There are three essentials for achieving international success. You must be able to connect with people from other cultures, have an ability to perform in intercultural situations and enjoy international interaction.
Four competences make all the difference when it comes to bridging cultural differences:
• Intercultural sensitivity: cultural awareness and paying attention to signals
• Intercultural communication: listening actively and adapting your style of communication
• Encouraging involvement: building relationships and combining different needs
• Handling uncertainty: openness in terms of the complexity of diversity and the exploration of new approaches
Do you and your team have these skills right now? And do you consciously put them to good use? Whatever the case may be, you can further develop these competences in order to achieve greater international success and to enjoy better cooperation with your international colleagues.
Consider your differences a strength
If you haven’t developed or used these skills to their full potential, you’re missing out on opportunities for more enjoyable and effective cooperation with your international colleagues. And you’ll have less tolerance for each other’s methods. This will cause miscommunication or frustration. That’s a shame, because if you’re able to identify with one another, you’ll turn your differences and diversity into a strength.
Improve your competences
This doesn’t happen automatically. While we planted seeds of awareness with the Intercultural Awareness programme, we take an even further step as part of the Intercultural Readiness programme. We determine your ability to bridge cultural differences with your current set of competences. And we show you how you can develop your skills.
Intercultural Readiness Check
We use the Intercultural Readiness Check (IRC) to do that. This is a powerful, globally-recognised tool for the improvement of your intercultural effectiveness. The IRC offers an understanding of where you and your team stand in terms of constructive action within a multicultural context. This with regards to cross-border business, the management of international sales colleagues or cooperation within your international team. It also clearly shows you what steps you can take to improve your competences and increase your chances of success.
In practice, these steps mean that you can train yourself to recognise signals, listen actively or handle unfamiliar situations. Instead of just listening to someone’s exact words, read between the lines to find the hidden meaning. Engage with your international colleague and your collaboration will become easier and more enjoyable. More awareness leads to deeper understanding that, in turn, creates greater value in addition to more sustainable relationships and profitability. Discomfort makes way for enthusiasm, new opportunities and win-win situations. And this applies to all relationships, whether in international sales, in business or in your private life.
The more developed your skills are, the easier it becomes to handle the unknown. You’ll be able to connect with anyone, whether they’re German, Belgian, French or Chinese.
Having participated in the Intercultural Readiness programme as an individual or as part of a group, you’ll be able to:
• Bridge cultural differences with ease
• Easily win international trust and close international deals
• Cooperate more effectively with people from different cultural backgrounds – whether within or outside your organisation – without having to sacrifice yourself
• Improve your international success and job satisfaction