By David Clutterbuck (United Kingdom)

Studies by two professors at French business schools identify seven characteristics of a multicultural manager:

  1. Sensitivity to one’s own and other cultures
  2. Cultural awareness and curiosity
  3. Cultural empathy
  4. Multilingual skills
  5. Contextual understanding and sensitivity
  6. Semantic awareness
  7. Ability to switch between cultural frames of reference and communication modes

Their observations and analysis provide a valuable foundation for selecting and developing mentors for cross-cultural learning alliances. In selection, it is logical that relationships are likely to have higher rapport and greater intensity of learning, if mentors are able to recognise and value the cultural perspectives that mentees bring to the mentoring conversation, to empathise with different ways of interpreting events and to recognise when linguistic differences may lead to divergent interpretations of meaning.

Source: iCN Issue 7 (Relationship Coaching); pages 70-72

About David Clutterback

David Clutterback is a mentor or coach, a faciliatator of good practice in Boardrooms; and as the practice leader in international consultancies David Clutterbuck Partnership (DCP) and Coaching & Mentoring International (CMI) which specialise in supporting organisations in developing mentoring and coaching programmes, and in establishing sustainable mentoring and coaching cultures. DCP also offers consultancy and training in Systemic Talent Management. Everything he does revolves around helping people and organisations harness the power of dialogue.