Enhancing Inter-Cultural Competency

With over 55 years’ experience, Palms Cross Cultural training helps individuals and organisations to work effectively in culturally diverse environments and situations. We deliver tailored intercultural training solutions, which aim to develop the awareness, knowledge and skills needed to interact appropriately and effectively with culturally diverse customers and co-workers.

From Cultural Competency to Wisdom Thinking

Culture forms the basis of almost everything we do. Without realising it, our culture determines how we act in almost every situation we encounter. It’s what we might sometimes call common sense. And it’s easy to take for granted.

Palms Cross Cultural encourages us to extrapolate beyond the differences between ethnic cultures. We provide a framework that can be applied to improve our understanding of work cultures, religious cultures, the cultures of different generations, or any sub-culture one wishes to better understand.

Most sessions listed below can be delivered individually or in combination as modules (see examples below) to suit your unique requirements. After an initial free consultation to examine your needs, Palms Australia can devise and deliver custom sessions to suit the particular needs of your personnel. We can also provide further support in the form of correspondence units or ongoing advice as required.

Palms Cross Cultural encourages us to open our hands to the world. When we do this we appreciate the cultural diversity that can help us to become valuable to others as leaders and wisdom thinkers.

Primary Sessions

Session 1: Is it Culture or Personality?

A prelude to understanding how culture affects personal work styles, interpersonal behaviour, engagement in a community or workplace, and ultimately impacts the achievement of desired outcomes in whatever we do.

Session 2: Cross-Cultural Simulation

This simulation provides an opportunity to highlight the existence of culture and to examine how we respond to cultures different to our own . Requires a minimum of 14 and maximum of 28 participants.

Session 3: Defining Culture

Participants will build on their simulation experience to consider a theoretical, conceptual and broad view of culture. Participants will explore definitions of culture, as well as some of the symbols of cultures and sub-cultures that may be familiar to them. They will also examine how cultures can change.

Session 4: Cultural Complexities

Cultures have up sides and down sides depending on where you fit within them. Participants will examine some of the complexities to help them appreciate the benefits and dangers of culture, and how one might wittingly or unwittingly become an agent of positive or disruptive cultural change.

Session 5: Personal Strategies for Managing in a New Cultural Context

An examination of cultural tensions, potential culture jolts, and techniques for approaching people of a different culture will enable participants to develop a plan to enhance their experience of crossing cultures. This session is especially useful for those expected to take on leadership roles in a multi-cultural context or seeking to work in a new cultural context.

Session 6: Effective Cross-Cultural Mentoring

Participants will explore a number of strategies for passing on skills and knowledge based on their own experience. They will better appreciate the significance of universal language in communication processes.

Session 7: Improving Management, Teamwork and Communication

Participants will gain insights, knowledge and practical strategies to sensitively manage the issues and challenges associated with leading a culturally diverse team. Managers will understand culturally diverse influences on human behaviour. They will learn to identify effective strategies to negotiate and manage the various challenges that may arise among staff from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Session 8: Many Sides to a Story

Participants will understand the many different perspectives to any situation before making assumptions or taking action based solely on their own cultural perspective. Particular consideration will be given to how various perspectives may be considered through the reflective process of journaling.

Session 9 and 10: Field Trip and De-brief

Theoretical learning needs to be contextualised against practical experience. This field trip involves visiting a community with a culture different to the participant’s own to experience engaging as the “foreigner”. Participants begin to appreciate what changes might be necessary to live cross culturally, what might be gained from crossing cultures, and to develop a realistic, patient approach to adaptation.

Session 11: Learning from Cultural Mistakes

Indigenous Australians will speak of cultural clashes that have impacted on their lives across generations. This session highlights some of the negative outcomes of Australia’s colonial history, as well as the struggle towards achieving understanding and reconciliation between cultures. There is also an opportunity for a spiritual celebration and peaceful reflection led by an Indigenous Australian

leader.

A break is provided at an appropriate time in the middle of presentation and discussion sessions.

Learning styles and timing

We all learn differently, and Palms Australia understands that in order to be as effective as possible, training should be delivered through a variety of methods. To cater to a diversity of learning preferences, our cross cultural sessions are delivered via a variety of practical and theoretical methods.

  • Sessions 1, 2, & 9 are mostly interactive, requiring the learner to engage in an experience either simulated or in the real world.
  • Sessions 3, 4, 6, 8 & 11 will be presentations by speakers with fewer interactive components.
  • Sessions 5, 7 & 10 largely consist of discussion between learners who have undertaken a common experience or reading.
  • Session 9 is a prerequisite of Session 10.

Sample Modules

Sessions can be combined into appropriate modules to best support employees for particular circumstances. Below are some examples:

Module I: Frontline Services in Culturally Diverse Australian Communities

Designed to skill and support frontline staff in their daily interactions and communication with customers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This module will increase their understanding of the impact of culture in providing services, and help them to identify the barriers to accessing services a person experiences as a result of language and cultural differences. Participants will gain an understanding of the skills and knowledge required to become culturally competent in their daily work interactions.

  • Session 1: Is it Culture or Personality? (1.5 hrs)
  • Session 2: Cross-cultural simulation. (2.5 hrs)
  • Session 3: Defining Culture. (1.5 hrs)
  • Session 4: Cultural Complexities. (1.5 hrs)

Duration: 7 hours. Can be managed as time permits, but best managed in pre and post-dinner sessions on Day 1, followed by two morning sessions on Day 2.

Module II: Managing a Culturally Diverse Team

Provides participants with insights, knowledge and practical strategies to sensitively manage the issues and challenges associated with leading a culturally diverse team. Managers will understand how culture impacts human behaviour, and learn effective strategies to manage the challenges that may arise between staff from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

  • Session 1: Is it Culture or Personality? (1.5 hrs)
  • Session 2: Cross-cultural simulation. (2.5 hrs)
  • Session 3: Defining Culture. (1.5 hrs)
  • Session 4: Cultural Complexities. (1.5 hrs)
  • Session 6: Effective Cross-Cultural Mentoring. (2.0 hrs)
  • Session 7: Improving Management, Teamwork and Communication. (2.5 hrs)

Duration: 11.5 hours. Can be managed as time permits, but best managed in pre and post-dinner sessions on Day 1, followed by two morning and two afternoon sessions on Day 2.

Module III: International Operations

Ideal for organisations sending individuals or a whole team to work in a particular cultural context. In addition to the training, Palms Australia can negotiate a support service for the employee’s time spent in situ. Participants enrolled in all sessions and registered for our support service will receive complementary access to Palms Australia’s three Cross Cultural correspondence units, designed to give participants a fuller appreciation of working in a new culture.

  • Session 1: Is it Culture or Personality? (1.5 hrs)
  • Session 2: Cross-cultural simulation. (2.5 hrs)
  • Session 3: Defining Culture. (1.5 hrs)
  • Session 4: Cultural Complexities. (1.5 hrs)
  • Session 5: Personal Strategies for Managing in a New Cultural Context (2.0 hrs)
  • Session 6: Effective Cross-Cultural Mentoring. (2.0 hrs)
  • Session 7: Improving Management, Teamwork and Communication. (2.5 hrs)
  • Session 8: Many Sides to a Story (1.5 hrs)
  • Sessions 9 and 10: Field Trip and De-brief (4.0 hrs & 0.5+ hrs)
  • Session 11: Learning from Cultural Mistakes (2.0 hrs)

Session 10 (debrief) time depends on numbers. 1-4 participants will need 30 minutes, with each additional four participants adding 20 minutes.

To book training or find out how Cross Cultural Training can improve your organisation, complete the enquiry form. Alternatively, call us on 02 9560 5333.