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Building Cultural Intelligence with Trisha Carter

Friday
Feb242017

Civility and Culture

Our brains are sensitive things.

We see a colleague being spoken to rudely and our amygdala responds instantly, alerting the hypothalamus to flood our brain and our body with chemicals to prepare us for action.

Our focus narrows, our heart pounds, we breathe faster. We are in stress response mode.

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Friday
Feb172017

Civility -Is it important?

Does it feel as though politics, society and even our workplaces are becoming less civil?  Name calling, insulting labels, smart put downs and cruel comments seem to be on the increase.  Should we care?  Am I just being old-fashioned in looking for more civil interactions?

“Civility usually is demonstrated through manners, courtesy, politeness, and a general awareness of the rights, wishes, concerns, and feelings of others.”

Weeks, K. M. (2011) P 6 

Manners, courtesy and politeness do sound rather old-fashioned and possibly may be prone to misinterpretation depending on culture and generational differences.

Civility’s nemesis – incivility - is defined as “Any self-centered behavior that is impolite, or boorish, or shows a disregard for rights and concerns of others.” (Weeks) P 7.

The data around the impacts of incivility are extensive.  In a workplace setting almost 99% of people say they have witnessed incivility.  80% of people report having wasted work effort ...

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Sunday
Jan152017

Globally Mobile - the family story

Sometimes, when I’m training or coaching international assignees it can feel like I’m in a Harvard Business Review case study

I can appreciate and understand the opportunities and challenges that the international assignee is facing.  I recognise the pressures on organisations globally to succeed and I’m familiar with the skills and competencies needed by those assignees in their new locations.  I am also familiar with the pressures faced by global mobility to get the assignee in country and operating as quickly as possible while keeping within the global policies of talent management, remuneration and benefits, and of course the international laws of immigration and taxation. 

But sometimes it’s the personal challenges that are most difficult to assist with. 

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Thursday
Jan052017

A New Year - making positive changes

There’s something about a new year that inspires us to see things differently and to believe that we can do things differently.

And yet, as I’ve written before, – most new years resolutions fail.  In that previous post I encouraged you to review the past year and to build on the things that had gone well.  To take a strengths-based approach to making changes and use the energy and motivation from previous positive and satisfying experiences to plan the next year.

This time I want to suggest you take a longer-term view.  There’s a positive psychology exercise I often use when coaching that helps people to consider how they might be in the future if everything worked out the best possible way.

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Wednesday
Dec212016

Gifts for 2016

Another of my 2016 highlights has been to travel to Papua New Guinea a number of times catching up with clients, colleagues and friends on their home ground.  It is an amazing country with some amazing people, and some unique challenges, so this year for our gift-giving we are donating money to support the following projects in PNG.

One of my favourite organisations is Buk Bilong Pikinini an organization promoting literacy in PNG.  Their mission is to ‘provide learning opportunities for the most vulnerable children in society who miss out on formal education’.  They also support ‘those who are fortunate enough to go to school but who lack the most essential tools for literacy; books.’ 

I love books and was excited to be able to contribute to book drives organised by some of the PNG expats I’ve worked with.  They knew how much their isolated villages would benefit from books and through Buk Bilong Pikinini were able to secure funding for transporting the books they had collected during their time working in Australia, back to libraries at home. 

Another major challenge for isolated communities in Papua New Guinea is healthcare.  In Papua New Guinea, one in 17 mothers will die giving birth – a figure so high that almost every family will eventually lose a mother, sister, or daughter. (In Australia that figure is less that 1 in 20,000.)

An organisation called Send Hope not Flowers brought my attention to those facts, which I read soon after celebrating the birth of new members of my own extended family.  Send hope supports some great projects including training local midwives in East Sepik Province and the work of Dr Barry Kirby in the Milne Bay Province.  Dr Kirby’s work encouraging mothers to give birth where help is available,` has seen the death rate drop 78%.  It’s an inspiring story and one we are proud to support through Send Hope.

 As I write this we are only a few sleeps away from Christmas.  In my family Christmas has always meant a time to give gifts, to think of others, and to give thanks for gifts we have been given.  So I’m giving thanks for you – my colleagues and friends – and for the gifts of new life and new learning.