Cross Cultural Awareness

Large and even thoroughly-planned projects can suffer from poor performance and even total failure, because of subtle and never-detected cultural differences and misunderstandings.
Whether the cultures are very “similar” (subtle differences), or very different from New Zealand. Even if it is a move entirely inside of New Zealand, cross-cultural awareness training is a net cost saver and risk reducer.

  • Many cultures place harmony and agreement higher than factual accuracy, even when specifically requested/instructed not to.
  • Many cultures interpret a neutral or blank response as being equal to a strong and passionate argument against something.
  • What is accepted as a friendly or inviting verbal/visual gesture in one culture may have an inappropriate or insulting meaning in another.
  • Most cultures have different norms of timing, personal distance, facial expressions, voice volume, satire, sarcastic camaraderie, etc. from others.
  • Most cultures, including New Zealand, have performance-and harmony-affecting cultural differences between regions even within their own borders.                                                                                                                                                                               There are many other considerations:

When projects are harmed or defeated by cultural misunderstandings, the underlying causes are most often never discovered.

Woburn International’s Cross-cultural Awareness Training Programmes and Country Briefings are individually designed and tuned to meet the needs and backgrounds of our clients and their situation

These programmes are prepared and delivered by our own experienced and trained presenters. We are the globally accredited New Zealand representative for the Berlitz organisation:

  • Going Global – designed to give management and human resource personnel, effective skills in understanding the needs of their expatriate staff (and family members, if applicable) prior to departure, throughout and upon return from the international assignment.
  • The Expatriate Experience – designed to give transferring staff (and family members, if applicable) effective coping skills with the challenges commonly faced while in another country, through a greater understanding of life and work in the target culture.
  • Onward Assignments – designed for international assignees (and family members, if applicable) who are going directly on to subsequent international locations. Similar in objectives and approach to “The Expatriate Experience” above, takes into consideration their native culture, the present culture and the target culture.
  • Virtual Assignments – designed for staff who manage foreign staff offshore.
  • Returning Home – designed for returning assignees (and family members, if applicable), this gives strategies and skills for re-adapting to life and work in their home country. The programme focuses on cultural adjustment concerns (which can be as intense as the original outbound adjustment), as well as on the returning employee’s business requirements for professional success.
  • Welcome to (target culture) – designed specifically for the children of transferees, this provides them with a set of intellectual, emotional and social learning tools to cope with their new culture (even if it is the home country). Interactive exercises are used to enable parents to refine an action plan, while adjusting to life after arrival in the target country.

We offer these programmes on any origin or destination throughout the world, including our unique “Welcome to New Zealand” briefing.
General cultural awareness training is also available for staff and students in New Zealand educational institutions, to help achieve optimal adaptation within our education system.

Contact Woburn International now, to learn how we can reduce the significant risks of project harm, while making your employees’ posting less stressful and more enjoyable.