The Importance of Intercultural Communication Training to the Global Workforce

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The world is a very connected place. As employees, colleagues, employees, and business partners operate outside the borders of their own cultures, there is a need for them to be able to work effectively with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Intercultural communication skills, once a rarity for business professionals, have now grown to be a necessity for anyone seeking a high-level career in the global economy. The importance of intercultural communication training to the global workforce sets the foundation for further cultural analysis and training, as well as providing insight into the importance of cultural factors on business practices and people management.

Culture has a lot to do with how business is conducted by different people; therefore cultural implications mark a crucial factor for success in an international context. The lack of intercultural diplomacy can not only offend prospective clients while making business deals, but it can also alienate employees working in a different continent, and all in all, it can harm the company’s reputation and profitability as well. To improve the skills of cross-cultural interactions for enhancing personal marketability, specific steps can be taken.

Intercultural communication training teaches employees to move outside their “comfort zone”. It helps them to be open and tolerant of other cultures and to communicate effectively with those who may not use the same language or possess similar values.

Increasing personal worth and finding intercultural common ground in today’s global workplace is a difficult task in the hypercompetitive, interconnected economy. It is possible, so long as there is training in place to increase one’s innate understanding of their own culture, and awareness of other cultures. In an increasingly globalized setting, one’s ability to interact with other cultures is a key factor in one’s earning potential. Thus, a robust intercultural communication training curriculum should be a significant part of any training program for those entering the global workforce.

To succeed in the global marketplace, employees need to recognize that different cultures have different ways of interacting with one another, of solving problems, of making decisions, and handling certain situations. Intercultural communication training deals with how communicators of different cultures “do what they do,” how they perceive the world, and the implications of their behavior for others. 

It is now more important than ever for people to work in an environment that transcends geographical boundaries. Companies that do not make the effort to smooth out cultural barriers within their organizations will find themselves unable to execute their activities and responsibilities as well as those who master the art of communication across different cultures.

Remove Cultural Barriers

Nearly all businesses have a global presence to at least some degree, and that means the need for intercultural communication skills to help build awareness of cultural norms, enhance self-awareness and communication skills, and break down barriers between individuals from different cultures. The intercultural communication training allows individuals to learn intercultural concepts so they can adapt their own skills to the needs of the global workforce. 

Improve Negotiation Skills

With the global workforce becoming increasingly diverse, intercultural communication training is becoming more widely available. This type of training is beneficial not only in facilitating business negotiations but also in enhancing the individual’s marketability within the global workplace.

Communication training helps people become more culturally aware, which can improve business relationships, customer service and global competitiveness. Training often focuses on diversity awareness and integrates a cross-cultural framework to develop skills that people can use in any cultural context. Whether you’re a traveler or a business person connected to the global community via the internet, intercultural communication helps you fit in as you go. 

Respect Personal Space

The general concept of personal space is viewed differently by each culture. In some cultures, people feel comfortable with friendly proximity or approach in the workplace, while some other people from other cultures prefer to maintain a minimal distance and keep a fair distinction between private and professional space. Respecting this personal space and working in accordance with it can help create a safe workplace where every member of a company would feel that their values are being properly regarded. 

Recognize Social Cues

Social cues are invisible to most of us, but they have a major impact on daily interactions. Just like learning key phrases in the native language, learning basic social cues of other cultures will give one an edge when doing business. Facial expressions and laughter differ across cultures. Recognizing these differences can make all the difference. Whether a company is working internationally, or meeting with a group from another company, knowing social cues will help smooth relations and aid in negotiations.

When interacting with people from other cultures, it’s important to be sensitive to the style of communication that is the most effective. For example, intercultural communication can involve observation, patience, and cooperation which ultimately lead to better outcomes for all involved.

 

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