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Building Cultural Intelligence with Trisha Carter


Language learning is aided by technology and knowing what works for you

In this webinar I interviewed Terry Neal who has been living in China for almost 18 months and working with focus and determination on learning Chinese - both written and spoken (Mandarin). 

Listen in.  If you're like me you'll be fascinated by the way she has used technology, and appreciate her strong self awareness of how she learns best.  Terry would be the first to say there is no one size fits all in learning a language.  As an expert in learning and educational processes and systems she has the theoretical ‘how’ of best learning experiences and uses that to support the reality of her daily learning.  

Whatever language you are learning or thinking about learning this will be an inspiration and encouragement. 


You've arrived -And suddenly you're important!

Photo by Danny Kekspro on UnsplashSome cultural differences are difficult to adapt to.  Sometimes we are acutely aware of them and sometimes they niggle at the edge of our awareness.

Our last discussion was about differences in who gets status and is respected, and how that difference plays out in workplaces and society. We spoke about ‘power distance’

‘the way in which power is distributed in a group and the extent to which less powerful members of the group accept and expect that power to be distributed unequally.   Showing deference and respect is important in High Power Distance (HPD) or hierarchical cultures but not so critical in a Low Power Distance (LPD) or egalitarian culture.’

In that post I wrote about the impact on people moving from a society that is high power distance (HPD) to one that is lower (LPD) and the attitude and behavioural flexing they may need to be effective in a workplace.

This time I want to look at those moving from a LPD society such as from Australia to a more HPD society. 

This may not initially appear as too much of an issue.

Behaviours may seem more formal.  There might be more use of titles.  Your suggestions people call you by your personal name rather than your family name may be ignored. 

These aspects may leave you feeling less close to people but you accept them knowing it’s the way things happen here. 

What can be more difficult to accept is the silence in the team meeting when you’ve asked for suggestions on how to improve things.  People not coming to you with problems or issues despite your assurances of ‘my door is always open’. 

The hierarchy becomes a barrier to the type of collaborative relationships you have easily built in the past and instead of a team environment it feels much more like a “boss” and “workers” situation.

The risk here is almost unconsciously stepping into that role of “boss” and relating to your team from a perspective of power -becoming the expat who shouts and demands, who doesn’t see the locals as capable of growth or development. This is where developing and using CQ Strategy becomes critical.  Being aware of the differences and planning how to work effectively within them.  Reflecting with a coach on how to develop and use your cultural intelligence in these situations can be extremely helpful .

Another risk in HPD societies may be acting in ways that are not appropriate to the level you should be operating in.  Your dress, your manners or apparent ignorance of the cultural etiquette may be marking you as not deserving of the position you hold and you may lose respect from your colleagues, from local officials.

Once lost that respect can be hard to regain despite your important expat position.





Saved Webinar: Wellbeing for Expats

How is your wellbeing?  This webinar discussed a clear evidence-based model to assess your (or your client's or partner's) wellbeing.   

If you'd like to read about the model this earlier blog post discusses it further  or you may like to access the report behind the model 


Saved Webinar: Cultural Intelligence and Recruitment -a sample

Global recruitment brings new challenges to recruiters and candidates.  In this video we looked at some of those challenges and how Cultural intelligence can make a difference. 

This is a sample of the full webinar which is available for members of CICollective. 


My guest on this webinar was Katherine Mountford, Principal Consultant at the Marsden Group.  Katherine specialises in professional services Marketing, Business Development & Communications recruitment.  She has herself, lived and worked in the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and now Australia and has worked with clients and candidates working across Asia, the UK, USA and Australia and New Zealand.  She understands the joys and challenges of working globally and has the cultural intelligence to work well within different cultures.  


Cultural Differences - Respect and Status

‘What do you think are the hardest cultural differences to adapt to?’  It’s a question I’m often asked by coachees and trainees living and working in other cultures.  And the answer is… ‘It depends.’  

Click to read more ...