Did you know that mixed teams in which cultural differences are effectively bridged, perform up to 35% better? This is because these team members are optimally trained in awareness of cultural differences and how to deal with them. Cultural Awareness contributes to the understanding of cultural differences in the workplace. Once this awareness exists, you can work on supplementing knowledge about customs, social norms and values in a specific country. By doing so, you effectively bridge cultural differences leading to greater returns for organizations, teams and personal growth.
Not being mindful of cultural differences in the workplace can lead to misunderstandings. Working successfully with other cultures does not come naturally, but it is essential. Cultural awareness leads to greater empathy, smoother communication, calmness and understanding of the other. This allows you to cooperate successfully internationally and interculturally in the longer term. To achieve this successful cooperation, it is essential to be aware of your own culture. You can get to know another culture better after first understanding why you do things, what you do and how you do them. So Cultural Awareness comes down to understanding cultural differences and being aware of different cultural norms, values and views. However, many if these differences are not visible. This is due to the fact that humans tend to view and judge things from their own frame of reference. Behaviours are largely determined by cultural background, so you view your own behaviour as normal. People from different backgrounds view the world from their perceptions and thus have different views, beliefs and behaviours. As a result, behaviours and expressions can take on different meanings.
The importance of cultural awareness is increasing these days. On the one hand because of the increase of diversity within teams, on the other hand because of the world is getting smaller (it is easy to come into business contact with third parties in other countries). On the work floor, cultural differences can manifest themselves during, for example, (social) greetings, conversations, interactions, presentations, meetings, meeting deadlines, interpretations of information and questions, etc. For a good reason, the most common pitfalls are discussed during Cultural Awareness trainings. These practical examples are recognizable and give better insight into how intercultural communication works.
Unfortunately, Cultural Awareness is often undervalued, but do not underestimate the impact of cultural awareness. Try to look at the Netherlands and the rest of the world through different eyes. Now, take action to increase performance up to 35% within your team(s) as well. Global Relocation Compass is happy to help. Contact us for details: info@globalRcompass.nl and 0031 6 823 80 801.