Cross-Cultural Communications and Competency

(via TLI Associate Jon Townsend)

We don’t tolerate diversity - we value it.

Specific learning objectives, teaching methodology, and activities for this course will vary depending on the project and the audience. In the USA, the course might focus on diversity in the workplace. International scenarios could take any number of forms.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Display increased knowledge and sensitivity of others’ ethnic, racial, religious, and/or national origins as well as the realities of gender, age, disabilities, and sexual preference/orientation
  • Understand how ethnic origins may influence thinking about communication, conflict resolution, group identity and, of course, self-identity
  • Identify workforce and/or societal diversity issues
  • Be aware of root criticism of workforce and/or societal diversity
  • Understand causes of resistance to change
  • Appreciate insights, opinions, and ways to value diversity
  • Understand and define in a practical way the terms “culture” and “diversity”
  • Explore what constitutes a “culture”
  • Identify world views and individual perceptions
  • Discuss how cultural realities affect the shaping of individual and group perspectives
  • Understand how culture differences are related to workforce and/or societal diversity
  • Understand the demographic makeup of the workforce/society and projections
  • Understand how this change will personally impact individuals and organizations
  • Contrast and compare “American” and “counter-US” subcultures as well as cultures in various nations
  • Analyze the dynamics of difference
  • Compare and contrast different styles of communication
  • Generalize and articulate major cultural differences that exist between specific nations and other world cultures
  • Compare cultural styles
  • Assess their own cultural style
  • Demonstrate their comprehension of values and characteristics held by “American” culture and “their” culture
  • Understand the myth of homogeneity
  • Recognize differences between cultural values and behaviors
  • Discover and appreciate complexities and dynamics of intercultural communication
  • Recognize achievements, values, beliefs, and behaviors
  • Recognize similarities and differences between the co-cultures and the prevailing dominant Anglo culture
  • Recognize individual differences within and between the Anglo and co-cultures
  • Validate the results in their own experience
  • Gain a historical understanding and current awareness of negatively-based differences
  • Identify language and behavior that is culturally sensitive
  • Gain awareness, skills, and techniques for overcoming negative stereotyping
  • Understand skills necessary to promote positive outcomes in situation where diversity of perspectives are present
  • Gain awareness of possible situational or structural barriers to effectiveness for people who are different from colleagues and/or citizens
  • Understand sources of discomfort when new kinds of people enter a group
  • Improve their non-verbal cross-cultural communication skills.
    List and apply the four basic rules of intercultural communication
  • Understand on a personal level the differences in values and behaviors within their organization, e.g. “the corporate culture.”
    Understand skills and practice behaviors necessary to promote positive outcomes in situations where diversity of perspectives is present
  • Develop “empathetically-based” cultural awareness
  • Become aware of ways to develop intercultural empathy
  • Understand the power of media images
  • Gain skill in reading beyond media images
  • Integrate cross-cultural skills
  • Recognize and understand individual and organizational intercultural developmental stages that lead to valuing diversity
  • Understand the power, force, and relevancy of culture
  • Identify how achievement of mission can be accomplished through access and assessment of different cultural models