The challenge in doing cross-cultural and diversity training is that there are no absolutes. We can make generalizations and observations about cultures – stereotypes exist for a reason – but, they are not valid for every individual of that culture. Inevitably, if you make a statement about a specific group of people, it can offend or contradict someone else’s truth. So while we will attempt to bridge a gap through cultural understanding in general terms, you must remember each person is an individual.
So the number one rule in understanding diversity: RELATIONSHIPS!
Forge relationships. Learn how to ask culturally-sensitive questions and respect how each person self-identifies. Learning general cultural norms is hugely beneficial, but without personal connections you will never truly understand how to apply what you know.
To be successful in this diverse world, you must read each person and adapt your own perceptions based on conscious observation. Cultural training will allow you to filter that which comes from the larger culture and it will allow you to decide which characteristics are found in that individual while building a relationship.
Personal identity is powerful and getting to know the person with whom you are working – whether it be a client/strategic partner or an employee/team-member – will improve your corporate culture and will, in turn, boost effective communication and profitability.
If you’re looking to understand how to better build cross-cultural relationships for your business or brand, contact us for a consultation.