In today’s global and diverse society, International Protocol, International Etiquette, and Intercultural Skills are essential and will help all individuals, not just those with international exposure, to build better relationships, navigate intercultural interactions and promote personal and professional growth.
Obviously, these skills are of great benefit to those who wish to succeed in an international or multicultural business environment and to those who frequently travel to work with people from other cultures or study abroad, as these skills will help you to build better relationships, avoid cultural misunderstandings and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of other cultures.
Conversely, people who do not plan to interact with people from other cultures may not initially feel the need to learn them.
In reality, however, learning international protocol and etiquette can improve personal and professional relationships within a country, enabling you to build stronger and more effective relationships with people. It also builds cultural competence to develop a better understanding of diversity.
Not only that, but it also improves emotional intelligence. This makes it a highly effective learning experience for any individual, for any purpose.
This article explains who benefits from learning international protocol, etiquette, and intercultural skills, and the impact it has on people, whether they are working internationally or not.
Table of Contents
People who directly benefit from these learning experiences
To begin with, here is an overview of who generally learns and acquires these skills. The acquisition of these skills is, needless to say, essential for the following people working internationally.
- Business professionals working in an international or multicultural environment: By understanding cultural differences and communication norms, business professionals can communicate more effectively with clients, colleagues, and partners from other cultures, leading to better business relationships and results.
- Diplomats, government officials, and military personnel posted abroad: These individuals may encounter different cultural situations and need to understand how to navigate these situations in a respectful and effective manner.
- Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and aid workers working abroad: These individuals may interact with communities from different cultures and need to understand cultural norms and customs in order to better serve their clients and build strong relationships with local partners.
- Travellers who frequently visit other cultures: By understanding international etiquette and cultural norms, travellers can navigate different cultural environments and have more respectful and enjoyable travel experiences.
- Students studying or planning to study abroad: Studying abroad can be a transformative experience, and understanding intercultural differences can help students make the most of their time abroad and build strong relationships with people from other cultures.
- Anyone who wishes to improve their intercultural communication skills and understanding of other cultures: Whether for personal or professional reasons, people who seek to improve their intercultural skills and understanding can benefit from learning about international protocol, international etiquette, and cross-cultural studies.
These skills enhance overall international competence and are therefore are essential, especially for those who aim to work globally by developing integrated international skills.
How these skills could be beneficial for those who are not related to international affairs
Individuals who do not plan to interact with people from other cultures in their professional or personal lives may not initially feel the need to learn them. However, even for these individuals, these skills can improve the overall quality of life in modern society and can be useful in every context.
Here are some key points that might be useful for those not involved in international affairs.
- Improved interpersonal relationships: Knowledge of cross-cultural differences can help individuals build better relationships with people from different areas, whether in their personal or professional lives.
- Increased cultural awareness: Understanding cultural differences can increase empathy and understanding of others, reducing prejudice and promoting cultural harmony in one’s local community.
- Improved communication skills: Understanding cross-cultural communication norms can improve one’s ability to communicate effectively with people who have different perspectives, leading to more positive relationships and outcomes.
- Career Advancement: In today’s globalised world, cultural competence and intercultural skills are highly valued by employers. Learning about international protocol, etiquette, and cross-cultural studies can give individuals a competitive edge in the job market.
- Enhanced travel experiences: By understanding international etiquette and cultural norms, individuals can have more respectful and enjoyable travel experiences when visiting other cultures.
What emotional intelligence these skills enhance
There also are elements hidden in these learnings that can improve emotional intelligence as well as technical matters.
- Empathy: learning about the cultural norms, values and beliefs of others can deepen understanding of different people’s perspectives and experiences.
- Diversity awareness: understanding the diverse backgrounds and norms of others can deepen an individual’s awareness and sensitivity to differences.
- Adaptability: by learning about cross-cultural differences in communication styles, norms and values, you can develop the ability to adapt your behaviour to better meet the needs of others.
- Self-awareness: by recognising and understanding your own biases and values, you can increase your self-awareness and improve your emotional intelligence.
- Conflict resolution: understanding the drivers of conflict can help you develop better strategies for resolving conflict.
Developing these emotional intelligence skills can enrich an individual’s life by helping them to live, work and relate to others better every day.
Real-life examples of how individuals have been helped to succeed
Participants of The InterCultural Protocol Academy of Japan are not necessarily internationally active. Their objectives vary from improving themselves, broadening their values, advancing their careers, to improving their quality of life and relationships.
Most of the people featured in the testimonials section have experienced significant personal growth after participating in the programme.
I myself studied for years to become one of these experts, but it was the acquisition of international etiquette, more than cross-cultural awareness, that ultimately led to my confidence and success in my career. Having confidence in my own behaviour has enabled me to communicate my knowledge better, gain the trust of others with a single greeting, and maintain much better relationships with my family than before by treating them with the same politeness. I have realised that the rewards are not just about technical skills.
These experiences are more than just technical skills, they enrich the lives of individuals and are a beneficial learning experience for everyone.
How you can learn these skills
Now you may be wondering where and how to study these subjects. There are several ways to learn about these studies.
At university, courses such as International Relations, Intercultural Studies and Intercultural Communication can provide in-depth training in these areas. For the general public, there is a wide range of online courses covering these skills, from short courses to comprehensive programmes, offering flexible and convenient learning options.
You can also read books and articles on international protocol, an international etiquette, and intercultural studies, which can provide valuable information and insight into these topics. Travelling and living in different countries and cultures is also a great way to gain real-life experience and learning opportunities.
Organisations around the world offer workshops and programmes that train the general public in intercultural skills and etiquette.
Lastly, we, ICPA – The InterCultural Protocol Academy of Japan offers these comprehensive programmes for working professionals, which can be taken face-to-face or online. It also offers taster courses to help people from all over the world improve their skills. We look forward to welcoming you to our taster courses and online sessions.