MCD Development Circle

It takes time to increase the awareness of cultural differences. First of all you must understand your own culture. The MCD Development Circle is a step by step methodology that we follow in our training and coaching. A vast majority of our workshop participants stress the importance of using the Development Circle to help them understand the subject of Managing Cultural Differences and improve their attitude and skills when dealing with cultural differences. 

Step 1. Increasing Awareness

The first step is concerned with improving our awareness of the importance of cultural differences and their impact on our performance. Our level of awareness can always be improved and finetuned.

Step 2.
Seeing own culture from the outside

To understand other cultures we need to better understand our own. We need to de- velop our sensitivity and read the reaction of other cultures when they meet ours. This means questioning and being interested in how colleagues, tourists and immigrants see us, and learning from signs and reactions. Again awareness is key for learning from others.

Step 3.
Seeing other cultures from the inside

To considerably develop our capacity to empathize with other cultures, i.e. to observe and understand differences in other cultures, from their point of view. We need to learn about values that have a great influence in our working lives. By this we will develop a better understanding of the cultural differences. This will help us focus on what to prepare and practice.

Step 4.
Learning specific country knowledge

To learn as much as you can about another country and its culture: the language, its history, geography, industrial context, political structure, culture.

What are the strengths of the MCD 4-step Development Circle?

Throughout our workshops we have learnt that awareness is more than 50 % of the process of learning how to deal with cultural differences. Awareness is learning about the subject and why it is important in an ever more globalized world. Awareness is also, really, learning how to avoid stereotyping, not only nodding one's head when somebody says that stereotypes are "bad".

 

My awareness can always be improved! This means that our Development Circle is a continuous improvement process. When you have reached a high level of awareness you will have a positive attitude, you are prepared to meet and deal with other cultures and you will start enjoying learning from other cultures.

Many companies only work with our step 4, a country specific approach. Some companies never worry about steps 1, 2 and 3 which deal with my awareness, my attitude, my learning of skills in dealing with cultural differences as concerns other values and behaviors.

In other words these companies do not do the full job, the job of changing my attitude and my awareness of how important it is to learn about dealing with the stress I may feel, and often create, when meeting another culture, and furthermore how important it is to prepare!