Most companies recognize the benefit of having leaders with international experience, but few offer the developmental opportunities to gain it. It’s up to you to take responsibility for improving your cross-cultural chops. Here’s how:
- Strengthen relationships. Cultivate the contacts and friends you already have across national and cultural boundaries. Offer to assist them with something; what follows may help give you insight into unfamiliar environments.
- Start locally. Social media has opened up new opportunities to connect from home. LinkedIn’s network statistics function, for instance, shows you the geographic reach of your network and where it’s growing fastest. Reach out to people in regions you want to learn more about.
- Go. International travel is vitally important. When working abroad, make sure you leave the hotel — and stay an extra day or two to visit museums or attend cultural events.