Have you ever spoken to another person at cross purposes? Especially to a foreigner? Did you feel frustrated they did not understand you or did not do what you wanted them to do? Well, welcome to the field of intercultural communication! Challenges like these can be found in your own culture, but in an international context, the problems can be exponentially challenging. In addition, these challenges can cause damage without you even noticing what is going on.
International communications can be especially challenging when talking about IT security and its mechanisms like policies or guidelines. Often these topics are is hard to grab to begin with and can often be highly influenced by culture. Implementing a security awareness programme means that you are going to communicate a lot with the employees. You can use posters, videos, articles, various events, seminars and workshops — a never-ending list of activities. But all of them, are — in some way — communication. If you are in an international company, you will also need to communicate people in foreign countries. Therefore, you need to be aware of the mechanisms of intercultural communication.
But let’s not be put off by the challenge, it is by no means an unsurmountable problem. All we have to do is to be aware of these pitfalls and navigate around them by integrating them into our communication in security awareness programmes. Enter the European Security Awareness Summit, where I will show you:
- In which dimensions humans differ from each other, regarding national culture.
- What you need to consider in order to integrate intercultural aspects in your security awareness programme.
- Which aspects need to be adjusted.
In addition, I will show you many examples of intercultural failure as well as practical take-aways. I will help you answer questions such
- How do I work with a group in another culture?
- How do I become a member of the group?
- What do I need to do if some cultures are not focussing on policies, rules or emergency plans?
- How do I need to communicate?
Angela Baudach is a security awareness consultant for DXC Technology. She is one of the speakers for the upcoming Security Awareness Summit 6/7 December in London. Below she gives an overview on her upcoming talk on International Awareness Programmes.