In these days when the workplace may contain people from many other countries and cultures, cross cultural training will provide many benefits. When people from different cultures have to interact and make decisions that are mutually satisfying, effective communication can be impeded by their cultural differences.
It is difficult to work out differences when you don’t know what mind-set another person has; nor do they know exactly where you are coming from. Each person comes to the workplace with certain preconceptions and beliefs about others that they may not even be aware of. We cannot help being influenced by our own culture, even if we are not aware of that influence.
Intercultural training helps us to know things about our own culture as well as the cultures of other nationalities that we may not have been aware of. Learning about how each other thinks gives us more confidence in dealing with divisive issues that may surface.
Once we can understand how another person thinks it removes barriers and allows for more open communication, which in turn builds trust. Once trust is established people can work together to make the workplace much more productive. You can use intercultural training as a means of self-analysis to see which areas of your intercommunication with others need to be improved.
An intercultural consultant can be employed to facilitate the process of working together with peoples of all nationalities. Learning about the hidden influences of other cultures gives you a greater understanding of what makes people behave the way they do.
A good intercultural consultant will also help you to develop listening skills and to understand what they hear within the broader framework of nationality. Instead of focussing on negative differences between nationalities it helps you to find common ground with which to overcome sometimes challenging cultural differences.
Author: Training Consultant
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