Did you know cross-cultural skills are helpful for understanding abroad and at home?
When I say ‘at home’ I do not only mean in your own country of origin but literally at home– in your home among your family and friends.
How can this be so? Well, let’s take a look at three cross-cultural skills:
Don’t rely on stereotypes (preconceived notions and assumptions).
Be patient and empathetic.
Listen (stop talking!)
Communicate clearly and simply.
How can we utilize these cross-cultural skills at home?
It becomes easy to communicate with our family, friends and loved ones out of habit rather than being present in the now. This can especially be true in situations of misunderstandings and even heated conflicts. In these and even daily situations we can combine these skills in a possible combination like this:
Listen to the other person. –>
Do not react, think, be patient and empathetic. –>
Use active listening skills to enhance communication. –>
Take time to respond with paraphrase for understanding, using ‘I language’ and being non-defensive. –>
This will help with clear communication and demonstrate empathy.
Following these steps will automatically help not relying on stereotypes, which will increase understanding, intimacy and a more peaceful resolution of the situation at hand.
Testing the Process:
Review recent personal conflicts in your mind.
How could this process have helped resolve the conflict differently?
Which of these skills were used successfully or unsuccessfully?
How can used skills be improved?
What skills were not used that could have helped?
How can those skills be learn and integrated into behavior?
Human relationships are complex and overlapping in nature. This exercise proves that skills we learn to help us interact more successfully with those abroad who “are different than us” can help us at home to improve communication and relationships with our loved ones also.
Have you utilized cross-cultural skills at home? How was it helpful?
Thank you for reading.
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