In the past, many people were born, lived and died within a limited geographical area, never encountering people of other races and/or cultural background. Such existences no longer prevail in the world. Even members of once isolated groups now frequently have contact with members of other cultural groups. Through different cultural experiences, people are adapting and learning different cultures. In essence, many are becoming intercultural. Cultural Unconscious
Until people are exposed to different cultures, they are culturally unconscious. On a day to day basis, most people spend their lives interacting with others they are familiar with. Most people do not know how people in other cultures react to certain things such as conflict, completing tasks, communication style, and decision making. Through the process of enculturation, people can adopt the behavior patterns of cultures surrounding them. Learning of different cultures allows people to interact with members of the same and different cultures. Steps to Becoming Intercultural
One of the steps in becoming intercultural is to develop cultural sensitivity. It is impossible to enter into any kind of relationship be it personal or professional without knowing where the other person is coming from. Upon entering a professional relationship, it is important to find out what kind of people one will be interacting with. A person can find out another person's background, do research on their culture to try to understand cultural differences and prevent potential conflict. Cultural sensitivity doesn't make you an expert in another person's culture, but it makes you aware that you're looking at the world through a filter. It makes you sensitive to other people's interpretations.