The Commisceo Global Blog - Perfect for Culture Vultures

Whether a press release, a case study of cultural difference, some tips on working abroad or some lessons in cross-communication, we try our best to satiate your inner culture vulture.

Japanese Culture and the Art of Words

Japanese Culture and the Art of Words

If you're doing business in Japan or working with the Japanese culture, it's crucial to get your head around some key language phrases.

The Japanese have a way of using words to beautify their communication.

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Why is the Issue of Discrimination so Important for Expatriate Staff?

Why is the Issue of Discrimination so Important for Expatriate Staff?

Global Mobility staff are routinely faced with complex challenges when it comes to effectively managing relocation assignments.

Although demanding, the complexities don’t stop at matters such as contractual amendments, cost of living and bridging loan calculations.

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The Cultural Lens

The Cultural Lens

Self-awareness is fundamental in raising cultural competence.

If you are unable to understand yourself, it will be difficult to understand another.

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Understanding the Arab Middle East - Identity, Roots and Values

Understanding the Arab Middle East - Identity, Roots and Values

As with any people, the Arabs look to the past for their sense of identity.

Arab history is tied to tribalism and the nomadic life of the desert. Although in most places the nomadic lifestyle has all but disappeared, the influence of the desert and especially the importance of tribal identity are still prominent today.

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Why is Cultural Awareness Important?

Why is Cultural Awareness Important?

Why focus on culture?

When working across different cultures it is important to understand the rules and cultural expectations of others.

If you don't, you can make mistakes. These mistakes can be harmless, or, they can also be very serious.

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The Importance of Apologies in Japanese Culture

The Importance of Apologies in Japanese Culture

Did you know the Japanese have over 20 ways to say 'sorry'?

If you plan to do business in Japan, you need to get up to speed with how apologies work in Japanese culture.

The BBC recently published a great little artice that examines the Japanese culture of apologies and politeness on the island nation.

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Is Cultural Awareness a Skill?

Is Cultural Awareness a Skill?

A common misconception held by many is that cultural awareness is a skill you either have or you don't have, or, at the very least, is a skill that can be learned through training.

Well, this simply is not true.

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Ramadan 2018 - Why your Muslim colleagues are fasting and how you can support them

Ramadan 2018 - Why your Muslim colleagues are fasting and how you can support them

For those of us working in multicultural environments, it’s fair to say that our colleagues may ocassionally observe traditions which we aren’t familiar with. Ramadan is one such occasion.

In the same way that non Muslims may avoid asking questions for fear of intrusion, Muslims may equally avoid going into too much detail about Ramadan for fear of their colleagues not being interested.

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Dubai First Gov Games - a Great Lesson in Driving Cultural Diversity

Dubai First Gov Games - a Great Lesson in Driving Cultural Diversity

With over 7 million of its 9 million population classed as non-Emirati, the UAE has become an incredible melting point of cultures and nationalities.

Owing to Dubai’s relatively relaxed attitude and job opportunities, the majority of these expats reside in Dubai itself. Of these expats, South East Asians make up the largest proportion with approximately 8% of Westerners making up the smaller portion.

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Israeli Chef Makes Etiquette Blunder with Dish Served to Japanese PM

Israeli Chef Makes Etiquette Blunder with Dish Served to Japanese PM

During a two-day visit to Israel last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended a meal created and served by celebrity chef Moshe Segev at Israeli PM Netenyahyus residence.

All was going well, and the meal proved to be outstanding until desert arrived, rather curiously, in a metal decorative shoe.

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Fighting Witchcraft in Saudi Arabia

Fighting Witchcraft in Saudi Arabia

For many Western cultures, witches are an innocuous subject.

Long gone are the days where innocent women were dragged from their homes to be burned at the stake.

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Gift Giving Etiquette in the Middle East

Gift Giving Etiquette in the Middle East

The giving and receiving of gifts is an important part of professional and personal life in the Middle East.

Closely tied up with the need to maintain relationships and as a way of gaining and giving face, gift giving bonds people together.

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French Waiter Cites Cultural Differences for Being Rude

French Waiter Cites Cultural Differences for Being Rude

Guillaume Rey, a French waiter, was sacked from his job in a Canadian restaurant for being ‘aggressive, rude and disrespectful’

Upset by the sacking Rey believes his employees simply did not understand French culture. A complaint was filed
his previous employer, Vancouver restaurant on Canada’s Pacific coast, under British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal in which the waiter claiming  “discrimination against my culture”.

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Why Translators & Interpreters Should Consider a Career in Cross-Cultural Training

Why Translators & Interpreters Should Consider a Career in
Cross-Cultural Training

Freelance linguists often complain of isolation, monotony and increasing competition within the profession. Those looking for something new should consider cross cultural training as it naturally lends itself to the talent of translators and linguists.

The translation and interpreting profession is without doubt mainly powered by freelancers. Although there are great benefits to working as a freelancer, it can also be tough. Many find the isolation difficult, the work monotonous and the pay sometimes not all that desirable.

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Cross Cultural Training Essential for Foreign-Bound Personnel

Cross Cultural Training Essential for Foreign-Bound Personnel

Ignorance Is No Excuse and Can Land You in Jail

In light of the story of the British woman jailed for smuggling painkillers into Egypt, Punter Southall Health & Protection have warned companies sending personnel abroad that it is their "duty of care to ensure employees understand the legislation and cultural differences of that country."

British retail worker Laura Plummer, was recently arrested in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada after she was found to be carrying 290 Tramadol tablets in her suitcase, a painkiller which is legal in the UK but which is banned in Egypt. She was convicted of smuggling and is now serving a 3 year sentence.

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What is Cross Cultural Training?

What is Cross Cultural Training?

The increase in cultural diversity within many countries due to immigration, resettlement and other factors combined with the evolving demands of globalisation have led to an increase in the need for cross cultural training.

Although such training is common within business, certain global industries, academia, diplomacy and other areas of public and personal life, it is still fairly unknown in terms of how it works.

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Does Living in a Multicultural Environment Give You Cross Cultural Skills?

Does Living in a Multicultural Environment Give You Cross Cultural Skills?

As cross-cultural training specialists, we sometimes come across resistance from delegates who have been obligated to attend a cultural awareness session by their boss, HR or the Learning and Development department.

Resistance may stem from many factors, not least of which may be that the benefits and background to the training course have not been fully communicated.

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Cross Cultural Training Tips to Launch Your International Sales

Cross Cultural Training Tips to Launch Your International Sales

Do you want to sell your products or services internationally? Global sales are important for businesses looking to expand their client base, increase revenues or attract investment.

As many who work in international sales can attest to, finding and bringing in sales can be tough but also very rewarding...when you get it right.

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Two Minute Tips on Global Training Roll Outs

Two Minute Tips on Global Training Roll Outs

How a Homogenous Approach to International Training Stifles Success

In a global market place, companies are increasingly rolling out training courses across international offices with the intention of providing consistent and homogenised messages to all their staff – regardless of location.

There is sometimes little, if any thought, given to whether the materials will be well received by the recipient international office.

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Scale-Up Investors Want People Skills

Scale-Up Investors Want People Skills

The UK's innovation agency has just released a report highlighting what investors are looking for in potential investment targets.

‘Scaling up: the investor perspective’ is the result of research commissioned by Innovate UK which was overseen and publish by the market research company, Ebiquity.

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