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Cross-Cultural Communication Skills Training

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  • Course description
    Program Overview
    It should come as no surprise that the face of business has changed significantly in recent years thanks to computer technology, faster, better transportation, and shifts in political policies throughout the world. As a result of these changes, it is not unusual to find businesses with culturally blended teams of workers. Training everyone in an organization to appreciate and embrace differences can help distinguish a business and give it a competitive advantage. This onsite training program explores the benefits and challenges that come about from having a multicultural workforce, the issues that might surface in diverse groups, and methods for handling conflict. 

    Program Objectives
    At this program's conclusion, participants should be able to:
    • Explain the business advantages of having a multicultural workforce.
    • Describe the challenges and remedies for stereotypes in the workplace.
    • Demonstrate the use of open and closed questions.
    • Identify and explain the four basic behavioral styles and the benefits and challenges of each.
    • Describe a model of feedback, communication, and listening.
    • Explain the importance of body language in the listening process.
    • Demonstrate techniques for better listening when communicating with challenging speakers.
    • Develop an action plan to improve communication skills.
    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 the participant materials prior to the session(s).

    Course Outline
    Dollars and Sense: Profiting from Cultural  Differences
    This training begins with a cultural self-assessment and continues with a discussion of why working in a multicultural organization is beneficial from both a personal and business standpoint.  Through hands-on activities, participants will see the value of tolerance and patience as they work with others from cultures other than their own.

    It’s a Jungle Out There and In Here Too!: Recognizing Communication Styles
    The second unit focuses on each participant's personal communication style.  Using the Business Training Works' signature diagnostic tool, The Communication Jungle, participants will learn to identify their own behavioral styles and the styles of their coworkers and clients in order to adjust for better communication.  The instructor places special emphasis on cultural differences and the need for tolerance where other communication styles are concerned.

    Sticks, Stones, and Stereotypes:  Overcoming Hurtful Preconceptions
    In this component, participants will analyze the messages they are exposed to everyday, including the use of stereotypes to portray different groups of people. As an extension of this discussion, the instructor will explain how these stereotypes help perpetuate intolerance and will recommend ways to break the cycle of stereotyping in the workplace.

    Listen Up!  A Better Means of Communication
    At this point in the training, participants will be taught a method for improving their listening skills. They will learn how to focus on the speaker, empathize with what is being said, analyze the message, and respond. They will engage in several rounds of practice listening after which they will pinpoint their biggest challenges.

    Yes? No? Maybe So: Reading Nonverbal Cues
    Sometimes what is said is not what is meant. This is something careful students of body language know.  This section reviews the importance of nonverbal communication signals and the ways they affect the communication process. Participants will learn how to listen more effectively by recognizing these signals. They will also find out how cultural and gender differences influence the interpretation of body language.

    Better Questions, Better Answers: Skills for Eliciting Communication
    Many people can have an entire conversation without asking a single question.  Unfortunately, they often miss important points, facts, or opportunities to communicate that they really understand the speaker. At this point, the instructor will show participants how to ask open-ended and closed-ended questions and explain when to use each.

    Worlds Apart: Agreeing to Disagree
    Different points of view often lead to conflict in the workplace.  Occasionally, agreeing to disagree can  solve a problem or keep it from materializing at all.  In this unit, participants will evaluate several case studies and determine whether agreeing to disagree is an option. They will then practice using the technique to communicate a point of view.

    Sticking Together: What We Can Do Better
    The program concludes with a review of all concepts discussed, and participants will have the opportunity to set personal goals, team goals (if applicable) and examine current workplace practices and attitudes.

    After a day of high-impact, high-energy training, participants will understand the personal and business value of a multicultural workplace. They will have a better awareness of which behaviors are acceptable and expected, and they will know how to listen better for improved communication with people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.

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