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Skills for Working across Cultures The ELIE Project.

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Presentation on theme: "Skills for Working across Cultures The ELIE Project."— Presentation transcript:

1 Skills for Working across Cultures The ELIE Project

2 Are you familiar with other cultures? (Cross-cultural skills) How to develop my entrepreneurial skills? (Entrepreneurial skills and traits) How to communicate in a new culture? (Communication skills) How to build networks? (Networking skills) How to expand your business to a foreign country? How to start up a business in a foreign country?

3 How to identify and develop cross cultural skills What are cross-cultural skills? Business Etiquette in Cross-cultural settings Cross-Cultural Communication Developing cross-cultural skills This module gives you basic understanding about identifying your cross-cultural skills and developing these. Cross-cultural skills are important if you are living and working in a new country and also if you are planning to develop business links in another country. The topics to be covered in this module include identifying important cross-cultural skills, making use of cross cultural skills and the role of cross-cultural skills in business. We also provide you some links to additional information about the topics.

4 What are cross-cultural skills?

5 Developing self-awareness so that you are conscious of what you are saying and aware of your body language and how you are responding to others Developing an awareness of other cultures; this can include language, religion, foods, history, politics, cultural rituals, and popular culture Understanding the differences between personal values and cultural values and how these can impact on behaviour, attitudes and understanding Being aware of the dangers of stereotyping or implicit or institutional racism, sexism or discrimination on any other basis Responding with an open mind to others with different ideas and values Being aware of different business and social etiquettes within different cultures Being able to communicate clearly in another language or using a common or shared language, a lingua franca. ©sndrspk flickr creative commons What are cross-cultural skills?

6 These are general characteristics of large groups of people. They can be used as a means of identifying ways in which social groups, nationalities or cultures differ from each other. Some people believe cultural values predict individual values Cultural values are often linked to the political or religious orientation of large groups of people Image © graur codrin Cultural Values

7 Just because people come from the same culture does not mean they share the same values. These can be developed from cultural values, but might not be the same as cultural values. Families, friends, education, life experiences, all help develop individual values. Individual Values

8 Within the European Union, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and in the USA there are strong anti-discrimination laws. These are not the same in all countries Within the EU an overview of policies can be found here However, the general approach to preventing discrimination is the ’seven strands’ list that covers the following catagories Race and ethnicity, age, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender In some cultures there are traditional cultural values and attitudes towards some social groups (such as women) that other cultures would view as discrimination. Avoiding Discrimination

9 It is important to be aware of your own views and how they fit with the wider culture This will help you understand whether your views might be seen as discriminatory by others. Developing self-awareness will help you to understand how you might need to modify your approaches with people from a range of cultures ©vjnet Avoiding Discrimination

10 Self Awareness is being sensitive about your own personality. It includes being aware of your strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Developing self awareness helps you understand how other people see you and your responses to them. Developing Self-Awareness

11 Developing self awareness helps you make changes in your interpretations of events, conversations and daily interactions. Changing your interpretations of events and interactions allows you to change or develop your emotional responses. Self awareness is one of the attributes of Emotional Intelligence and an important factor in achieving success. Why do I need self-awareness?

12 It is not hard! Anyone can become more self-aware. You can also get help, if you wish (see the links below) Free lessons and advice Self-awareness development PowerPoint by Professor Muhammad Yassar Ahmed Becomming a self-aware manager by Craig Nathanson Self-awareness and personel developoment by Raj Soin College of Business, Wright State University Life Mastery Skills by Sheila Radha Conrad Why not start today?

13 Many thanks for using our service! These materials were produced by ELIE partnership Please, visit us on: WEB

14 Cross-cultural Communication

15 Good Cross cultural communication helps prevent misunderstandings. Slow Down when Speaking In a cross cultural situation it helps if you slow down, speak clearly and keep your pronunciation clear If you do not understand, do not be afraid to ask the speaker to repeat what was said more slowly. Ask Separate Questions Try not to ask double questions such as, "Do you want to eat chicken or fish?” Where people are not confident in a language it is easier to understand only one question at a time. Avoid Negative Questions In English 'yes' is the answer whenever an affirmative is wanted and 'no‘ if an answer is negative. In other cultures a 'yes' or 'no' may only be indicating whether the questioner is right or wrong. Finally, Listen Carefully (Adapted from material originally written by Neil Payne and available on Cross Cultural Communication (1)

16 I thought I spoke English well but some phrases just did not make sense; turn over a new leaf…what had gardening to do with starting a business? Chinese Entrepreneur in the UK I cannot speak Greek too well yet, but if people speak slowly I can manage OK. Doing business online means language is easier. English Entrepreneur in Greece Image © Simon Howden English is my mother tongue; I had not realised how important some of the differences between US English and UK can be. US Entrepreneur in the UK

17 Remember to Take Turns Cross cultural communication is helped by taking turns to talk. Be careful not to interrupt or say too much at one time. Write things Down It is always a good idea to write down and check things if you are not sure about meanings. This can be very important with figures. For example, a billion in the USA is 1,000,000,000,000 while in the UK it is 1,000,000,000. Check Meanings Never assume that other people have understood what you said. It can help if you summarise key points and confirm understanding. Avoid Slang and Idiomatic Phrases Even people with excellent language skills will not have a complete knowledge of slang, idioms and sayings. Many ELIE interviewees found popular sayings, proverbs and slang difficult even after many years of speaking a language. Watch how you use humour Many cultures do not appreciate the use of humour and jokes in the business context. Also, huour is very culturally specific. When using humour think whether it will be understood in the other culture. (Adapted from material originally written by Neil Payne and available on Cross Cultural Communication (2)

18 Many thanks for using our service! These materials were produced by ELIE partnership Please, visit us on: WEB

19 Business Etiquette in Cross-cultural settings

20 Imagine walking into your local supermarket, perhaps Asda, Aldi or Carrefour and finding cages of chickens squawking in the aisle, or fresh lobsters and turtles swimming in tanks. You might think you are in the pet department. But the company that owns Asda is Walmart, and in expanding into China they found that the local population expect their fresh food to be alive when purchased. This is a good example of how practices may be different from country to country. Cross-cultural Etiquette

21 In much of Europe business is kept separate from socialising but in Africa and the Middle East business and social life are often seen as linked In the USA many hotels do not have a 13 th floor or rooms numbered 13 In Japan the numbers 4 and 9 might be missed on airline seats In China the colour red is considered to be lucky but in Japan, black is thought to be unlucky. Green is a significant colour in Islamic cultures and lucky in the Republic of Ireland Some countries employ teenagers to make drinks on demand for more senior employees, in other settings this might be seen as exploitation In Japan business cards are an important part of the meeting and greeting process, they should be handed over with both hand, accompanied by a bow. Cards should be put carefully in a card case, and not written on. The weekend is different dependent on country. In Europe Saturday and Sunday are the weekend, but in the Middle East Friday is a day of rest, with Thursday or Saturday increasingly also a day off. In some Asian cultures it is usual to refer to senior colleagues as ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ whereas in Europe first names will be used. I found watching soap operas [on television] really helped me understand English culture Social Entrepreneur from China in the UK Some Etiquette Issues

22 You should always check the country-specific information. European Commission’s web portal Your Europe, your opportunity - Practical guide to doing business in Europe provides country- specific information and links to Points of Single Contact in each EU country. Your Europe, your opportunity - Practical guide to doing business in Europe For other countries there is excellent information available on: Quintessential International Etiquette Guide Getting Business Etiquette Right

23 Many thanks for using our service! These materials were produced by ELIE partnership Please, visit us on: WEB

24 Developing Cross-Cultural Skills

25 There are many ways to learn about a new culture. If you are living in a new country try some of these suggestions Out and About At Home Join a local business group or Chamber of Commerce Volunteer in a local school, your language skills will be welome Talk to other parents when taking your children to school Take part in local community events and activities, these will be advertised in a local newspaper, via local schools and shops or perhaps online Talk to people on the bus, in shops and other local places Borrow books from the library about the history and culture of the society Watch documentaries on the local television channels Watch the news, find out about politics and important issues Join online networks and join in the conversation; try Twitter or Linkedin Make use of the Consular facilities for advice and support Improving Cross-Cultural Skills

26 Getting started with a new language can be very frightening My children can translate for me, I do not need to learn the language I am too old to learn a new language I do not need to speak the language; I work in my own community I cannot afford to pay for lessons I do not have time to go to classes People will not understand my accent Learning the Language (1)

27 Learning at least some of the language of a country you are visiting or living in is important It is polite, the local population appreciate that you are trying to speak THEIR language It helps you learn about the culture It helps in your daily life, with shopping, travelling and interacting with others Learning the Language (2)

28 Watch the local television channels with the subtitles on, this helps improve your reading Talk to people using the language you are learning as often as you can Use a phrase book, dictionary and thesaurus Listen to talk radio in the language you are learning Learning the Language (3)

29 I used to listen to the radio phone-ins, it helped me improve my Italian There are also some great phrasebook apps – I have a couple on my iphone Learning tips

30 I go to a music club where I met a Japanese guitarist. Goh helped me practice Japanese phrases before I went there on business, and I helped him with English conversation. We made some great music too! Learning tips

31 Use these tips and links to help with learning a new language Ask at a local library or local government offices to find classes in the area where you live If you have children in school then ask the school if they can direct you to language classes Look online for language classes in your area Local libraries often have language learning books, DVDs and CDs that can be borrowed freely Make use of your own language skills, offer free conversation practice for learners of your language in return for conversation practice in the language you wish to learn The European Youth Portal offers a number of verified links to help with language learning Erasmus offer free language courses for students Twelve week online language courses from the BBC A portfolio site offering free Indo-European language lessons Poliglotti4.eu is a project promoting multilingualism in Europe Information on European Languages can be found here Learning materials, tips and links

32 Many thanks for using our service! These materials were produced by ELIE partnership Please, visit us on: WEB


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