Many of us have traveled abroad and been both amazed and perhaps a bit confused by the experience. Now imagine turning your week long vacation into months or years. Imagine no longer being a tourist in a foreign country, but an active member working and overcoming challenges daily both in and out of the workplace.
Many expats find themselves confused or frustrated during the initial stages of working abroad and adapting to a new environment. At CAI, we provide cross-cultural training to help ease the transition into life as an expat and address questions and concerns before they become a challenge.
If you are not sure that Cross Cultural Training would help in your global work environment, consider the following scenarios. Do any of these sound familiar?
- You are hearing “yes” but not getting the deliverables you ask for. You make requests of your co-workers or the team you lead, and though you hear “yes” when making requests, things don’t seem to get done and productivity is low. This may be a sign that you are communicating directly in an indirect culture – and you need to adapt your communication approach.
- Certain colleagues consistently show up late to meetings. Cultures view time differently, with the West seeing time in a linear way and the East more cyclically. When some team members see time as a scarce commodity and others feel there is an unlimited supply, friction will surely ensue. If missed deadlines and delayed meetings are causing chaos in your office, cultural training and setting team expectations could be one step in the right direction.
- Your last business trip left you with more questions than answers. You just returned from a week-long trip visiting colleagues in Latin America. As your schedule was tight and your time limited in each major city, you had to make the most out of each meeting during your stay. You went into each meeting and lunch with a long agenda of tasks to complete, but your colleagues had trouble focusing on business. After all the meetings, it feels like very little business was accomplished.
- Feedback doesn’t go over well. Whether positive or negative, the feedback you give seems to feel a bit hollow. Some cultures thrive only on the rare and genuine positive comments for a job well done. Other cultures have to be given bad news in exceptionally tactful ways. Mastering the correct feedback style is essential for stronger company morale abroad.
- Whenever you ask for opinions, nobody says anything. Drawing out ideas during work meetings is often a difficult process in general. However, it can be excessively taxing in an environment where the leader has the final or only word. For instance, rather than risk causing the boss to lose face, workers in China will often willfully follow any decision made by those in control. If you’re looking for angles on how to handle projects, you’ll have be intentional in the direction and approach you take.
Do any of these apply to you? If so, we might be able to help! Call us today or fill out our Contact Form so we can begin discussing customized solutions for your cultural training needs.