Cross-Cultural Training – An Important Tool for the Success of Your International Assignment

Everyone in the world today is somewhat connected. Globalisation is no longer just a buzzword but a reality to so many, for the expatriates, is a given. The world is smaller as travel is faster and connections done virtually in seconds.

Nonetheless, there is a whole new world with variances in diversity and cultures which means gestures that seems innocuous to one and can be insensitive to another. Stressed and traumatized that you may be perceived as offensive? No worries, Cultural Training is a handy tool especially for expatriates to feel comfortable living and working in a host nation, in this way reinforcing their capacity to comprehend and welcome numerous cultural points of view. Working relations are smoother and well understood.

Below is an example of how Cultural Training can make that faux pas into a bright star!

Did you know that the founder of Toyota is Kiichiro Toyoda? How about Henry Ford? Yes, the founder of Ford Motors. I think we resonate more towards Henry Ford, not because the cars are better but it’s because he has made himself quite well known. Why? Individualism vs. Collectivism. Countries like the United States have an individualistic society whereby individuality is empowered whether in work or achievements, while countries like Japan and South Korea are more a collectivist society and sees the whole group as the important element. Through Cultural Training, an expatriate would be aware of their surroundings and adjust themselves when required.

You sit down with your foreign counterparts who are bright, smart, and full of ideas, and you can’t wait for the meeting to start and contribute and make a good impression. The CEO comes into the meeting room and when it’s time for any questions or suggestions, your colleagues suddenly go quiet and don’t seem to chip in even when you know they have many ideas to share. No, it’s not that they have suddenly become tongue-tied but it is due to the Power Distance relations. Malaysia has the highest Power Distance in the world whereby people are more subservient and accepting whilst Australians and Americans have no qualms in making their views known to their superiors. With Cultural Training, expatriates will be made aware of the nuances within a country or even organisation, so that they would conduct themselves without being over or under-bearing. People tend to focus on the differences rather than the similarities between us. By making effort to understand a different culture and society, can one tear down the walls of prejudice and allows the windows of acceptance and tolerance to shine on us all. Cultural Training can be the key that will allow you and your family to have a great working assignment in your new country. Pathfinder Relocation Services offer Cultural Training with experienced and certified professionals that ensure you are ready to venture into a new country with confidence. Email us at for an obligation-free consultation.