You often can’t rely on your organization to provide formal training, so seek out opportunities to learn about the culture you’ll be collaborating with on your own.
In addition to being confident in your abilities, observing how people from other countries operate, and adopting new culturally appropriate behaviors, here are some ways you can further prepare for a cross-cultural collaboration:
- Read a novel or nonfiction that is set in the culture of a country where someone you’ll be collaborating with lives or was raised.
- Take an immersion course in the language spoken in that country. The better you speak the language, the deeper your understanding of the other culture.
- Watch documentaries on the culture as well as movies and TV series produced in that country to get a sense of the values and beliefs held by its people.
Find a mentor who’s familiar with that culture and who can help you become more familiar with it. Tap into your existing social network, alumni groups, and professional associations. Social media has opened up opportunities to connect around the globe.