In This Article
Why E-Learning and Cultural Competency are a Bad Match
Everything tends to move online. We buy our books online, we do our groceries online, we book our tickets ourselves and even certain forms of training have taken on the shape of e-learning. Effective for some topics; in my eyes less effective for other topics.
Of course I think that becoming culturally competent is not something you can learn from or on a machine.
I get the request, if I have some sort of e-learning or online learning on my website Culture Matters, not that often. But every now and then a potential client does ask me.
Below are 6 reasons why intercultural management or becoming culturally competent should not be given in the form of e-learning.
“People can live with the What if they know they Why”.
Just like sales or selling (whatever it is you’re selling), dealing with people from different cultures is a “contact sport“. Your dealing with people, individuals, who, because of their face-to-face contact (and this can also be remote on different locations) are experiencing difficulties that nine out of ten can be attributed to cultural differences.
There are very little situations in human interaction identical to each other. The consequence of that is that it is virutally impossible to capture every situation in an e-learning form. The second item where e-learning falls short to real in-class training, is context. Often, when the context changes, the situation changes as well and the way you competently deal with another culture changes as well.
Again, e-learning cannot capture that.
Do’s and Don’t’s?
From what I have seen in the field of e-learning, the e-learning programs do not go much deeper than indicating do’s and dont’s. “In this situation you do this; in that situation you do something else.” But the world and the people in it are infinitely complexer than only looking at the do’s and don’ts. In addition, do’s and dont’s tend to change when the context changes. See the previous point.
People ≠ Monkeys
People are not monkeys who you should learn a couple of tricks (mostly do’s and dont’s) and then they’re good to go and be culturally competent. No. People often want and need to know why something is what it is.
It’s along the lines of “People can live with the What if they know they Why”.
Strawberries and Swimming
For me, cultural competence training is a face-to-face activity. A people thing. Think about it this way: How well would you be able to swim if you only read a book about swimming? Not a lot. You might know the moves theoretically. But as soon as you get in the water, things change complete.
Another example would to read about the taste of strawberries without ever tasting one. That simply doesn’t make sense.
Together or Separate
The last point I want to make here is that the concept of e-learning is often done individually. While, when you’re in a classroom setting, one will benefit from the interaction, group dynamics, and the knowledge that other people will bring to the table.
I hope I’ve been able to convince you that cultural competency training is best done in real time with and between real people. Not through a machine.
Ready to organize your workshop? Get in touch with me below.
Get a Taste of How Chris Presents, Watch his TEDx Talk
Call Direct: +32476524957
Book Chris Smit as a Speaker
If you're looking for an Engaging, Exciting and Interactive speaker on the subject of Intercultural Management & Awareness you came to the right place.
Chris has spoken at hundreds of events to thousands of people on the subject of Cultural Diversity & Cultural Competence.
What Others Say About Chris:
- “Very Interactive and Engaging”
- “In little time he knew how to get the audience inspired and connected to his story”
- “His ability to make large groups of participants quickly and adequately aware of the huge impact of cultural differences is excellent”
- “Chris is a dedicated and inspirational professional”
His presentation can cover specific topics, or generally on Cultural differences.
Duration of any presentation can vary from 20 minutes to 2 hours and anything in between and are given World Wide.
Book Chris now by simply sending an email. Click here to do so.
- % of People Rating a Presentation as Excellent 86% 86%
- % of People Rating a Presentation as Practical 89% 89%
- % of People Rating a Presentation as Applicable 90% 90%
I have a Master's Degree in Organisational Psychology and have lived in the USA, the Netherlands and, currently, in Belgium.
Latest posts by Chris Smit (see all)
- 130: International Negotiations with Jan Potgieter - 26. November 2019
- 129: Rachel Smets on Choosing a Life of Freedom & Fulfillment - 14. November 2019
- Why E-Learning and Cultural Competency are a Bad Match - 13. November 2019