The Evolution of Cross-Cultural Trainings

Since cross-cultural preparation is widely accepted to improve expatriate performance and 83% respondents believe it has good or great value, the lack of a practice that makes the benefit mandatory is disappointing.” Brookfield Relocation Report

I’ve been offering cross-cultural trainings and facilitating programs for global service providers since 2009. I have yet to meet a single expat who thinks it wasn’t worth their time. On the contrary, the feedback is very positive all-round, with both assignee and spouse realizing that investing one or two days in a training has saved them weeks of worry and misunderstandings in settling-in time.

Interestingly, “35% of respondents provided media-based or web-based cross-cultural training – an all-time high. More companies (25%) use it to supplement formal training, and its portability is cited as a chief reason (20%) along with cost (20%).” (Brookfield GRS)

That’s 60 % of respondents using some form of web-based cross-cultural training.

Are you one of the 10 % who exclusively use or have exclusively experienced media-based or web-based training to prepare for your assignment? How effective did you think it was? I’ve used video-conferences and delivered the training in a conversational style. Trainer and expat saw each other, and we had some freedom to communicate non-verbally (provided the webcam connection is smooth). I also know that when I’ve facilitated a training where a presentation was given over the phone, the participants nearly always suggested in-person presenters as an improvement.

When I think about webinars – printed material and narrated slideshows may certainly be appealing to the introvert* assignee, or those who prefer to learn by reading and listening. What about experiential learners or extraverts* though?

Virtual, by definition, is somewhat lacking actual human interaction. Can talking to a screen ever be as satisfying as the welcoming handshake, getting up to doodle something on the flipchart, and simple face-to-face communication? The topics we’re dealing can get quite personal in nature, so the relative anonymity when training online might act as a barrier or a lubricant to trusting and sharing, depending on the personality of trainer and assignees.

I wonder what your experience would be comparing online vs. face-to-face. I know that I’ve coached online and it’s worked like magic, but training is not coaching.

The above is assuming there is a live trainer involved in the media- or web-based training delivery. What if they include or allude to self-study courses though? Talking from the extravert perspective now: How, when it’s tough enough to get them into a room with an engaging, personable, experienced professional, are you going to convince your assignees it’s a good investment of their time to go read and do some exercises online? Can you call it a training if it’s tantamount to reading a book? 

In summary, using online material to periodically repeat and practice what was learned in a face-to-face training, is something I can get behind.

What about you? Looking forward to your comments below!

Thanks and have a good one.

*People with a preference for Introversion get their energy from and focus their energy on their inner world of thoughts and experiences. Dealing with the outside world can be draining their energy, they like to think things through.

*People with a preference for Extraversion get their energy from and focus their energy on the world of people and things that surrounds them. Left to their own devices they might get antsy, they prefer talking things over.

Pic credit: jannoon028

Share
This entry was posted in Culture, Expat Coaching and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

About the Author

Doris Füllgrabe

Doris Füllgrabe

Hello! I have been an expat for nearly 20 years, I'm a certified MBTI® Master Practitioner, and also hold certifications in the Neuroscience of Personality, and the Berens CORE™ Approach. After a decade in executive coaching and training and volunteering at the ECA, I've decided to pursue more creative endeavors. I'm happy to keep in touch with this community and hear from new expat coaches, so feel free to contact me, or browse my archived blogs on www.buildingthelifeyouwant.com, and use the resources provided on this page. If you'd like to commission a unique piece or hand lettering or calligraphy, please visit www.dorisfullgrabe.com. Thanks for visiting and all the very best wishes! :-)

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Stay Connected


         
  • Our Sponsors

  • Newsletter Signup


Copyright © 2017 Expat Coach Association