language learning

Younger Isn’t Necessarily Better When Learning a Second Language

It is often thought that it is better to start learning a second language at a young age. But research shows that this is not necessarily true. In fact, the best age to start learning a second language can vary significantly, depending on how the language is being learned. The belief that younger children are better language learners is based …

building trust

Are some cultures really less trusting than others?

Nobel laureate Kenneth Arrow once described trust as a “lubricant of a social system”. Economic exchange, in particular, is virtually impossible without at least some level of trust. While markets, shops and online traders attempt to reduce uncertainty through customer reviews or free returns policies, consumers have to decide for themselves whether to trust unknown trading partners calling themselves obscure …

nemawashi

Why the Japanese concept of Nemawashi affects leadership in a Western context [The Culture Guy Podcast]

Working with professionals from Japan, Mexico, and the USA For three decades Jack Parsons worked for a Japanese car manufacturer who is building vehicles in the United States. In fact, Honda was the first automaker from Japan which established a production subsidiary in the U.S. In his functions at Honda Jack was responsible for training and supporting his company’s network …

benefits of language learning

How Learning a New Language Builds Cultural Competence and Tolerance

Why is foreign language study important? There are many benefits to knowing more than one language. For example, it has been shown that aging adults who speak more than one language have less likelihood of developing dementia. Additionally, the bilingual brain becomes better at filtering out distractions, and learning multiple languages improves creativity. Evidence also shows that learning subsequent languages …

Atlanta mural ATL downtown

Join us at the Global HR Business Conference

Learn, Engage, Connect, Exchange Ideas, Collaborate The Global HR Business series of conferences is coming to Atlanta, GA this April. Event organizer Edwin B. Cohen has been putting together an impressive speaker roster. This full-day event on April 11, 2018 will bring together professionals from various industries. Ed and his team have been connecting business people from across silos, from across …

Oops

Why Cultural Indifference Will Hurt Your Global Branding

When you are taking a brand abroad and start marketing globally, it would be wise to check whether your company name, logo, tag line, and marketing messaging mean something different in the regions into which you are expanding. Cultural differences in branding and marketing will impact your bottom line. Just ask our guest blogger Linda Tietje who is making the business …

negotiations

Improve your Cross-Cultural Negotiation Style with these Country Tips

Understanding the local negotiation style is key to getting the business outcome you want If you’’ve ever tried to buy a carpet in a Turkish bazaar, you’’ll know the ritual.  The seller mentions a ridiculous price. You (if you are bold enough) make a ludicrously low offer. The seller expresses outrage. You haggle for a while. If your nerve is …

Comm Cafe Podcast Dwayne RIchards

Culture, Passion, and Business in the Comm Cafe

In his day to day professional life, Dwayne Richards serves as a financial advisor, finance director, and CPA to his clients in the Toronto area. One of his side projects is his podcast, Comm Cafe, which he uses to spread practical business advice and to share his guests’ informative and inspirational stories. Recently Dwayne invited Christian Höferle to be a …

Combining Czech, Japanese, and U.S. Influences to Boost Global Business [The Culture Guy Podcast]

From Third Culture Kid to International Business Etiquette Expert She lived abroad as a child and as an adult; she studied, worked, and traveled to more than 70 countries on 7 continents; she speaks French and Czech. Today Sharon Schweitzer has built a career around understanding cultural differences and the tremendous role they play in building strong and successful international business …

cultural competence

When Businesses Embrace a Global Mindset They Get Better Results

Making the business case for cultural competence No matter whether you are expanding your business into foreign markets, trying to recruit the best candidates from a diverse talent pool, leading a multinational (and perhaps remote) team of people, or ensuring your marketing and branding messages are received in the intended way: cultural competence and having a global mindset – your ability …

Teheran, Iran traffic

Why your perceptions of Iran are probably wrong [The Culture Guy Podcast]

Three countries in seven years For many Western expats the list of destinations for an overseas work assignment often include countries among the developed economies as well as the leading powers among the developing nations. So living in Australia and Indonesia might not be considered unusual for a student and young professional from Germany. However, relocating to Iran – a …

leadership

How leadership differs across cultures

What makes leaders good in the workplace? That depends on where in the world your workplace is. But one thing is clear: in most situations today, good leaders need to be able to manage across cultures. This means listening to what people are saying and understanding it; reading between the lines, rather than simply reacting. Leadership today requires a high …

Why failure is no fiasco and rather feedback [The Culture Guy Podcast]

Rachel Smets shares her confidence hacks for moving abroad On this episode Rachel Smets, author of “Awaken Your Confidence,” shares her experiences of moving abroad and living in different countries. Born and raised in Belgium, she currently resides in the Netherlands. She left home in her mid-20s and moved to Spain where she landed her first job abroad. Over the years, Rachel has lived in …

Buddha Boy Monk Silence

When silence doesn’t mean the same thing in different cultures

“Speech is silver. Silence is golden” This is a widely-used saying that many people in many countries are familiar with. And silence also has many different meanings in cross-cultural communication. Silence can be used to intimidate; or to save face; to show respect; or it can simply suggest that the other person is relaxed enough in your company to enjoy a …

8 different hellos

How you can improve your foreign language skills – in 15 minutes a day

No global success without sufficient language skills You are working on foreign assignment. You are an expert in your field. Your success at home was one of the main reasons why you are here today – working for your company abroad. Your ability to speak and understand the language of your host country is improving. But you are in another culture …

What do expatriates want?

Take the survey Are you currently an expatriate on a foreign work assignment? Have you lived and worked abroad in the past? Are you considering taking a position overseas? Then this survey is for you! Please take a minute to answer these short questions for expats. This brief questionnaire is designed to help us better understand how people who live …

Mastering a mixed marriage in Indonesia [The Culture Guy Podcast]

Silke Irmscher talks about transitioning from Saxony to Java On this episode Silke Irmscher, founder of Culturenergy, tells her story of how she left Germany and fell in love with Indonesia and, in fact, found love on the island of Java. Silke has been living in Indonesia for more than 15 years and together with her husband, Ri Yanto, she …

Culture is not shocking – unless you want it to be

Are new encounters really shocking – or simply unfamiliar? When preparing people for life and work abroad cultural trainers often address the issue of culture shock. Sometimes this may sound like there will be a wave of negative experiences and emotions crashing on the shores of expat existence. Let’s set the record straight on this: The idea of a shock isn’t …

First talk and then perhaps drink to connect across differences

Yes, the Heineken commercial is genius. How can we connect across differences, if we allow our differences to define us? In light of the recent political and societal trends towards even more polarization and populism this is a fair question to ask. In case you haven’t seen it yet, the Dutch brewing company Heineken released an image film in April 2017 which hit …

When moving within the U.S. feels like going from Morocco to Finland [The Culture Guy Podcast]

Melissa Hahn shares how the question of identity can shape a relationship between partners from different cultures. She also describes how the geographical distance within one country can equal that of the opposite ends of a continent. Born and raised in Arizona, Melissa has had many opportunities to travel and live abroad and to experience other cultures. However, the first time …