Acquiring Intercultural Communication Skills: Why “learning by doing” is bound to fail

Acquiring Intercultural Communication Skills: Why “learning by doing” is bound to fail

Culture and “cultural logic” shape every aspect of our communication and the tools and strategies we believe to be instrumental for successful co-operation. International experience and even management education does not translate automatically into intercultural competence. For example, “Western” management tools and communication styles are based on “Western” cultural values systems and problemsolving logic, and often don’t translate effectively across cultures. “Perfect English” alone does not prevent predictable hidden conflicts and miscommunication loops. And how does the skilful negotiation of “face” frequently produce more effective solution pathways than negotiating the “facts”? What knowledge and skills beyond lazy “dos and don’ts” do global managers require
to identify and minimise predictable risks, and to maximise opportunities and synergies?
This presentation introduces those baseline intercultural communication skills necessary for international business; how such skills are crucial to enhancing
problem assessment and decision-making in coordinating intercultural work; how intercultural competence development benefits from a systems analytical approach; and how such an approach can support sustainable learning despite the time constraints imposed by organisational training.