Intercultural awareness training provides people with an insight into those very differences and provides strategies to help overcome potential obstacles.One of these obstacles when thinking about the Middle East is the approach to relationships in business.In less hierarchical cultures a subordinate is expected to use initiative, share in the decision making process, can say "no" to the boss and most of the time has an informal relationship with the boss.
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These are areas such as attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, world views, communication styles and values.
If people are unaware of such differences when it comes to such fundamentals, the potential for misunderstandings, poor communication and failed relationships are increased.
Before discussing the Middle East as a region it is important to bear two things in mind.
Firstly the Middle East is not a homogenous region.Companies are now tuning into the fact that in order to get ahead in today's global economy, cultural awareness is critical. The right intercultural awareness training briefing can offer a company real benefits, namely a competitive advantage and a greater long term gain.When intercultural trainers explain culture, many use the iceberg model.Manifestations of this are that nepotism is seen as natural and protecting the honour of the family is a very high priority. Hierarchy - a hierarchical society it used to levels of authority.A good example of how a hierarchical society differs to a more level one is in management styles.Staff will expect explicit orders and guidance, meetings will be where decisions are implemented rather than discussed and very formal relationships exist with the boss. Honour/Shame/Face - In relationship driven cultures there is usually an emphasis on maintaining face, i.e. As a result there are usually very complex rules of engagement and communication styles.