After each cross-cultural experience, you should take the time to reflect on what happened, what you learned, and what you might do differently in the future. This way you’ll continue to build your skills to handle difficult situations.
At the end of each interaction, you should try to process what happened. By continuing to reflect on your choices and the responses of the person you were communicating with, you will learn more about yourself and about the culture you’re engaging.
You can start by generally assessing the situation as a whole...
Wow! I kept my cool, even when things got a little heated. I feel like I did really well there!
I handled the situation as best I could, given the circumstances. I couldn’t believe everyone was listening in on our conversation!
Oof. I shouldn’t have insisted as much as I did. I didn’t realize I cared about that topic so much!
This will help you to be better suited to field difficult questions, make any necessary adjustments, and jump into your next adventure!
The surest way to continue developing your confidence and skills is by having more conversations. So, keep practicing!
We’ve outlined a number of processes and steps to successful cross-cultural communication. How you fare will depend largely on your attitude and what you do after you’ve interacted with people.
You can always learn something new if you’re open to it. You will meet many people who want to share their culture with you.
And you will encounter people who are genuinely interested in your experiences and perspective.
Small, everyday interactions can furnish powerful insights and teach you valuable skills.
You have an opportunity to share information about American culture outside of movies and stereotypes.
In some locations you might be the first American that people have encountered in their lives. They may be genuinely interested in learning from your experiences and perspective.
Your willingness to share what you know will help to broaden others’ understanding.
The give and take of learning and teaching involves time and effort. It can be challenging, but it’s also exciting and rewarding.
If you are willing to take on new perspectives and remain open to new experiences, you’ll continue to grow.
You should strive to get beyond the surface and try to remain curious and engaged. It can be a challenge to find the right balance between personal investment and flexibility, but it can also be tremendously rewarding.