ASTD Celebrates Its Second Annual International Awareness Day

Friday, November 15, 2013

ASTD held its second annual International Awareness Day on November 6th, giving our culturally diverse staff members an opportunity to share cultures, traditions, and cuisines. Participating staff members brought in their favorite dishes from their countries of origin and welcomed guest speaker Maureen Bridget Rabotin. Maureen, author of Culture Savvy: Working and Collaborating Across the Globe, emphasized the importance of cultural awareness and gave ASTDers a chance to reflect on their own cultural awareness.

In a world where globalization is changing the way organizations do business, cultural differences are affecting organizations every day. By understanding the structure of the cultural framework, you will become an effective leader in your organization.

Maureen talked about her “Four R Principles” of being culturally aware, which include respect, relationships, recognition, and rewards. Some of the ways to express these principles are to be aware, attentive, cooperative, well-balanced, and enthusiastic. She also pointed out that being an active listener is the number one way to show respect in most—if not all—countries. Being conscious of the “Four R Principles” and paying attention to cultural differences can yield benefits for everyone in an organization, including driving high performance across cultures.


Cultural awareness is very important to ASTD’s International Department, as we continue to support a growing global community with approximately 5,000 international members in more than 120 countries. We are looking forward to hosting four more international conferences by the end of the year.

Not only is ASTD becoming more diverse with our international members, but we also take pride in our diverse ASTD staff. Our staff members come from 22 different countries, allowing us to share and appreciate our cultures and traditions with one another on a daily basis.

We thank Maureen for joining us for International Awareness Day and giving us a unique perspective on cultural awareness. As ASTD continues to expand internationally, it’s important to keep in mind the “Four R Principles” and strive to be culturally competent in order to be successful in our relationships across borders. Indeed, we look forward to reaching out to new and culturally diverse members every day!

About the Author
Nan Kim is the international coordinator for the Association for Talent Development (ATD), the world's largest association dedicated to to those who develop talent in organizations. She supports the International department by facilitating the exchange of knowledge among the global learning and development community. She also helps manage the Global HRD Community of Practice, where she supports professionals around the world to share regional best practices, conduct global benchmarking, and discuss cross-cultural and global talent development issues. Nan graduated from The University of North Carolina with a BA in sociology.
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