Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q’s)

General Questions

Who are Cross Cultural Consultants?

Cross Cultural Consultants (CCC) provide training, mentoring, facilitation and other services to strengthen our clients’ capacity for cross cultural communication. We were established in 1989 with a network of associates across Australia we provide a national service that also extends into South East Asia and the Pacific.

We work in development settings including:

    • International development
    • Indigenous Australia
    • Culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Who are the people that make up your team?

The Cross Cultural Consultants team is made up of a diverse range of individuals who have worked in over 30 countries, in all development sectors, including government and non-government areas. You can find out more, and see bios of our team members here.

Where are Cross Cultural Consultants based?

Cross Cultural Consultants have staff in many locations across Australia. This assists us in providing training that suits both you and your location.

Where does Cross Cultural Consultants work?

Cross Cultural Consultants work all over Australia and overseas. We are always open to travelling with our work, and excite at the opportunity to visit places we have already trained in, such as South Africa, Malaysia and the Pacific, as well as train in new locations with our flexible materials.

How can I get in contact with you?

Cross Cultural Consultants can be contacted through this website, at our contact page here. Alternatively, you can email us with any questions or enquiries you might have as to our training and services.

Training Questions

What is cross cultural training and why is it so important?

Cross cultural training examines cultural difference and its implications for cross-cultural interaction. It should not be confused with Cross Cultural Awareness which is an insiders view of their own culture.

Cross cultural training helps participants take the first step towards becoming cross cultural brokers where they are able to operate effectively in two cultural environments. Developing cross cultural awareness or empathy with the points of view of another culture is not enough to achieve this outcome.

Cross cultural training should provide participants with the kind of knowledge and skills that will assist them to operate effectively in another set of culturally defined roles. Cross cultural flexibility is at the core of cross cultural competencies and needs to be built on a firm foundation of understanding about ones own culture and a strong and secure sense of individual cultural identity.

Cross cultural training begins with a process of self-awareness. The first step is to become aware of the many unconscious invisible ‘rules’ that we live by and the values that we hold.

Once a foundation of understanding about the nature of cultural difference has been established through cross cultural training, increased exposure and contact with culturally different people is much more likely to have a positive rather than unintentionally negative impact.

Why do I need cross cultural training if I already work in a Cross Cultural setting?

While long-term interaction and relationships with culturally different people may give someone considerable insights into the dynamics of a particular cross-cultural setting, it does not automatically give them an awareness of the cross cultural issues which effect service delivery and working relationships at the interface between Western and Non-Western culture. Training helps people recognise how deeply embedded their own culture is and how it impacts on their ability to work effectively.

Do you offer anything other than cross cultural training?

In addition to, and often in parallel with, our training programs, Cross Cultural Consultants offers a range of capacity development services like:

  • Community Engagement
  • Small/Medium Enterprise
  • Organisational
  • Mediation
  • Mentoring

Cross Cultural Consultants brings our team’s research, writing, communication, training, analysis and planning skills to work with the strengths of clients to enhance their capacity to deliver services and ultimately to benefit their communities.

Who are your courses aimed at?

Our courses are for anyone who is looking to improve their capacity to operate in a cross cultural context. Courses are developed for people who are currently working, or considering working, in a cross cultural setting whether this be in International development, Indigenous Australia or with Culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

We also offer courses for Indigenous people who are considering working in a Western environment or who want to deepen their understanding of cross cultural issues.

More specific information can be found on the relevant course page, but start on our Training page if you aren’t sure.

Can you work with me/my company to tailor one of your courses to suit us?

All our materials are able to be adapted to suit your specific needs and can be tailored through participatory consultation with your organisation. If you want more information about how we do this, or you’d like to discuss your course with us, please contact us now.

Do you have outlines of the courses you offer on your website?

Yes, we provide basic outlines of all our courses, both on the relevant training pages in website form and will soon offer a downloadable pdf brochure. However, if you find that you need more information, simply forward your enquires on to us.

Can you give me a list of Cross Cultural dos and don’ts?

Complex interactions can’t be managed using a ‘phrase book’. There’s no ‘lonely planet’ guide to cross cultural work. To try and simplify it could do more harm than good.

Wanting a clear solution is part of our cultural boundedness – Western individualism values absolute truths and clear rational explanations for phenomena. Part of the cross cultural journey is recognising that in non-Western cultures these truths are shifting and relative. Reality is always subject to our own experience and interpretation. However this does not mean we cannot find key values to guide us.

Do you offer a summary 2 hour or half day workshop?

Cross Cultural Consultants’ training is transformative learning – it is not content driven but process and relationship driven . While we do provide a handbook, it is placed in the context of our model and is therefore not a stand alone document. Through engaging with each other and the materials, participants have the chance to extend their frame of reference.

While we do offer both 1/2 day and 1-day courses for Working With Cultural Difference, it should be noted that these courses are intended as an overview and an introduction, and not as an in-depth or stand alone learning experience. The optimum amount of time to effectively learn using our method – whatever the context – is 2 days.

What makes a person a good cross cultural worker?

While it is in no way a complete list, nor should it be taken to be a singular guideline, we believe that in order for a person to be a good cross cultural worker they should show:

  • Cultural sensitivity ie self-awareness as well as questioning the assumptions we and others make – to understand what is really going on in the context.
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Motivation and willingness to change, learn, try new things and not give up, to do things for or with others as a mutual exchange
  • Confidence and self-esteem to hold true to their own core values while recognising others as equally valid
  • The ability to work independently as well as in highly collectivist contexts where behaviours are constrained by powerful social norms
  • Knowledge and understanding of the society in which they work