Course Outcomes

This cultural literacy course will:

  • Prepare participants to work in another culture.
  • Suggest tactics for addressing common reactions to living and working in a different country.
  • Offer practical tips for following expected etiquette and cultural norms.

Course Overview

When you pack your bags and set off to live in a new country, eventually the thrill of the new wears off and the day-to-day reality sets in. Even people who view themselves as citizens of the world can experience stress when moving from one culture to another. This workshop shares coping skills for a range of challenges: information overload, language barriers, technology gaps, response ability, and other obstacles that can make overseas living difficult. The program also provides a fundamental culture briefing for the specific country to which the participants will relocate.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Recognize the key elements of culture and cultural identity.
  • Discover how to function effectively in another culture’s business environment.
  • Avoid several communication breakdowns caused by cultural gaps.
  • Understand how cultural differences can affect the negotiation process and its outcomes.
  • Effectively manage cultural stress caused by living and working in a foreign country.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Leaving on a Jet Plane: Understanding Differences in a New Culture

Beginning a new job can be challenging anywhere, but starting one in a new country can be downright overwhelming. The best preparation? Information. This workshop begins with a discussion of what culture is, the elements that come together to form a culture, and why understanding cultural differences is critical to successful cross-cultural business interactions.

You’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Handling Culture Shock

“At first, it was fun. I saw all these new places and ate a lot of different foods. Then, the honeymoon ended. I found the charm of the miniature washing machine had long since disappeared. I found myself annoyed by the smallest inconvenience. My sleep schedule got out of whack, and I really missed my friends at home.”  Experiences such as that one are not unique. Anyone who has jumped into another culture has a story or two to tell. This part of the program addresses the challenge of culture shock, how to recognize it, and what to do to best cope and get to a place where working in a new environment is comfortable.

You Say Po-ta-to, I Say Po-tah-to: Understanding Basics

No book or training guide can provide a full picture of another culture. However, a briefing that covers the fundamentals of a culture, its customs, and traditions can provide a basic foundation for understanding what to expect when in another country. This portion of the course offers country-specific information about such topics as people, class structure, communication preferences, religious practices, business norms, family structure, and recreational pastimes.

When “Yes” Means “Never”: Negotiating in Other Cultures

Negotiating practices vary widely around the world. The global negotiator knows how to navigate negotiations when practices differ from those of their homeland. This part of the workshop looks at a range of negotiations. From bargaining at the local market to agreeing to the terms of a large deal, we’ll consider how culture influences the art of bargaining. This part of the program pays particular attention to four concepts (context, power, relationship, and directness) and how each influences what is said and what is meant.

A Family Affair: A Team Effort

Long-term relocation often includes family members. In this final part of the program, we’ll look at best practices for handling family-related stress and how to help others manage the process of assimilating and adapting while simultaneously experiencing the same.

At this workshop’s end, participants should have a basic knowledge of the culture of the country to which they will be relocating. They should also be able to anticipate the experience they and their family will encounter as they settle into a new routine.