Qualifications for Cultural Training Program Resource Consultants
Business, Daily Living & Cultural Consultants
WHAT IS A RESOURCE CONSULTANT?
Resource consultants add knowledge, experience and illustration through personal anecdotes gained from practical experience to the cultural training process. The consultant is primarily a cross-cultural informant and content expert. Their responsibility is to provide information, concepts, ideas, strategies, perspectives and stories from personal experience. They are also responsible for participating in program activities based upon the trainer’s guidelines. It is essential that the consultants are well-suited to the participant’s needs. Three types of resource consultants may be used in a program depending on the needs of the participants and the program length. Sessions with the resource consultant are usually one to two hours.
- Strong verbal communication skills and fluency in the language in which the training is conducted
- Intercultural awareness and recognition of the challenges of expatriate assignments
- Ability to generalize about the target culture based upon experience and contrast that with other cultures
- Ability to be behavioral, specific, and concrete in discussions of cultural differences using anecdotal stories and illustrations
- Openness to assume the role that IOR and the trainer requires
- Recent (within last 5 years) experience living in the destination country and working in a corporate position with nationals from that country for at least 2 years.
- Identify with participant’s business role
- Discuss differences in key business functions such as meeting styles; negotiation; motivating teams, superior / subordinate relationships, etc.
- Provide specific and concrete examples that can lead to discussion of tactical and strategic ways to bridge cultural difference in the workplace
DAILY LIVING CONSULTANT
- Current or recent experience living in the destination country as an expatriate (within the last two years)
- Provide participants with current information on the logistical details of living in the destination culture
- Discuss common concerns of daily life such as housing, medical care, community services, recreation, shopping, schools, childcare, transportation, etc.
- Understand the challenges of relocating for the employee, spouse and family
- Personal familiarity of the attitudes and characteristics of the destination country based on in-depth experience as a national of that country or from having spent many years living there
- Discuss cultural differences that exist and the challenges that those differences may pose to the participant
- Express the host culture’s attitudes and feelings toward people of the participant’s cultural background.
- Discuss topics such as: building relationships; schooling; entertaining; communication styles; social etiquette, history that influences the culture today; and current events that participants need to understand
- Provide specific and concrete examples.
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