Neil Payne

Article Summary:

Effective cross cultural training is critical for long-term success.

Cross Cultural Training

As economic and political spaces between nations become smaller and international trade continues to increase, the movement of people between countries is becoming more fluid. With competition for talented global workers increasing, companies are becoming increasingly aware that creating a cross cultural environment in the workplace is critical for long-term success.

Cross cultural training is now becoming an integral part of staff training as managers and HR staff want to ensure that effective communication is developed between employees. By educating staff through cross cultural training courses, such as cross cultural team building and communication programs, companies and organizations are becoming more competitive in the global marketplace as cross cultural synergy in the workplace grows.

Cross cultural training is a fairly broad term that covers a variety of different training programs. Each training program will have its own focus and will address the certain needs of a particular client group.

Generally, cross cultural training can be divided into two forms, namely cross cultural awareness training and culture/country specific training.

Cross cultural awareness training has a number of applications. Its main objective is to introduce, analyse and constructively tackle the different manifestations of culture in the workplace. It essentially deals with interpersonal interaction. For example, cross cultural team building training will aim to raise team members' awareness of each other culturally in order to foster mutual trust, respect and understanding, The result of which will be clearer lines of communication. Cross cultural management training aims to equip management staff with the knowledge and skills to effectively supervise a multi-cultural staff. Cross cultural awareness training results in a more convivial and understanding work environment.

Culture/country specific training programs are generally aimed at individuals or teams that regularly visit a foreign country or who frequently interact with overseas clients or colleagues. Such training looks at one specific culture/country and covers areas such as values, morals, ethics, business practices, etiquette, protocol or negotiation styles. The aim of such training is to better equip participants with the key skills that will help in building successful business relationships.

Cross cultural training aims to develop awareness between people where a common cultural framework does not exist. In the business world in particular this manifests in better interpersonal understanding leading to more effective communication which ultimately results in a more productive business environment.

Neil Payne has travelled, worked and studied extensively in the Middle East. Based in London, UK, he has successfully completed an MA in Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS University. Drawing on his experience as a language teacher, translator and cultural consultant, he has established Kwintessential Ltd., a cross cultural communications consultancy that provides cultural awareness training, language tuition, translation and interpretation. For more information, visit our "Cross Cultural Communication section" at

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