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Managing Teams and Working across Cultures

Cultural awareness is key to successful communication with your international colleagues and clients, to developing strong business and personal relationships.

"Communicate better with your international colleagues and clients at meetings, negoti­ations and social situations."

This course will help you communicate better with other countries and cultures, and understand how to interpret their actions and behavior. You will develop the global mindset and intercultural competence you need to manage international teams, to navigate successfully through multicultural meetings and negotiations, and to socialize and network.

A session with the trainer
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You will be guided by an expert trainer in cross cultural communication who has worked and trained across 3 continents. The training can be delivered in English, French or Italian, and can also be personalized to focus on a specific country or culture.

The Business Case

"Develop a global mindset to prevent conflicts, misunder­standings and lost business opportunities."

Managers and team leaders working in a multinational environment often make two types of mistake: they misunderstand differences in cultural behaviors and values, or they become over-sensitive and defensive. This leads to conflict, reduced performance and often to the loss of business opportunities.

We all have different cultural backgrounds, even inside the same country or region. We have different beliefs, values, attitudes, behavioral norms and perceptions. Our perception of time, our relationship with hierarchy, and our tendency to work alone or in a group are just 3 of the characteristics that relate closely to our core cultural values.

These cultural values have a large impact on business etiquette and work culture, for example:

  • our communication style
  • how we make decisions
  • our attitudes towards disclosure
  • how we handle conflict
  • our approach to completing tasks
  • our attitudes to learning and change

What you will Learn

"The course was very useful, providing us with an overview of the cultures we interact with the most, and giving us the keys to interpret the various cultural me a frame of reference to understand the behaviour and habits of my work colleagues in other countries."
Lucia Guarino
Account Manager, Beintoo

People from different cultures see, interpret and evaluate things in different ways. Cultural awareness involves the ability to stand back from ourselves and examine our cultural values, our beliefs and our perceptions - how we see the world, why we do things in a particular way, and how we react.

In this course you will learn strategies for developing sensitivity and understanding of cultural differences by:

  • exploring the impact of national culture on business and politics, with case histories and role-plays
  • understanding the role of language: how language impacts culture, and strategies for developing a 'common language'
  • using tools to learn about other cultures: fact-sheets, checklists, videos, questionnaires and cultural maps, with particular focus on behavior in the workplace, during meetings, socializing, negotiating, etc.
  • examining models that help us understand the dimensions of cultural difference: for example the Cultural Detective Values Lens approach, Monochronicity vs. Polychronicity, High vs. Low Context Cultures, and Hofstede's Dimensions (Uncertainty Avoidance, Individualism/Collectivism, Power Distance, Masculinity/Femininity, Long/Short-term Orientation)
  • looking at cultural stereotypes through questionnaires and games: how the world perceives our culture, and how we perceive other cultures
  • exploring national, professional group, and individual differences

An Expert Trainer

Photo of Elena, Cross Cultural Communication Trainer Elena, Trainer
Elena is a cultural awareness, management skills and language trainer with over 25 years' experience, specialized in organizational innovation and in the defense and technology sectors. Currently based on Milan, Italy, she has lived and worked in the UK, Hong Kong, the US, India and Poland.

She grew up in England, France and Italy and graduated from Sussex University, England with a degree in Experimental Psychology. Elena has an MBA, with specializations in innovation, finance and marketing, as well as a Diploma in English Language Teaching accredited by the University of Cambridge.


The cultural awareness course is delivered over 2 days, and includes practical advice on:

  • how to prepare to work with international colleagues, clients or teams across national borders, with different business and legal frameworks
  • what to expect in common business situations such as formal and informal meetings, managing virtual teams, negotiations, and social situations
  • the importance and significance in different cultures of facial expressions and gestures; male-female relationships; the individual vs. the group; relationships and harmony; achievement and success; direct vs. indirect styles of communication; time; hierarchy; and work-life balance.


  • Day 1: Understanding and Communicating
    • key concepts, visible and hidden aspects of culture, making sense of national differences, cultural preconceptions and assumptions
    • understanding the 7 dimensions of cultural difference: hierarchy/egalitarianism, group focus, relationships, communication styles, time orientation, change tolerance, motivation/work-life balance
    • communication styles: Globish and conference calls, communication in companies, high vs. low-context cultures, speaking and business writing
    • how to understand and interpret different nationalities and cultures

  • Day 2: Avoiding Conflict and Creating Teams
    • cultural conflict: simulations of misunderstandings, how to plan for, interpret and avoid conflict
    • business case histories of cultural conflicts, and quick win strategies to prevent them
    • how to understand your own culture: your 5 key value lenses
    • how to create effective global teams: role-play and conference calls


View the detailed version of the Cultural Awareness Programme (PDF).

Countries and Cultures

The training can be customized to a specific country or culture, for example in order to focus on business culture and relationships in the Middle East, China and the Far East, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and the ex-Soviet states, Brazil and Southern America, and the US.

This includes the option of a guest speaker from the culture or country that is the focus of the seminar, subject to availability and location. The guest speaker will give you the opportunity to understand and experience their culture and values at first hand, to bridge the gap between learning and applying.

Format Options

  • Corporate closed group - the cultural awareness seminar can be delivered on-site at your offices, not only in Italy, but anywhere throughout Europe and the Middle East. We also organize off-site courses for expatriates and executive retreats.

  • Individual intensive - the course can be designed and personalized for a specific individual assignment. The course is organized to suit your schedule, delivered over 2 consecutive or non-consecutive days.


To learn more, or to discuss your company's specific needs, please call us on +39 02 4300 19075 or contact us by email, with no obligation: