Strategies to improve cross-cultural relations

trategies to improve cross-cultural relations: Here we take a systematic look at approaches people can use on their own along with training programs designed to improve cross-cultural relations. A. Develop Cultural Sensitivity B. Focus on Individuals Rather than Groups C. Respect all Workers and Cultures D. Value Cultural Differences E. Minimize Cultural Bloopers/embarrassments F. Participate in Cultural Training G. Foreign language training H. Diversity training A. Develop Cultural Sensitivity: To relate well to someone from a foreign country, a person must be alert to possible cultural differences. Cultural sensitivity is an awareness of and a willingness to investigate the reasons why people of another culture act as they do. A person with cultural sensitivity will recognize certain nuances in customs that will help build better relationships from cultural backgrounds other than his or her own. Raise your antenna and observe carefully what others are doing. B. Focus on Individuals Rather than Groups: Get to know the individual rather than relying exclusively on an understanding of his/her cultural group. Instead of generalizing about the other person’s characteristics and values, get to know his or her personal style. C. Respect all Workers and Cultures: An effective strategy for achieving cross-cultural understanding is to simply respect all others in the workplace, including their cultures. An important component of respect is to believe that although another person’s culture is different than yours, it is equally good. Respect can translate into specific attitudes, such as respecting a co-worker for wearing an African costume to celebrate Kwanza. Also, respect the rights of majorities. D. Value Cultural Differences: Recognizing cultural differences is an excellent starting point in becoming a multicultural worker,  one who can work effectively with people of different cultures. If you place a high value on cultural differences, you will perceive people from other cultures to be different but equally good. You cannot motivate someone of another culture until that person first accepts you. A multilingual sales representative has the ability to explain the advantages of a product in another language. In contrast, a multicultural sales rep can motivate foreigners to make the purchase. E. Minimize Cultural Bloopers/mistakes/embarrassments: An effective way of being culturally sensitive is to minimize actions that are likely to offend people from another culture based on their values. Cultural bloopers are most likely to take place when visiting another country, yet can also take place in one’s own country. E-commerce has created new opportunities for creating cultural bloopers. Bloopers must be avoided because being able to communicate your message directly in your customer’s mother tongue provides a competitive advantage. F. Participate in Cultural Training: A method chosen frequently for preparing overseas workers is cultural training,  a set of learning experiences designed to help employees understand the customs, traditions, and beliefs of another culture. Many industries train employees in cross-cultural relations. An example is that cross-cultural training is taken seriously in the real-estate business. 1. A Cross-Cultural Training Program A cross-cultural training is considered necessary for developing skill in the international workers. Some organizations train their employees to behave according to the culture in which they are sent for assignments. 2. Foreign Language Training Learning a foreign language is often part of cultural training, yet can also be a separate activity. Knowledge of a second language is important because it builds better connections with people from other cultures than does relying on a translator. We can take here the example of a former coach of Pakistan cricket team, who started learning Urdu language to bridge the communication gap between the boys and the coach, as he was an Englishman. G. Participate in Diversity Training: One should be capable of working in diverse environment. Cultural training is mostly about understanding people from other cultures.  Diversity training has a slightly different purpose. It attempts to bring about workplace harmony by teaching people how to get along with diverse work associates. Such training centers on increasing awareness of and empathy for people different in some noticeable way from oneself. A starting point in diversity training is to emphasize that everybody is different in some way, and that all these differences should be appreciated. To help training participants develop empathy, representatives of various groups explain their feelings related to workplace issues. Overcoming cross-cultural communication barriers: A key part of developing good cross-cultural relations is to overcome, or prevent, communication barriers stemming from cultural differences. Personal life, too, is often more culturally diverse today than previously. Avoiding cultural bloopers can help prevent communication barriers. Here are some more tips or suggestions. More steps to improve Cultural Relations: . Be alert to cultural differences in customs and behavior. . Use straightforward language and speak slowly and clearly. . When the situation is appropriate, speak in the language of the people from another culture. If you speak a few words in the language of others it will leave a good impression on him/her . Observe cultural differences in manners/customs. . Be sensitive to differences in nonverbal communication. (The American thumb and finger symbol for “ OK” is particularly hazardous.) . Do not be diverted by style, accent, grammar, or personal appearance. . Listen for understanding, not for agreement or disagreement. . Be attentive to individual differences in appearance.