Intercultural Training: In these times, more and more businesses and corporations are beginning to realize the importance of intercultural skills. We would like to stress that cultural awareness has nothing to do with linguistic skills. In the past, many professional people thought that just by learning a foreign language and mastering it over the course of time, one would be able to understand and deal efficiently with business partners in a different country. The same is the case with expatriots and delegates. Growing up in any culture equips people with a set-up and fixed array of cultural norms and rules which every member of that society is bound to obey. Although some individuals may choose not to follow the mainstream, they will be punished by the mainstream culture to some extent. Hence we grow up with any given cultural norm that influences and even shapes our behavior and expectations. Therefore, over the course of time we acquire a cultural self-perception or even a
cultural lens with which we view other cultures and nations. When an expatriot or a delegate is sent abroad, he or she is immediately confronted with a cultural shock. People react and deal with it differently. In the worst-case scenario, people tend to stick to the people of their own and do not mingle with people of the host country. The other way round is true as well. The people from the host country do not let the expatriots mingle with them. Over the course of time, many expatriots learn, however, to deal with it. They begin to behave differently in a different culture and acquire knowledge of the norms and rules of their host country, and begin to blend these with those of their country of origin. This experience enables them to have a flexible and mixed cultural self-perception. However, in leadership contexts, this effect can only come about after receiving training in intercultural awareness. As with the experience of expatriots, self-perception and perception by others might be very different, so intercultural awareness is a skill that needs to be worked on. This means that if one lives abroad and is not careful, he or she might acquire linguistic skills without having acquired the necessary intercultural skills.


Objectives:

  • To understand intercultural differences in business transactions,
  • To promote cultural understanding and respect.

Target groups:

  • Employess involved in international business, managers leading an international team, expatriots and delegates, all employees involved in an international merger and/or acquisition process.

Contents:

  • The concept of culture and its parameters,
  • Creating cultural awareness,
  • Low-context cultures and high-context cultures,
  • Managing intercultural teams,
  • Shared beliefs and values,
  • Cross-cultural management skills,
  • Sales across cultures,
  • Targeting the international market: Diversification and concentration,
  • Conflict management in intercultural settings,
  • Clustering of cultures.

Methodology:

  • Lecture, discussions, work in groups, role plays.

Duration:

2 days for the start up session

1 day for a follow-up session after six months

1 day refresher in one year

 

Number of participants:

6-8 participants

 

Price:

Upon request

 

In the following some of the intercultural management tools we work on during the seminar are presented briefly:

1) Cultural Variables: There are different cultural variables or cultural dimsensions that can be used to compare different cultures to each other. One of the theories in this respect is based on Trompenaars.

2) Different Approaches in cross-cultural training: Different approaches can be used to train and raise intercultural awareness. Based on Littrell et al, one can distinguish between different approaches. 

3) Dealing with cultural shock: Many people who live in a culture which is substantially different to their own experience a psychological disorientation. This psychological disorientation is described as cultural shock. This is the result of differences in cultural norms, rules, understanding and identities. Cultural shock has certain effects. Expatriots suffering from it feel a sense of disorientation and uprootedness, homesickness, hostility towards and stereotyping host nationals, uncertainity about the future, irritability, excessive sleep, withdrawal and boredom, compulsive eating and drinking.  

4) Case Study: Different topics on intercultural management are discussed and analyzed in our seminars. We are specialized in the following countries: France, Germany, Iran, Spain, UK and USA. Although we could surely extend our model and research to any country as desired by our customers. 

© M.Khorasani Consulting