Cultural sensitivity is critical to the work CSI does with clients.
CSI has worked in over 60 countries and we recognise that our work is dependent on appreciating the differences and nuances amongst participants as well as being able to coach participants to appreciate these in their clients.
What Do You Need to Consider?
Cultural sensitivity is critical to both the messages themselves and the way they are delivered. We consider six key variables when we both design and lead programmes in different countries and work with the local management to ensure we reflect this:
- How do people think about time and schedules?
- How do people behave individually and in groups? How is work activity typically organised in groups? Is performance seen as a group or an individual process?
- What are the shared and learned patterns of behaviour such as acceptance of hierarchy or power?
- What is their concept of public and private space? How close do they stand to one another?
- How comfortable are people in dealing with strangers, with uncertainty and with sensitive topics?
- How do they express emotions and deal with other races and gender roles?
We also look at client’s decision making styles (analytical, charismatic, follower, sceptic and controller) and their approaches to business (transactional, functional, strategic, transformational).
For instance much of the work we do in China with local decision makers reflects often a cultural norm of striving for deep relationships but still having a transactional approach to negotiation.
In France the respect of hierarchy is much greater than in Belgium, whilst it is even less in the Netherlands. Whereas in Columbia, over in Central America, it is just as high as France. Whilst these are broad guidelines so many clients have international influence that we can never take generalisations for granted.