How to Win Culture Wars in the Workplace: 7 Strategies to Create Civility

    /Lyman A.  /Montgomeryspeaker of Training Doyensinvite
    Speaker: Lyman A. Montgomery

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    Duration: 60 Minutes
    Product Code: 50706
    Level: Intermediate

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According to CareerBuilders (2010) by 2020, the US workplace population will be more diverse:

"63 percent white, 30 percent Latino, and 50 percent female"

Furthermore, four or even five generations, from Boomers to Generation 2020, will be working at the same time and often in the same place of employment.

Such cultural diversity in the workplace offers new challenges, which are referred to as “cultural wars.” How to Win Culture Wars in the Workplace addresses potential issues that can arise when various ideologies, beliefs, and values are not shared among employees and lead to conflicts.

While employers can leverage the experiences and backgrounds of a diverse workforce for a broader exchange of ideas, knowledge, and opportunities, this often is not the case. Instead, in-fighting, opposing political views, and incivility have become commonplace in many organizations, where the results are more important than the methods used to get them.


This is the first time in modern history that four to five generations of workers may be working within the same organization at the same time with very different work styles, attitudes about work and organizational loyalty. This cultural diversity in the workplace has led to culture wars on many fronts: social equality, social freedom, multiculturalism, and gender equity.

As employees, we spend more time on average with coworkers than we do with friends and many family members, making it essential that we learn to form positive working relationships that do not hinder productivity, personal morale, and operational profitability. With advances on social issues and passage of several civil rights legislation, the workplace became more diverse and inclusive; employees were faced with the greater potential for miscommunication and bias.

Human Resources Managers and executives are bombarded with complaints about Millennials wanting too much time off, and Baby Boomers draining retirement and pension funds and then deciding to return to work after retirement at a high salary than before they retired.

For decades, organizations have tried unsuccessfully to create a “melting pot” workforce, in which racial, gender, religious, ideological and political, and intergenerational diversity is valued and respected as a competitive advantage. The reality, however, is the modern workplace has become a battlefield where email wars are common, employees are quick to through co-workers under the bus, and the supervisor is viewed as a bully tyrant, or incapable of handling the toxic work environment, complexity in the workplace and the proliferation of incivility in the workplace.


In this interactive workplace civility training program, we will address several questions:

  • To what extent do cultural workplace divisions create a hostile and toxic work environment? 
  • Are cultural values a reflection of the larger social context?
  • How do cultural values shape the worker’s perceptions of job entitlement?
  • What effect if any did the presidential election have on increasing or decreasing cultural wars in the workplace?
  • What strategies can we employ to win the cultural war phenomena? 

The solution in the past has been creating a compliance-driven work culture, where workers are compliant based on feeling afraid to share their honest opinion on a subject, or completely holding their biases inside, in an attempt to be “politically correct, despite harbouring ill feelings, prejudices and biases toward those who are different from us.

When this occurs, it makes it difficult for employees to confront conflicts, and open up about their true feelings in a respectful and dignified manner, where a person seeks answers, rather than to prove a point. It also makes it harder to understand why a person feels a certain way.

This training takes advantage of using both didactic and experiential learning methods. Didactic learning addresses individual understanding of intercultural interactions and the challenge of effective communication. Experiential learning helps to transfer insights about cultural diversity in the workplace into actual behaviors.


This training will provide several key factors to consider when training employees to work with diverse cultures:

    1. Strategies to help leaders manage uncertainty and anxieties which are common in cultural miscommunications;
    2. Why if there is not a certain level of uncertainty, then effective communication suffers from attributional overconfidence;
    3. A better understanding of healthy cultural traditions and how to create a culture of civility
    4. How to recognize unhealthy cultural patterns which if left unchecked lead to toxic work environment;
    5. Develop the ability to organize talent in such a way that employees know what is expected of them in specific situations;
    6. Techniques to better train employees to cope and deal with cultural uncertainty and complexity in the workplace


This training will benefit supervisors, managers, executives, and those with Human Resources responsibilities.


Years of Experience: 25+ years

Areas of Expertise: Employee Relations, Workplace Issues and Performance Management

Lyman Montgomery has over twenty- five years of HR experience in Employee Relations dealing with workplace issues and performance management.  He is also a certified LEAN Six Sigma Black Belt Trainer. Currently, he is writing his dissertation for his Ph.D. in the area of focused employee engagement and sustained performance.  Lyman is the president and CEO of Focused Driven Lifestyle Coaching, LLC. He is the author of four books, two of which are bestsellers and conducts workshops and seminars at conferences all across the United States.

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