Respect for cultural differences, worldwide

As a member of the BZ team, and an internationally oriented representative of the Dutch civil service, respecting cultural differences is an important part of your work. After all, you want to be able to see a situation from another person’s perspective and make the right choices in what can be a complex and dynamic international world.

What's your cultural filter?

Understanding your own cultural filter will help you strengthen relationships and partnerships with people and organisations. And to do so, you need intercultural knowledge and skills. How can you work together with people from different cultural backgrounds to achieve goals and solve problems? This means recognising the importance of investing time in each other rather than simply focusing on the end result. And what about the dilemmas you encounter as a manager? How can you better involve diverse parties in the process? How can you ensure that both you and they feel comfortable with verbal and non-verbal communication?

It is important to continue to be aware of the role played by intercultural factors in our work; this is an ongoing process, above and beyond a training course.

Courses on intercultural knowledge and skills

Working with experts in the field, the academy has developed a range of courses that will help you start raising your awareness. It’s up to you to meet the challenge and keep working on it.

Log on to the course catalog and take a look at the following courses:

  • 'Essential competences for intercultural success' is an English-language interministerial online course focusing on sensitivity in communication.
  • 'Effectief in internationaal overleg' (Optimising Performance in International Settings) is a Dutch-language interministerial training focusing on fostering engagement in international partnerships.
  • A one-and-a-half day classroom-based training course has been specially developed for teams at the missions. 'Working Together in Multicultural Teams', is designed to improve the cultural diversity dynamic within a team, to the benefit of both individuals and the team as a whole.
  • The online course 'Betrokken leidinggeven aan multiculturele teams' (Committed Leadership of Multicultural Teams), composed of three interactive webinars, is a Dutch-language course for all managers at the missions who are looking for knowledge and guidance in how to improve their teams’ cultural diversity.