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Building Cultural Intelligence with Trisha Carter


Insiders and Outsiders

Have you ever felt that feeling of being an outsider?  Feeling like you didn’t belong, weren’t welcomed, weren’t sure what to do?  

Perhaps you’ve felt it occasionally when you’ve moved outside your usual places of belonging.  Perhaps you feel it daily in your work or everyday life. 

We know from a psychological perspective that we are driven to find belonging.  We want the comfort of feeling at ease; that we know what to do, what to expect. We want the group of people around us, to accept us as one of them and to support us.   

“The need to belong is a powerful, fundamental and extremely pervasive motivation” … without belonging levels of mental and physical ill health increase.

Baumeister and Leary 1995

At a very basic level our sense of belonging is often tied to people who are like us.  The people who speak our language, share our ethnic background, or our religion.

And yet, in a globalized world with people studying, working and living in countries and cultures different to their passport countries, that picture of belonging is changing. 

If our sense of belonging is dependent on being the same gender or race or religion, or class or educational background as the other people in the room, or on the bus or in the neighbourhood, that feeling of belonging may be diminishing.   

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A radio interview -my first!

I was sitting at the airport waiting for a flight to Cairns to work with some great clients when I received a call from Kate O'Toole from ABC radio NT asking if I was available for an interview.  I've never done a radio interview before and I noticed my brain immediately finding reasons to avoid this one.  I didn't have time, the flight would be called soon, I couldn't prepare etc.  

But ...

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The changing nature of our teams -and our work

One thing that is quickly becoming a truism is that the workplace expectations of yesterday and today will be very different from those of tomorrow.

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Unconscious bias – what do we know about it and what can we do about it?

Unconscious bias is a topic generating real interest.  Perhaps, we are interested because the idea of such bias is both frightening and reassuring.  Frightening because if it is unconscious, how are we to avoid it?  Reassuring because, at some level, we may perceive unconscious and unintended bias more preferable to intentional and conscious bias.   

So what do we know about it?

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Families Matter

Families matter.  Yours, mine – the families that make up our society – they all matter.

In the world of corporate global mobility families are often seen from a problem perspective.  

The 2015 Brookfield Global Mobility Survey reported, “‘Family concerns’ was the single most noted reason
 for assignment refusal. In addition, respondents
 cited it as the top reason for early assignment return and the third most commonly noted reason for assignment failure.”

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