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Building Cultural Intelligence with Trisha Carter


Communication – Aussie Slang

Language is central to communication and also to cultural identity.  

So it’s no surprise that we adapt our language with our culture.  In Australia the English spoken may be difficult for new arrivals to understand.  Accent, indistinct pronunciation, slang and diminutives can take some getting used to.

If you are expecting colourful metaphors and similes (“mad as a cut snake”, “flat out like a lizard drinking” “a face like a robber’s dog”) you may be disappointed if you are working in the business environment in Sydney or Melbourne. 

But listen out for Aussie abbreviations, which will be heard often.  This video covers many of them.


And if you are interested in improving your global communications skills take a look at our upcoming webinar.


Effective leaders in a global world

In a year that began with a major terrorist attack in January and ended with increasing numbers of horrific events in many cities around the world it could be tempting for us to pull back from the wider world.  To gather with those like us, to enjoy the comfort and perceived safety of familiarity.

The reality is, now more than ever; we need the benefits of a team drawn from different areas of the world.  We need people comfortable with languages, cultures and religious beliefs other than their own. 

We need leaders who can think broadly and creatively to take advantage of the opportunities and develop the solutions the global world needs.

We need leaders who can lead with wisdom, with compassion, with courage. 

We need leaders who value and appreciate diversity, instead of just tolerating it.

Even worse than just tolerating diverstiy there are still leaders who are uncomfortable with or afraid of diversity.

I’m not saying it’s easy. 

Our most natural responses, those ingrained within us, often lead us away from diversity towards uniformity.  The bias is unconscious.  But the evidence shows that we tend to feel greater trust and empathy toward people who are similar to ourselves, part of the same social circles.  We feel greater distrust and reduced empathy toward those who are perceived as dissimilar and members of other social groups.

Sadly the evidence also shows that knowing that research doesn’t lead to us changing our behaviours.  Awareness is practically useless.

Instead we need concrete strategies and steps to follow.  We need strategies that will be successful within the national, organisational and group cultures where we work.

We need leaders with cultural intelligence who can build culturally intelligent teams and develop effective strategies. 

The good news is we can do it.

This article was first published as part of Gihan Perera's e-book "Expect More from 2016" which you can download here


December Celebrations

Here in Australia as we race through the last days of work before winding down for a Christmas and summer break it can feel like all the world is shopping, decorating, baking and looking towards the Christmas holiday that begins on the 25th of December. Of course we know the reality is different.

Around the world different religious and secular celebrations are being held or looked forward to and even for those who celebrate the Christian festival there are many different dates and ways of celebrating. 

Click to read more ...


Is fear stronger far from home?

It's easier to be afraid when we are far from home.  Close to home, when bad things happen we reach out to others, perhaps do something meaningful together, and the fear lifts.  Away from home the fear can seem more powerful.  Perhaps we are in danger.  We are more vigilant, on high alert for possible threats.

Neuroscience tells us, when we feel threatened our brains change.

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Jet-lag and daylight saving – Sleep problems anyone?

Last month I arrived home from a European /North American trip. On the last leg of my journey I flew from Quebec to Sydney via LA.  It covered many hours and time zones (I reckon it’s best not to count them) and crossed the date line.  So one day disappeared completely.

Our return coincided with the arrival of Daylight Saving.  Some of Australia, (not all -but that’s another topic) lost an hour’s sleep as the clocks went forward so the sunrise was later in the morning. 

Talk about confused body clocks!  

Click to read more ...