Working with people from a different linguistic and cultural background from one’s own opens up fantastic opportunities but isn’t an easy thing. We’ve been through the specific case of multilingual & multicultural meetings and saw that one must remember many things on top of what must be kept in mind for any kind of meeting if he/she doesn’t want the project to fail on the shorter or longer term: teams that don’t cooperate, conflicts, loss of customers or difficulties to gain new ones, negotiations that fail…[break]
The solutions aren’t easy to implement either, mostly because many elements listed above are unconscious. And so one needs time, experience, specific knowledge, a lot of empathy and to build new reflexes for oneself – reflexes that aren’t natural because they aren’t needed in a monocultural and/or monolingual context.[break]
The best option thus remains to take on an open attitude and mindset, to study properly every piece of information available regarding the cultures one will be dealing with, to have a solid knowledge of the common language, to be deeply honest with oneself and one’s culture… and to get help from a professional!
Now what about you dear reader? What’s your experience of meetings gathering people with different cultures and languages? Do you agree with the difficulties listed here? Have you encountered other challenges? Do you think it’s necessary to deal with this kind of meetings in a different way than with monocultural/monolingual meetings? Why or why not?
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