[Episode 10] A-Z of Cultural Impact: J for Journey
In life, we often find ourselves on an intricate journey that moulds our character and worldview. This journey isn't just about the places we go; it's about the experiences we accumulate, the lessons we learn, and the people we meet. It's a path towards self-discovery, growth, and transformation. We spoke to the newest members of Cultural Impact to unravel their unique journeys and extract valuable insights from them.
Maps, Conditioned to See the World in a Set Way
Julia's journey illustrates how our early surroundings can shape our curiosity. Growing up in a Dutch village, her heart longed for exploration. Her journey began with a leap of faith, taking her to Canada, where she delved into a new culture and language.
The very essence of being open to diverse experiences and cultures is vital in our personal evolution. We often start our journey with preconceived notions and maps that condition us to see the world in a set way. However, as Julia discovered, the most profound learning often comes from stepping outside those comfortable boundaries. Julia has proven herself indispensable as an intern at Cultural Impact.
Places We Go, Make You Who You Are
Naim's journey showcases how your path may not always align with your initial plans. As a media enthusiast, he ventured into mass communication and later diversified his skills into copywriting and content curation. It wasn't what his parents had envisioned, but it's where he discovered his passion. Naim currently oversees content on Cultural Impact’s e-learning digital platform, focussing on cross-cultural training. Naim's story highlights that sometimes, we need to be open to diversification and unexpected opportunities to truly find our calling.
Resistant to Change, You Can't Grow
In the early stages of her career, Zafira experienced unexpected twists and turns as her dream of becoming an ambassador took a different path. Nevertheless, Zafira found herself as a communication strategist for Cultural Impact. Adaptability in the face of unforeseen circumstances was crucial, and her trust in the journey, even when it deviated from her initial expectations, serves as a reminder that such detours can lead to a fulfilling destination.
The common thread among these personal stories is openness. Being open means you're malleable, willing to embrace new experiences and adapt to different environments. It's not about losing your identity but adding branches to it, enriching your perspectives. It's about realising that each setting teaches you something new and valuable. It's about understanding that the journey itself, with its challenges and opportunities, is a school where we learn about ourselves and the world.
Julia, Naim, and Zafira all embarked on journeys that involve intercultural competencies, namely Intercultural Sensitivity, Intercultural Communication, Building Commitment, and Managing Uncertainty. Let us draw from their experiences to illustrate each of the competencies.
Julia's journey exemplifies her exceptional intercultural sensitivity. Her move from a quiet Dutch village to Canada showcased her active interest in understanding a different culture and language. She wasn't just a passive observer; she eagerly embraced the opportunity to learn from and about others. Her openness to diverse experiences reflects a high level of intercultural sensitivity.
Naim's journey highlights his ability to actively monitor his communication in diverse settings. As a media enthusiast, he transitioned into content curation and cross-cultural training. This shift required him to adapt his communication style to effectively engage with diverse audiences. Naim's willingness to adjust his communication strategies demonstrates a strong degree of intercultural communication competence.
Zafira's journey underscores her commitment to building relationships in diverse environments. Her dream of becoming an ambassador was driven by a deep concern for representing Malaysia on a global stage and engaging with different cultures. Her determination to connect with others and her work as a communication strategist for Cultural Impact showcase her dedication to building relationships and integrating different people and their concerns.
In all these journeys, the individuals encountered uncertainty when dealing with different cultures and situations. Navigating these unfamiliar territories requires the ability to perceive the uncertainty and complexity of culturally diverse environments as opportunities for personal development.
This competence, called managing uncertainty, is an essential part of their journeys. They all learned to adapt, grow, and find personal development through these uncertain and challenging experiences.
Evidently, these intercultural competencies are important tools to help us journey through life and our careers. To measure these competencies, tools like the Intercultural Readiness Check can be instrumental in assessing and enhancing one's capacity to work effectively across cultures and can help people understand and improve these skills as they go through life's journey.
Our journeys are more than just physical travels; they are a constant evolution of who we are. To make the most of these journeys, we must remain open, adaptable, and receptive to the lessons each new experience offers. It's about being intentional in our growth and embracing the unexpected twists and turns. Like Julia, Naim, and Zafira, we must trust the process, embrace opportunities that come your way, be proactive, curious, inquisitive and seek new perspectives. We are in charge of every decision we make, and each step that we take in our own unique journeys. In the end, it's not just the destination that matters, but the profound experiences and personal growth along the way.
“ The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes. ”
- Marcel Proust
*If you are interested to discover where you stand on these four competencies and are ready to take action, feel free to get in touch with us. We offer tailored self-assessment (the Intercultural Readiness Check IRC©) and coaching sessions designed to help you reach your full potential. These sessions are a valuable investment in your personal and professional growth.
Contact us today by clicking on this link to learn more about our services and take the next step towards becoming the best version of yourself.