Intercultural Awareness Exercise

Intercultural Awareness Exercise

Give everyone a piece of flip chart paper or electronic equivalent. Each participant describes the strengths of their culture and how it could be better

Here is what I might say

Nick Heap – British culture



Change is usually by debate and peacefulBe faster to seize opportunities
Eccentricity is celebratedBe less complacent
English is the language of businessBe more optimistic that we can do it
Great ScienceBring more of our most creative people into business
Multicultural and CosmopolitanHave more equality of opportunity
There is a rich literary and artistic traditionSpeak more languages
Universal Health careTurn ideas into products more effectively

2)      Stick your chart on the wall, walk around the room, and look at each other’s lists. Ask questions if there are things there you do not understand. Think about who might be able to help you.

For example, suppose you were a British person and realised that most British people only speak English. You might decide to ask a Dutch or Swiss multilingual person how people learn languages in their countries. As a result, you might influence language teaching in your local school or the recruitment policy in your organisation.

3)      Come together as a whole group. Ask people to notice the rich range of cultures in the group. What did you notice about (e.g.) the French culture? What surprised you? Lead a discussion about how can you use this cultural richness to add business value to the organisation.

If you would like help using this idea, or have any comments or questions please contact me. Thanks, Nick