Collaboration and Multiculturalism in Problem Solving
Even though we take great pride in our country’s rich history as a “cultural melting pot,” birds of a feather can still tend to flock together. Collaboration, the act of working together toward common goals, is one way that we as Americans can really benefit from our nation’s diverse history and customs.
When we work together, whether it is in school, at a community event, a volunteer organization or at work, we are often teamed up with people who come from different backgrounds and life experiences than our own. As many of us know, this can sometimes lead to disagreements, but more often than not, it can lead to unique and well-rounded conclusions that would have been far more difficult to reach on our own. In openly discussing and collaborating on a task, challenge, project or issue with several people at once, we are given an opportunity to see things in a new light. We just have to go into these discussions with open minds and open hearts.
Working together with a group of people often allows us to get to know those people on a much more personal level than we would have otherwise. In discussing issues facing one’s group, we can gain useful insight into who our partners are and how they see the world. These discussions can provide powerful insights into our group’s members’ values, perspectives and personalities. It is insights such as these that can lead to the most complete and perspective solutions to the tasks at hand. It can be difficult to reach such conclusions without a certain degree of diversity in a collaborative effort.