Palms Cross-Cultural: Pre-departure training

“I really want to take this opportunity to inform you of how professional and thorough I believe Palms to be.  I personally enjoyed every minute of the pre departure course held in July 2011.  Not only was the location great, but the planning and structure of the briefing is a credit to all the staff involved.”

Pre-deployment preparation is an essential part of delivering effective cross-cultural programs. Whether in development, diplomacy or business, the potential for miscommunication across cultures should not be underestimated. A small early investment in preparation returns many times its value later in a program.

It is not as simple as speaking the language.

In every interaction, each individual brings their own expectations, pre-suppositions, desires, demands and baggage. While this is true even within one’s own culture, there is still a degree to which one may assume concepts are commonly understood and priorities are shared.

Intercultural workers experience more success when they have a better understanding of the culture in which they must live and work. Closer relationships are formed and trust is developed, resulting in more effective and sustainable programs.

It’s not just about achieving outcomes.

Working across cultures can be a stressful experience. The intercultural worker may suffer from stress, loneliness, confusion, frustration, isolation and even trauma. Such challenges will undoubtedly affect work performance, but may also have damaging results for an individual’s long-term wellbeing.

Included in Palms Australia’s cross-cultural toolkit are strategies for self-care, cultural adaptation and relationship management. Equipped with an understanding of how and why they think, behave and react a certain way in their new host culture, a healthy worker will be more effective in the long term both abroad and at home.

It’s not as simple as reading a manual.

While Palms Australia’s preparation materials do include a correspondence component, a theoretical or academic understanding of cross-cultural tensions is not sufficient. Because each individual is different, Palms Australia has developed a program which is applicable to all.

Our units provide practical skills, built upon a solid theoretical foundation, for participants to be effective and safe in their host culture. By using enjoyable and interactive activities, we enhance participants’ learning from each other as well as from the facilitator, and ensure the program remains memorable and effective in the field.

Palms Australia has been providing pre-deployment training for cross-cultural work since 1961. We invite individual participants to join in our nine-day residential Orientation Course or we can run tailored programs for your organisation upon request.

If you wish to participate in the next orientation course or enquire about a private workshop please email training@palms.org.au or call (02) 9560 5333 – we will keep you abreast of the upcoming dates.


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