With it being called 'cultural awareness training', 'cultural competence training' or 'cross-cultural training', anyone would think that these types of training courses are all about culture.
Well, you wouldn't be wrong.
But it would also be wrong to think that cross-cultural training only offers learners information and insights into other cultures.
It offers a lot, lot more (well, if it's done right!)
As well as all the lovely cultural stuff, cross-cultural training is also a means to develop and sharpen business-critical skills that will help any professional give their career a boost in a vertical direction.
Here's a look at 10 Essential Business Skills you can Learn from Cross-Cultural Training
1. Complex Problem Solving
Problem-solving requires the use of methodology, creativity, insights, knowledge and an ability to see both the big and small picture. Cross-cultural training is great at stretching the mind and filling it with new ideas, concepts, strategies and approaches that can help people find innovative solutions to complex problems.
2. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is based on using facts to make judgements and decisions. Cross-cultural training is self-exploratory as well as factual in helping people understand the dynamics of human interaction. It helps us reduce the role of emotion and try instead to use rational, sceptical, unbiased analysis, or evaluation of factual evidence.
Creative thinking means looking at something in a new way. It is the very definition of “thinking outside the box” and cross-cultural training is perfect for taking people outside of their boxes. Once people realise there are other ways of doing things, it allows them the mental space to create.
4. People Management
Working with those around you, whether at home or at work, is critical. Cross-cultural training at its heart is about helping people understand the motivations of themselves and others so that they can best adapt their methods so as to create excellent working relationships while getting things done.
5. Coordinating with others
An effective business professional needs excellent communication and coordination skills when working with colleagues, especially if it's across borders and time zones. Cross-cultural training gives people insights and practical strategies on how to work closely with others.
6. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence is the measure of an individual’s abilities to recognise and manage their emotions, and the emotions of other people, both individually and in groups. Cross-cultural training heavily focuses on self-reflection and self-awareness in order to develop empathy and the ability to read and manage others' emotions.
7. Decision Making
Effective decision making needs both rational and a touch of intuition. Cross-cultural training gives people the skills needed to allow them to separate emotions from reason, fact from fiction and helps them devise robust decision-making processes.
8. Service Orientation
Serving the needs of clients, colleagues and stakeholders is essential to most professional's roles. Cross cultural training teaches people about the expectations of others and how to provide a service that hits the mark.
Negotiating effectively is absolutely critical in the professional context whether negotiating a pay rise or a deal with a Japanese supplier. Cross-cultural training is all about learning how to communicate, influence and shape the decisions of others.
10. Cognitive Flexibility
Cognitive flexibility has been described as the mental ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts and to think about multiple concepts simultaneously. Cross-cultural training is built on the idea of understanding different concepts and approaches which translates into the ability to see things differently.
So, do you still think cross-cultural training is all about culture?
Are you a bit of a Culture Vulture?
If you're interested in discovering more about cross-cultural training and business skills, then have a look at our free resources!