In this unit, we discussed culture and its impact on training and development. What do you think are the two biggest challenges when considering culture in a multicultural training context? What has been your experience with the influence of culture in a learning environment?
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Two of the biggest challenges that I have seen are the way that the instructor is perceived and the way that the training is accepted by the local audience. In some cultures, women are not regarded as individuals who can hold high-level positions, and they are not considered to be subject matter experts. So if you have a female conducting the training in one of these environments you run the risk of the audience tuning her out and disregarding all of her knowledge. You also have to pay attention to the way that training is accepted, as your local audience might feel like an outside organization is coming in and trying to change the way that they do things, suggesting that the local audience does not know what they are doing. I saw this during my time in the Army when we would train the locals in South Korea, as they would be reluctant to learn from us and considered themselves to be the experts on the technology that we were using.