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What is Cross Cultural Training?

As economic and political spaces between nations become smaller and international trade continues to increase, the movement of people between countries is becoming more fluid. With competition for talented global workers increasing, companies are becoming increasingly aware that creating a cross cultural environment in the workplace is critical for long-term success.

Cross cultural training is now becoming an integral part of staff training as leaders, managers and HR staff want to ensure that effective communication is developed between employees.

By educating staff through cross cultural training courses, such as cross cultural team building and communication programs, companies and organisations are becoming more competitive in the global marketplace due to hightened synergies, better awareness and more practical skills on working in an international and multicultural working landscape.

So what exactly is cross cultural training?

Cross cultural training is a fairly broad term that covers a variety of different training programs.

Each training program will have its own focus and will address the certain needs of a particular client group.

Generally, cross cultural training can be divided into two forms, namely 1) generic cultural awareness training or 2) culture/country specific training. The two can of course also be blended.

Generic cultural awareness training has a number of applications.

Its main objective is to introduce, analyse and constructively tackle the different manifestations of culture in the workplace. It essentially deals with interpersonal interaction. For example, cross cultural team building training will aim to raise team members' awareness of each other culturally in order to foster mutual trust, respect and understanding, The result of which will be clearer lines of communication. Management training aims to equip management staff with the knowledge and skills to effectively supervise a multi-cultural staff. Such training results in a more convivial and understanding work environment.

Culture/country specific training programs are generally aimed at individuals or teams that regularly visit a foreign country or who frequently interact with overseas clients or colleagues. Such training looks at one specific culture/country and covers areas such as values, morals, ethics, business practices, etiquette, protocol or negotiation styles. The aim of such training is to better equip participants with the key skills that will help in building successful business relationships.

Cross cultural training overall aims to develop awareness between people where a common cultural framework does not exist.

In the business world in particular this manifests in better interpersonal understanding leading to more effective communication which ultimately results in a more productive business environment.

Want to find out how such training could benefit you or your organisation? Simply contact us to discuss your needs.