Many training organizations approach cross cultural training from the perspective of knowledge and tips on cross cultural practices – and a little knowledge can be very helpful – particularly in contexts like greetings where you only get one chance to make a good impression – as in our cross cultural cartoon below.
However, this is not the most valuable part of cross cultural training. Much of the basic knowledge you can get from books – a much more cost effective and convenient way to get access to this information.
If you try to absorb all this detail in a cross cultural training session, it makes for boring training and participants do not retain all the detail. Best is to pick up a guide on a specific country you are visiting and read it on the trip or have a regional or global guide such as the Kiss, Bow and Shake Hands series to look up the specifics before you go.
In training thousands of participants in cross cultural skills we have learned that cross cultural training should focus on the skills of diagnosing and understanding cross cultural differences and learning what to do about these differences in practical business settings like meetings, projects and decision making.
What was the most important cross cultural skill that you learned in your career so far?
Find out more about our tools for cross cultural success training.
Listen to our podcast on cross cultural skills development.
See more of our cartoons.