The Foundation for Developing Cross Cultural Competence

Developing cross culturally begins when learners become aware of the need for cross cultural competence. Innovative activities and approaches help guide learners begin to understand themselves while simultaneously helping them become more culturally aware. Learners can engage in their development by setting personal and professional development goals. Goals may formalize a commitment to develop cross cultural competence and pursue adaptation to cultural differences.

Cross cultural development begins with an understanding of the journey ahead. Learners who can build trust and share experiences experience an engaging and safe learning environment. Using a variety of learning methods, such as information delivery and discussion, reflection and storytelling, multimedia, and printed words, will address multiple learning styles. Development is all about creating experiences that make people better and inspire enthusiasm to learn.

In leading a cultural competence workshop, there are several steps you may take to set a tone from the beginning. Welcome participants with a warm, upbeat invitation to the adventure of developing cross cultural competence. Review the benefits, and risks, of diversity in organizations. Explore what drives the need for cross cultural training, the risks of not doing it, and the rewards of investing time and energy to this work. Highlight the continuum of skills we develop in the journey to cross cultural competence.

Lay out the learning objectives for your program. And, remind learners that this experience is for the purpose of their learning, so you can be flexible in order to meet their particular needs. Finally, give participants an opportunity to introduce themselves.
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