You need strong cross-cultural skills when you travel or live abroad and when you work or interact often with people from different cultures.
It’s not always easy to develop your cross-cultural skills because it requires a fair amount of personal work to get to know yourself better. But the rewards are often worth the effort.
Here are some tips from the Cross-Cultural Twitter Interview series.
21 Tips To Grow Your Cross-Cultural Skills
- Understand that EVERYTHING in life is culturally coded from when we were very young. So we all think differently about things: our meanings for things are deeply buried in our unconscious mind, what is a business for? how we think about our boss; what is luxury; quality; love; etc. Individualism in Far East seen as immaturity- @deborahswallow
- Research and appreciate the cultural diversity of the market you are preparing to visit before you travel there – @ohh_la_la
- 1st, understand your OWN culture -> try to be understanding of others’ backgrounds. Now meet half way for common ground.- @HoeferleConsult
- Visit the countries, get to know the people, try and see the world through their eyes. Learn from the experts including @CindyKing- @dkiernan
- Immerse yourself deeply into other cultures by living & working in their country for at least six months- @transdomo
- One tip to improve your cross-cultural skills…Know thyself–>Listen & Observe–>Communicate… in that order! – @culturematters
- Be less self-righteous than who you are dealing with. The more humble you are, the more you are going to gain.- @PicSeshu
- Travel, as “bare” as possible. When you are in need of something, you see how people react to your misery. Discovering people when out of your comfort zone is the greatest lesson ever! – @tdebaillon
- One tip to improve cross-cultural skills is understand your own values & attitudes 1st so you can compare & contrast – @DR4Ward
- Develop ability 2 appreciate historical backgrounds Honor experiences that might contradict ur way of looking @ life – @XCulture
- Put yourself in the other culture’s shoes and think about what stereotypes exist about your own culture. – @jackyan
- Learn a foreign language. Language and culture are so intertwined that… to fully understand the psyche of another nationality, you must know the language… – @CotterHUE
- Learn another language – @wisequeen
- Practice patience & never underestimate power of observation & ability to listen; if u make an effort … prepare to be pleasantly surprised; people care about you when you care and are genuinely interested in them – @DoreenatDMS
- Be flexible when facing different values – try to understand what reasons lie behind other ways of thinking – @pocketcultures
- Get out there amongst it! As a global village most people have many ethnicities within their community~and then there is the Internet~Skye, chat rooms, online classrooms, forums, blogs, email, video etc – @psitutor
- Travel & try to understand local cultures. That open minds, changes perspectives & creates cross-cultural skills. – @culturalrealms
- Adapt to the occasion, learn different languages, respect other cultures AND don’t hesitate to ask. – @mintblogger
- Take the jump and just “do it,” i.e., travel and move abroad. – @lyceum
- “Common Sense”, and all our underlying assumptions about everything are learned, and vary between cultures. Interact with different cultures with the knowledge that things you take for granted as true, are not universal. – @SeanJamesOliver
- Other ways of doing & thinking just might be better so enter with an open mind – @DavidComp
- I’d say be curious. If you’re curious, you’re observing, listening, questioning, reflecting and learning – @CateBrubaker
What Is Your Tip To Grow Your Cross-Cultural Skills?
Which one of the tip do you like most?
- Do you have a favorite?
- Does one stand out and resonate with you?
- Do you have another one to add?
What do you think? Please share your thoughts and comments below.
Photos from Shutterstock.
Filed under: Cross-Cultural Communication
If you've read this far, you should sign up to receive updates
Sign up for the International Stories newsletter, and prepare yourself to manage international business