3 Ways To Improve Cultural Intelligence Training With Mobile Microlearning

How To Improve Cultural Intelligence Training With Mobile Microlearning

Let’s be honest: Some topics are tough to train. Frankly, there are training topics that can launch us right back to that anxious feeling like we are in a middle school health class, squirming with deep feelings of discomfort. When people are uncomfortable and distracted, learning can be compromised.

And yet, tough training topics can also be some of the most important ones for your staff since many of them carry big liability and risk implications (such as bullying and harassment training) or have huge effects on business success (such as drug and alcohol policy training).

One such topic is diversity training. If you are a Learning and Development Director and you have a group of people who are excited to begin diversity training, then you should probably write a book or start a YouTube channel because you have mastered a tough training topic that makes many people very uncomfortable.

For most, diversity training is a difficult subject and is notoriously an area where training runs the risk of being ineffective and the resulting business gains remain elusive. Making use of mobile for self-directed learning can help you to break down the components of this topic and improve your training outcomes.

Why Diversity Training Matters

If you connect skills to job effectiveness, then there is a strong argument for helping your team develop ways that help them work more effectively, especially when they interact with each other and your customers. Furthermore, if they can extend those effective interactions and bridge them across different cultural contexts, then they are developing an essential 21st century job skill that is a foundation for diversity training: Cultural Intelligence.

What Is Cultural Intelligence?

Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is sometimes considered the theoretical basis that underlies a good diversity training approach. It is defined as an individual’s or an organization’s ability to remain knowledgeable, respectful, and productive in a variety of cultural contexts.

Training about Cultural Intelligence is important because it encompasses practices of diversity and inclusivity, while also emphasizing competency and the effectiveness of interactions. When you help someone improve their CQ it means that when they interact with others from different cultures, they can manage stressful or intimidating situations through their knowledge of various different cultural norms and values. This makes CQ an incredibly important part of diversity training.

Approaching A Tough Topic With Sensitivity And Forethought

Although CQ is essential for cultural awareness, sensitivity, inclusivity, and global financial success, the majority of CQ training is delivered through outdated training methods. Such training is often delivered by a single, in-person trainer who refers to PowerPoint slides, or as part of leadership or empathy training. Some progressive mechanisms of delivery are available, such as online courses and videos, but the fact remains that most of CQ training is not available outside of “stand and deliver” training methods.

Further, if your diversity training is focused on geographically-defined cultures, it is important to note that a culture’s perceived history, values, and norms do not encompass every group’s or individual’s practices within that culture. Some individuals may feel more connected to another culture’s values than their own, for example, and other subcultures are often not represented within generalized “cultures.”

Both the outdated delivery methods and the complexity of this topic can make it difficult training to plan and execute.  By using the principles of microlearning (chunking content) and taking advantage of mobile, self-directed learning, you can simplify the way you deliver diversity training about Cultural Intelligence.

Bringing Cultural Intelligence Training Into The 21st Century

Here are some ways to improve your Cultural Intelligence training with mobile microlearning:

1. Move The Learning Out Of The Classroom

A lot of the content of CQ training can be dense with facts and information.  There is an essential knowledge base to this topic that includes important definitions, examples, rules of thumb and case studies. This type of “information dense” material, though frequently delivered by lecture or PowerPoint,  does not lend itself well to classroom-based learning. Even though learners benefit from discovering these essential facts about CQ, they can easily become overwhelmed, bored, frustrated or uncomfortable in a classroom situation.

By chunking the information dense material and delivering it on mobile, you can ease the burden of classroom delivery.  Additionally, if you use mobile microlearning to deliver the theoretical aspects of training, it means that you can use face-to-face training time for more effective activities that are now being addressed in blended learning approaches.

2. Chunk Topics Into Bite-Sized Pieces

To avoid learner resistance that comes from discomfort around tough topics, you can break the content into shorter, bite-sized learning chunks. Also known as microlearning, when content is delivered this way it means that learners can move at their own pace and even revisit material that they find difficult.

Taking advantage of chunking content means that you offer learners the opportunity to explore topics they find intimidating or uncomfortable at their own pace. This approach especially lends itself to mobile learning since one of the fundamental opportunities that independent and personal mobile offers is to allow learners to choose the exact environment where they feel comfortable.

3. Make Sure The Learning Is Self-Directed

Learning independently can help people feel emotionally safe as long as content is delivered in a flexible fashion. If you are able to effectively deliver Cultural Intelligence training by mobile, it is possible that you will have a team which is more open to learning as a result.

Diversity training is a varied and complicated area but there are few companies who do not see the business benefits of its effective delivery. One of the core components of helping your team in this area is to introduce them to the theories of Cultural Intelligence. However, like many tough topics, this is not a subject that lends itself well to traditional “stand and deliver” lecture or slideshow learning.

By tackling the fundamentals of Cultural Intelligence, breaking down this content into microlearning chunks and delivering it to your staff by offering the flexibility of mobile, you can create new opportunities to explore better use of in person training time and to move deeper into this important skill-building area which is essential to every business.

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