I’m sure you have noticed, whether you are a college student or out there in the “real world,” how differently people approach change and risk.

There could be an element of intercultural communication coming into play called uncertainty avoidance.

Some cultures accept and even welcome risk, uncertainty, and change; others are uncomfortable with these unavoidable trends. If you are from a culture that has a high tolerance for uncertainty, you may be more willing to take risks and more accepting of change. You also may be more willing to break rules for pragmatic reasons. And you would probably accept conflict as natural.

If, however, you are from a culture that has a low tolerance for uncertainty, you may favor stability. You would probably tend to avoid surprises and be uncomfortable with ambiguous tasks and reluctant to take risks. Also, you are probably more loyal to employers and accept seniority as the basis for leadership. Finally, you might view conflict as undesirable.

So, keep this in mind, you may have a tolerance for uncertainty, however, others may not. It may be because of a cultural perspective.

Some cultures welcome change and others may try to avoid it. Some cultures welcome risk and others favor stability. The key is to keep the conversation going by encouraging and welcoming the value of both perspectives.