?What is the most important aspect of team building training? Is it merely the fact that
the training is taking place? Is it the knowledge of what you are achieving during that
training? Or is it the new and stronger working relationships that are being formed
during that time?
In reality it is probably all three things and many more. But there are also other
aspects that you need to think about during this time, and one of these is cross cultural
Some trainers and managers look at a room full of employees and assume that
everyone is the same. They are in one way - in that they all work for the same
company - but that is where any similarities may end.
The truth is that no two employees will approach a training session in the same way.
Just as everyone approaches their job role slightly differently, they will also
communicate with other people in a different way.
This stems mainly from the fact that not everyone will come from the same cultural
background. For example, if two people originate from two different countries, you
can expect that they will both be used to communicating in slightly different ways.
This is because many places do have alternate ways of doing things, and that is
something you need to bear in mind when you are planning any kind of training for
Take sales training modules, for example. You might have one set module for each
subject, but you should be aware that individual people may have a harder time taking
in the information you give. Being alert to this possibility in the first place will give
you a better chance of successfully nurturing everyone through the training.
Let's say you have two people from two different countries included within your team.
If they have worked in those countries previously, they may be used to a very
different way of doing things. They may also be familiar with terminology and ways
of speaking that are altered from what you would expect in your own country and
It's not so much the fact that you need to be aware of all the different methods and
terminologies in effect in other places. What you do need to do is open the way for
people to contribute to the discussion and ask any questions they need to ask. By
doing this you can be assured that everyone understands your training and what is
expected of them. And the team members will learn more about cross cultural
communication as well.
Working as a team isn't always an easy process. Some people will naturally get along
better than others. But having said that it does pay to make sure that everyone can
learn from all the other members of the team - and this can be done in many ways.
Remember also that the ultimate aim of any training is to create a corporate culture
within your organisation or team. And whilst that corporate culture can benefit from
the diversity of your team members, those differences should be used to enhance and
not detract from the integrity of your message.
So the next time you plan a training session, think about whether you are giving
people from different cultures a chance to get the best from it.
Timothy Millett, head trainer at i perform, has extensive expertise in performance
training, sales training and customer service training. Tim has helped participants
from organisations such as SWIFT and UBS achieve peak levels of personal
performance. For more information please visit Leadership Training.