In mid-February, GCA joined a cultural intelligence workshop event organized by DUJAT for Dutch- and Japanese-oriented organizations and international expats. It was a great pleasure to be part of the speakers’ team facilitating the whole session altogether. While many participants considered the workshop to be very helpful and practical in different ways, there are some take-aways that the majority agreed on.
Cultural intelligence is an ability that would enable one to understand the other in a cultural context foreign to the former. It consists of motivation, knowledge and actions. To improve this ability, an organization should bring this topic across; a team should come up with practical action plans to encourage communication and inclusiveness among local and foreign members; each individual should remain curious and respectful to unknown behaviours and try informal contacts or activities to understand the other side better. To be more specific, some tangible plans discussed during the workshop were thought to be helpful by many. We would like to share with you some take-aways in relation to the three key aspects of cultural intelligence: motivation, knowledge and actions.
- Compose brochures containing cultural intelligence knowledge and information about both cultures to invite interests and curiosity, which can build up motivation and knowledge in learning about the other culture.
- Initiate prior communication on what and how to proceed before real interactions take place between two cultures, which helps with both knowledge and actions.
- Improve process management regarding behaviours, communication channels, decision-making procedures, information disclosure, and feedback control, which also helps with knowledge and actions.
- Select a cultural ombudsman who has understandings of both cultures and behaviours to interpret messages and contexts to one another, which could help with both motivation and knowledge, or sometimes actions.
- Field trip and visits to each other in person and on site, which gives people, especially the management, a real sense of the other culture and behaviours attached to it. This action could increase the motivation to understand and the knowledge to make better decisions.
- Participate in trainings and workshops, which could offer a good opportunity to involve as many as possible at once. This action helps people seriously and openly discuss things confuse or bother them and generate a better understanding, which helps with knowledge and actions, or possibly motivations if someone is new to cultural differences.
Cultural intelligence is very intangible, but to make it more tangible so that plans are implemented through actions to take real effects, professional trainings are very useful to learn more or to improve more. GCA is constantly learning, improving, and sharing, despite of our experiences in dealing with cultural differences from many clients. If you are an international business, we are here to understand you and bring your business further by providing reliable financial services with an inclusive and respectful attitude.
Global Connect Admin B.V. | Xuan Hao