Cross Cultural Training
Cross cultural training refers to the work necessary to develop awareness between people who do not share a common cultural framework.
Cultural awareness is the first step that allows to acknowledge the existence of differences in the way people approach interpersonal relationships, where cross cultural training aims at developing specific understanding between your culture and that of the country you will be leaving in. In the past the importance of cross cultural training has been underlined mostly for the work environment, but in recent times companies are acknowledging the importance of providing such a tool to relocating familes as well, to make sure the settling in in the new country starts on the right foot.
It is now universally recognised that linguistic and cultural education are two of the most vital areas of knowledge expatriates must come to acquire if they are to integrate, progress and succeed in their assignements.
Even though, it must be underlined, with most corporate, public and international organisations operating on a global scale, interaction with different cultures is now an everyday occurrence in the life of all and not limited to expatriates.
One of the key changes the presence of various culture in the daily life and in the workplace has triggered, is the need to communicate effectively with different people in different languages and from different cultures. Cross cultural awareness training main purpose is to evaluate and constructively tackle the challenges cross cultural differences can bring in the daily life as well as in the workplace.
The lack of cultural preparation has many levels of impact - from an embarrassing moment (like taking seat in a restaurant in China unaware of the unwritten code of seat assignements...) to a breakdown in inter-personal communication to a lost deal or accord.
The price of inadequate cultural awareness can be easily avoided by attending cross-cultural training programs to bridge gaps for people who interact with other cultures, such as expatriates employee and their families, international travellers, and employees of global companies. Many companies have started offering these courses for families as well as employees.
These programs provide crucial insights for dealing successfully with people of different backgrounds, and avoiding culture-shock and interpersonal blunders covering all areas from social practices to business etiquette, from appropriate social behaviour to negotiation styles, from routines of daily life to managing emergencies.
Also to avoid the pitfalls and costly misunderstandings of intercultural communication, it can be useful to exchange information with expatriates of your same background and culture, who have already been there or are still there, and use their experience to create a framework of knowledge useful to begin the exploration of the new location. After all this is what Paguro is all about!
Last but not least, remember that your hard won cross cultural knowledge is potentially an area you can develop professionally at a later stage, both at home and abroad. Expatriates who have lived and worked abroad are the best and most qualified cross cultural, training teachers!