Formal + Informal = ?

What do you get when you mix formal with informal?
Upscale casual, of course : )

Throughout this month we’ve discussed diversity in the work place.
In a multicultural environment we need to be aware of the formality and informality aspects of some cultures.

  • Informal and straight forward – the way many of us interact in this country.
    That’s why I felt at home here as soon as I arrived.
    (It took longer to get used to the food; ‘till I discovered pizza : )
  • At the opposite end of the spectrum are cultures where a more formal behavior is the norm.
    In these cultures there is great pride and “class” distinction based on one’s social status, job, etc.

Working in today’s global business environment chances are you’ll have both types on your team (and anything in between).
Obviously we need to be aware of and respect traditions and customs different than ours.
And we have the right to expect the same in return.

The lighter side of formal vs informal cultures
The perfect example for this is a short trip to the grocery store.
(You know – when you are in a hurry and only need milk and eggs.)

My sister-in-law (she lives in Eastern Europe):
She’ll put make up on, some nice clothes; only then she is ready to go out.

Me: I grab my phone, make sure I have money, get in the car and head to the store to get my milk and eggs.
My attire for this outing: jeans and a “holey” t-shirt (Sunny and Flipper have “designed” it with their beaks : )

Like I said, this is the lighter side of formal vs informal cultures.
Remember what I stated in an earlier post: we need to differentiate how much is attributable to someone’s cultural background and how much is that individual’s personality.

Sharing this blog with your friends is much appreciated.

/Comments/in Multicultural Work Team/by Mariana Fieraru
Mariana Fieraru
Mariana Fieraru, an Eastern European transplant, fell in love with her new home shortly after landing in New York. She "discovered" pizza! Years later she still loves pizza. And so do her two feathered-kids, Sunny and Flipper

Mariana worked on both, the east and the west coast.
Big or small, each project she worked on helped define the importance of gaining and sustaining a competitive edge in an increasingly complex business environment.

Business know-how, love of teaching and writing – all combined in 2006 to form OBI.
Its mission: to make learning fun! And easy.

Through its training, consulting, and publications OBI builds bridges of knowledge to take you from where you are to
where you want to go. Using a mix of serious, informal, analytical, and optimistic approach, OBI truly makes learning fun.

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