Call for Attention to Intercultural Trainer

In a recent coaching assignment I prepared three chinese IT employees who plan to move to Dublin in summer this year.

My specific task was to provide detailed information as a country resource and as someone who has lived there. 


So many details have been asked, like:

- do the Irish use sarcasm as humor?

- do I tip a taxi driver?

- which topic should I not mention when I am in a conversation?


Now, maybe some confidence about an individual being abroad comes with the experience.

To all the EDUCATORS:

When you train, coach, teach people in intercultural competence, please make sure you focus on the mind set and prepare people for the underlying local values and characteristics of cultural dimensions. Providing a guidebook with a long line of possible scenarios is not the solution to a competent global.

How to do that?

  • Use simulations to transfer the know how on an emotional level. Culture needs to be felt, not talked about! Sticking to tips and tricks will only make your participants more nervous about their move.
  • Explain there is no right or wrong. The question is how you treat others and how aware you are of the intercultural things happening. 
  • Give them the strengths to be proud of their own cultural background. Noone needs to deny his/her own self.
  • Emphasize on the things cultures have in common, not the differences!
  • Respect and Tolerance is the key, not tips and trick from a storyline. Walk a mile in his/her shoes.


We will not generate mutual understanding by looking purely at differences or a list of "how to act" tips and tricks!




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