How to improve your safety culture through intercultural intelligence-part 1

In Converation with the Safety Collaborators Podcast

Episode 001

Jul 11, 2022

In this episode...

Welcome to this episode, the first in a three-part series on improving your safety culture through intercultural intelligence.

We are living and working in an interculturally complex world. Often challenges arise as we make assumptions that we all work, make decisions, communicate, share information and comply with a common set of standards and norms. That is the aim, but we are dealing with human beings, and we are like the colours of the rainbow, multifaceted and complex.

Today, we will begin the series by discussing some questions from the list of Culture Acquisition Questions; there are 152 we shall only cover dozen or so during this and the subsequent two episodes. These questions help us understand our differences and consider how to work together for safer operations. The Culture Acquisition questions are from a body of work on Intercultural Intelligence which we bring into our safety culture consultancy work and help people to think differently about safety.

The questions that we are exploring in this episode are

  • What is the cultural norm for the relationship between a leader,  manager,  supervisor and the people reporting to them?
  • How do people generally respond to outsiders trying to integrate into the new group?
  • What things or conditions provide the people with a feeling of security?
  • Do people depend on themselves or the group for their directions and choices in day-to-day life? 

Underpinning much of today's conversation is Psychological Safety - listen out for it. 

Our aim is that these questions and our conversations will trigger some thoughts and ideas in you. It's about taking a step back and stepping into somebody else's shoes just for a moment and saying, what are our differences? And how can those differences make us more the same?

Over to you

How do you make your teams feel included? How do you make your people feel they can speak up and stop the job when they have their gut feeling or that inkling, or they just know something isn't right without being ostracised by the bigger group. 

Emotional Gem

We, humans, are emotional beings, and at the end of each session, our gift to you is an insight into an emotion.

Did you know that we have over 250 emotions? Yet, we only understand or talk about +/- 12. By exploring these, you may be surprised at what you learn.

Karin has been studying Emotional Literacy with Dan Newby, the founder of the School of Emotions and references emotional literacy regularly during her coaching conversations.

Today's Emotional Gem is... FEAR

  • Story: I sense possible danger and can name the source
  • Impulse: (what action does it trigger in us?) To avoid perceived danger
  • Purpose: Helps us avoid potential harm

Fear is a warning of possible future harm and it informs us exactly what the source might be. Traditionally we have believed that fear meant something bad "is going to happen" when actually what it is telling us is to pay attention to what "might harm us" so that we have the opportunity to remove the threat. Fear can then be seen as a highly useful emotion that helps us take care of ourselves and anticipate danger.

A good emotion to have when working in high-hazard environments, wouldn't you say.

Similar feeling emotions are Anxiety, Doubt, Jealousy, Greed, Urgency


We use the iPhone app Emote: Mastering Your Emotions to select the Emotional Gem for each episode. (this is a paid-for app)

To learn more about emotional literacy and access the app visit the School of Emotions

About the Show

Our purpose in sharing this podcast is to have a chinwag (conversation) to help people change how they think and behave about safety. 

We do this by engaging in dialogue and testing the levels of trust and psychological safety, which are core to organisational culture. Making safety part of your DNA so that your people speak up, show up, do right, and become safer every day for yourself, your team, and your business.

We will explore topics related to organisational and safety culture, leadership, the language of risk, emotional literacy, psychological safety, conversational agility, intercultural intelligence, and whatever else pops up during our conversations—sharing our experiences and learnings. 

We intend to share nuggets of wisdom that will challenge your perspectives, potentially solve a nagging problem, share actions you can implement, and give you at least one aha moment.

And, if you enjoyed the show and gained value, please share with just one other person to help spread the word.

Scroll to Top