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Replies for Respect the Unexpected
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Executive Leadership / General Management
Joined: April 2012
Posts: 17
Location:
Posted: April 27, 2012 10:38 PM

When working with different cultures you must keep an open mind in everything you do. People from different parts of the world have a very different basis of understanding things. Don't be surprised by what people say or do. You are not there to judge right or wrong, you are there to notice the differences, respect them, and create a bridge from your point of view to theirs. This is the challenge and skill of international business.


International Management
Joined: August 2012
Posts: 10
Location:
Posted: August 24, 2012 11:53 AM

RE: Respect the Unexpected
Hi Lisa
I love the words 'notice the differences, respect them, and create a bridge from your point of view to theirs'. May I add one more please...
'and build an environment in which we learn from each viewpoint.'

Today's world allows the learner to take from the myriad of knowledge, practices and behaviors that exist 'out there' and find what works in his or her environment. This is bound to create diverse responses.

Thought provocations:

1. What's the role of connection to self and others when we face unique cultural differences in business?

2. How have you shown positive impact from appreciating and learning from other cultures in business?

3. What's left in business when the cultural titles have disappeared?

International Management
Joined: September 2012
Posts: 1
Location:
Posted: September 16, 2012 11:18 AM

RE: Respect the Unexpected
The difficulty is also when one person is trying to create that learning environment but the other party does everything to prevent it. How do you convince them to collaborate?

International Management
Joined: September 2012
Posts: 7
Location:
Posted: September 17, 2012 12:50 PM

RE: Respect the Unexpected
There is one unfortunate reality that some people won't collaborate. Having said that... it is an easy out and as managers our job is to figure out the way to make it happen.

There is no simple answer... I would suggest you take a hard unbiased look at the "learning environment" you are creating. Is it the best learning environment for the other party? Perhaps you need to rethink how you structure that learning environment to acknowledge social and cultural norms that you have not thought about.

Perhaps the jump from where you are currently in the relationship to where you want to be is too drastic.. maybe you focus on taking what I would call "baby steps" in an effort to gain buy in, build relationships and achieve your goal.

Perhaps you can enlist peers to support your effort.

It is easy to say it is too hard, and it is very difficult.. but remember that when you are working with an International Team sometimes you have to go to them before you can get them to come to you. In other words... focus on the cultural aspects of why they are doing what they are doing and overcome those gaps by acting and doing something more familiar to them..

It won't be easy, but if you can get it you will be setting yourself apart from many others who can't do that successfully.

Good luck and would love to hear how it turns out, or keep us updated along the way.
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