Why cross-cultural fluency is a top skill for employability


In today’s globalized business world, our working lives are undoubtedly enriched—and sometimes challenged—by the reality of working across cultures, geography and time zones. Virtually every industry, from finance to fashion, digital marketing to hospitality operates internationally, with global colleagues or consumers or both.

It’s little wonder that top employers are increasingly looking for new talent that can thrive in diverse, international environments. Over and above second-language fluency, hiring managers are citing “cross-cultural fluency” as a desired or even essential competency.

With over 100 nationalities studying with us across our international campuses, we see the value of diversity and the benefits—and unique challenges—of cross-cultural interactions every day at Les Roches.

So, what is cross-cultural fluency? Why should it matter to your employability? And how do you develop it?

What is cross-cultural fluency?

Cross-cultural fluency refers to your ability to understand, communicate and engage with people from different cultural backgrounds. This fluency goes well beyond just spoken language. It’s the ability to recognize and understand the context of different behavioral norms and engage appropriately.

Cultural fluency involves being aware of what’s considered appropriate etiquette around the world—from body language to physical contact to eye contact. It means having next-level emotional intelligence, being sensitive to cultural nuances and adaptable in your interactions with individuals from other cultures.

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