussing common stereotypes, along with their possible origins, can encourage participants to share personal experiences and perhaps talk about sensitive topics. Difficult concerns can be more easily be openly explored and discussed.

Employing activities that stimulate individuals, such as games, help develop competence. Many training programs are knowledge and skills-based but neglect to focus nurturing self-awareness' changes.

Personal awareness development deserves as much focus as skills and knowledge. Learning activities based on experience provide options for achieving this goal. Research showed that utilizing "The Empathy Game," to teach empathy to individuals resulted in participants increasing their empathy skills. (Kim & Lyons, 2003)

Games can be used to stimulate learning, utilized as a tool in training and also can be employed to motivate positive interactions between individuals from different cultures. "Research also supports the use of games as a useful training tool in education. In a review of research, Bredemeir and Greenblat (1981) noted that advocates of this use of games emphasized that participants typically experience motivation, interest, enjoyment, involvement, and satisfaction" (Kim & Lyons, 2003). Games are reported to be particularly helpful in promoting positive attitudes. As participants become involved in a game, they are more likely to retain information perhaps because games, compared to cognitive learning via spoken or written words allow instruction. Moreover, Varenhorst (1973) noted that games are useful because they permit experiential learning. Advocates using game to enhance learning emphasize "that participants typically experience motivation, interest, enjoyment, involvement, and satisfaction" Kim & Lyons, 2003). Games facilitate the participants' learning and help them retain information they learn. Numerous familiar games can be adapted to use in motivational exercises and activities. Leaders, as well as, trainees can also develop games to assess, instill, enhance and/or address knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and/or skills.

Games focusing on awareness have to be balanced with "safe" feelings, so that while participants confront their prejudices, biases and limitations, they also can focus on increasing the awareness of their own and other participants' cultures and privileges. In addition to initiating games to motivate trainees and others in a firm, leaders, supervisors and trainers may use the following common techniques (used to train trainers) to stimulate individuals to effectively work with others:

Role playing, with observer feedback.

Role playing, with video feedback and observer feedback.

Participating in organization development (OD) projects with goals related to the participant's specific skill needs.

Receiving coaching and counseling from an OD consultant.

A case analyses with other program participants.

Rotating jobs that entail managerial tasks, with frequent feedback.

Being mentored.

Receiving special assignments that require high levels of interpersonal interaction.
...Office of Personnel Management.

Maintaining a learning journal.

Providing coaching and counseling to peers within the program.

Attending "interpersonal forums" with other program, participants to discuss progress and problems. * Attending feedback-intensive programs... * Writing position descriptions...

Providing balanced feedback on a routine basis.

Providing frequent and timely reinforcement of desired behavior.

Withholding rewards... not performing or are demonstrating little motivation" (Pernick, 2002).

Williams (2002) states that "Hofstede identifies language as the most superficial manifestation of culture. Like visual icons, flags and modes of dress, language is an outward symbol that conveys meaning. More important than language are nonverbal communication patterns -- modes of greeting, social customs and religious rituals. Still more important than verbal and nonverbal communication are values, the essential manifestation of culture."

Cultural values embrace perception of beautiful; ugly; good; bad; right; wrong; appropriate; not acceptable. Preferences such as these are learned from and individual's society, as well as, form their. To understanding individuals from differing countries requires seeing more than surface; seeing what's valuable inside a person and assessing values that influence them, along with their perceptions, judgments and actions.

Being awareness of oneself, as well as knowing about one's culture is said to be as vital as knowing about other individuals and their cultures. When one learns about people from a group differing from his own, he receives the gift of an opportunity to gain knowledge; to learn not only how others reason but how they ultimately became influenced by their experiences. Gaining this knowledge builds a foundation of understanding of an individual's personal heritage. (Fuller, 2003, p. 4) Fuller (2003, p. 11) writes that no systematic collection of data recording numbers of multiracial individuals in the U.S. existed until the 2000 census. Prior to this time, estimates had reported the population of multiracial people to range from 2 to 10 million (Morrissey, 1996; Poston, 1990). The 2000 census presented."..the first set of tangible data about multiracial people. For the first time on the census questionnaire, respondents were permitted to choose more than one racial category to describe themselves. Results revealed that previous estimates had been fairly accurate. According to the 2000 census (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2001), nearly 7 million people, or 2.4% of the total U.S. population, reported membership in more than one racial group. Among those reporting more than one race, the overwhelming majority (93%) reported exactly two races" (Fuller, 2003, p. 11).

Planning for change constitutes one of the primary "people -- and process aspects of doing business" (Cunningham, 2001, p. 158). Planning for changes, and preparing to put changes into practice, however, are not the same. "At some point, the raft has to be ready to go down the river. If the river is the market the water can be smooth, wild, or downright treacherous depending on the circumstances. If the company can control and steer the boat, this is as good as it gets. Every organization has to make the choices, weigh the risks and rewards, decide how much to change and how quickly, all the time keeping a careful eye on the moving marketplace. The willingness of an operation to make the necessary commitment to embrace the current industry climate is an ongoing management challenge. There is a reason e-commerce strategists and managers are well compensated. This is a challenging ride. (Cunningham, 2001, p. 151)

Soliciting What's Valuable

When, throughout the process of mutating employees in a multicultural firm, as employees are encouraged to ask questions and to express opinions, motivators need to remind them "that they are performing a service, not a disservice, to their sponsor or mentor if they offer their perspective" (Murrell, Crosby, & Ely, 1999, p. 59). In order to find solutions, individuals need to articulate their problems. For people who feel vulnerable, however, they may need reassurance that its "safe to discuss their problems. They need to know that they will be heard and not blamed" (Murrell, Crosby, & Ely, 1999, p. 177). As individuals in a multicultural firm come to trust each, an old adage, "circles do not just flow in one direction," serves as a fitting reminder to help break down barriers between individuals from different…

Sources Used in Documents:


Chang, C.Y. (2003). Chapter 5 Counseling Asian-Americans. In Counseling Multicultural and Diverse Populations: Strategies for Practitioners, Vacc, N.A., Devaney, S.B., & Brendel, J.M. (Eds.) (pp. 73-92). New York: Brunner-Routledge.

Cunningham, M.J. (2001). B2B: How to Build a Profitable E-Commerce Strategy. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing.

Diversity or Diversion? Experts Express Their Views about the Effectiveness of Diversity Programs and Offer Suggestions on How to Improve Them. (2002, July). Black Enterprise, 32, 82+.

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