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Challenge: Integration across multicultural teams can be difficult in the face of prejudice or negative cultural stereotypes

While local expertise is an invaluable asset, it’s also important to foster integration among teams to avoid colleagues from different countries working in isolation and limiting knowledge transfer.

This can be a challenge to overcome, particularly if there are underlying prejudices between cultures, making them less inclined to work together. Negative cultural stereotypes can be seriously detrimental to company morale and affect productivity. For instance, the centuries-long antipathy between the British and French, or the Polish and Germans can sometimes creep into the workplace.

Although not all stereotypes are necessarily negative—like the notion that Americans are confident or Asians are intelligent—all are simplifications that can prove limiting or divisive in the workplace. And while outright prejudice or stereotyping is a serious concern, ingrained and unconscious cultural biases can be a more difficult challenge of workplace diversity to overcome.

Sometimes, a little bit of humor is the best way to diffuse negativity. Here are the top 10 wrong (yet persistent) cultural stereotypes and the truth behind them: