Thursday, October 30, 2008

Develop Intercultural Curiosity

People constantly ask me if you need to be culturally sensitive in the global marketplace in order to be successful interacting with individuals from other ethnic, religious, cultural and geographic groups and the answer is "yes."

How do you develop that knowledge, skill or characteristic?

It's easier said than done but you can start by reading this article:

How Intercultural Competence Drives Success in Global Virtual Teams

You will walk away with a better understanding of how intercultural competency works and what it takes to develop it. Hint: Having a positiveness towards other cultures sure helps along the way! Be sure to review the Intercultural Competence for Team Leaders chart within the article. It offers up some powerful tips.

Case in point: The picture above reflects 3 units which is a good thing in China. But how sensitive are we really? What do the colors red, white and yellow symbolize in China? Or the illustrations? Or if there are English words on the bottle? Or a white bottle without any words? That's what cultural sensitivity is about. Put yourself in the shoes of whoever it is that you are communicating with to fully understand how your communication is being interpreted.

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