Cultural values are really the collective programming of our minds from birth. These values shape the beliefs, mind-sets, and practices that we often adhere to at work, home, and social settings. We looked at an example of a Hindu cultural value in our previous article and how that value shapes the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of that group. But what are some values that are distinctly American and have helped shape the American workplace for generations? The U.S. is a culturally diverse society, but there is a dominant culture that has developed over many years. Here’s a sample of a few American cultural values:
- Personal control over environment and destiny: The future is not left to fate and lies in our hands.
- Equality and egalitarianism: People have equal opportunities and are important as individuals, not based on the family they are from.
- Competition and free enterprise: Competition brings out the best in people and free enterprise leads to progress and success.
- The importance of time: The achievement of goals depends on the productive use of time.
- Change and mobility: Change equals progress, improvement, and growth.
When discussing cultural values, it’s important to remember there are no rights and wrongs. Chances are, each of us has been raised with a different set of values from our colleagues. Education is the key to understanding these differences, particularly when diverse groups of people are working together. To learn more about how cultural values shape your organization and to discuss conducting a cultural value assessment for your business, please call Leah M. Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.