Online Self Study

Does dealing with diverse perspectives and strong language leave you feeling awkward and uncomfortable? Many times, people don’t have the language or skills to talk and work with people that seem different. Self-study can be a great way to get started. Empowering Partners’ offers the online self-study course, “Awkward to Awesome: Boost Productivity, Diversity and Collaboration with Cultural Intelligence.” Participants gain vocabulary, skills and attitude for culturally intelligent conversations while learning at their own pace and in a safe space of their choosing.

Awkward To Awesome Overview

To develop your Cultural Intelligence, in each of the six 40-minute sessions you will:

  1. Watch a video
  2. Develop common vocabulary
  3. Discover the business case
  4. Learn what people need within their context
  5. Complete interactive activities
  6. Learn 2-3 tools for authentic interaction
  7. Journal experiences, reflections and questions

In this self-study course, learners discover how to:

1. Build Common Vocabulary
When we’re talking with another person, if you don’t have a shared understanding, you don’t really know what a person means by any particular word or phrase. Develop a shared understanding of words, phrases and ideas to improve communication and build trust.

2. Make the Business Case for Diversity
“Diversity” has become a new buzzword. Some people are sick of it, and think or say, “We’ve got it already. Look at all the progress we’ve made.” Others say, “We haven’t done enough. Equity in our institutions hasn’t been achieved. With all the talk about diversity, is it worth the effort?” Explore the case to be made for supporting a diversity effort.

3. Outsmart Hidden Assumptions
When talking with another person, if you don’t slow down and recognize the assumptions you hold about them or their situation, you run the risk of missing the opportunity for genuine connection and/or real problem solving. Both of you end up feeling alienated and the conversation shuts down. Learn how to recognize and outsmart assumptions.

4. Express Compassion
In the middle of a conversation with someone, have you ever thought: “You just don’t get it” or “You really don’t understand me.” We’ve all been there. Also, at one time or another, we’ve all been that other person, the one who’s not really listening. To make the conversation work, you need to slow down, withhold your assumption and work to express compassion. Discover the steps for showing genuine compassion so people you talk with feel valued and seen.

5. Recognize Our Culture
It’s our cultural environment that shapes our assumptions, preferences and biases. Learning about and becoming more and more aware of our own culture’s characteristics allows us to see what’s driving our thoughts, feelings, words and actions. This cultural self-awareness is what empowers us to adapt our behavior to show ourselves and others genuine respect, each within our own unique context. That respect is what opens up opportunity for genuine human connection, increasing collaboration and camaraderie.

6. Seek Shared Understanding
When you’re part of the dominant culture, you tend to be the knower rather than the learner, the speaker rather than the listener in a conversation. It’s not any one person’s defect, it’s our cultural default. These cultural defaults or characteristics, often translate to reflexively fixing or correcting other people’s problems without listening well. But when you know better, you can do better. Discover the heart of active listening and how to get to a shared understanding, even with people who have a very different perspective. Learn how to create a win-win scenario for you and them!

Value – Learn at your pace in your space!

Online self-study can empower a single leader, a team of executives or the entire organization with the vocabulary, skills and attitude to talk and work with just about anyone. You’ll build your cultural intelligence at your own pace in the safety of your own space. In six lessons, you’ll learn how to interact one-to-one with colleagues and clients who seem different. Since culture is built on one interaction at a time, you’ll discover cultural intelligence is the way to appreciate and support differences and recognize them as an asset for your organization.

Case Study

Issue: The online course was created to address several challenges facing modern leaders and organizations including:

  • Scaling large organizations rapidly so the cultural intelligence practice of the organization can also scale rapidly throughout the organization.
  • Meeting the needs of a distributed workforce across multiple locations and time zones.
  • Providing CEOs, Executives and Leaders the opportunity to learn the foundation of cultural intelligence privately before implementing small and/or large organizational learning opportunities and changes.
  • Learning opportunities for individuals who are unaware of how cultural blindness is impacting themselves, others and their overall productivity

Resolution: As a result of the self-study course, participants and teams will be able to:

  1. Talk and work with just about anyone.
  2. Discover how your assumptions are tripping up your conversations.
  3. See similarities and differences in yourself and others as valuable – for building relationships, collaboration, productivity and innovation.
  4. Acknowledge and use your feelings as a guide in awkward conversations.
  5. Demonstrate that you are a learner and have a growth mindset.
  6. Appreciate different perspectives and still offer and value your own point of view.
  7. Be more genuine at work, in your community and at home.
  8. Slow down to work fast and efficiently.
  9. Recognize the value of giving and receiving compassion.
  10. Collaborate with other people even when we have great differences.
  11. Discover how to bridge communication gaps and avoid “us versus them” traps.
  12. Cultivate allies, be a better advocate and feel less isolated.