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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.

When I'm not hanging out in the beautiful sunshine of Africa, you will find me here sharing content about culture - you'll soon see why I'm called the Culture Vulture.

Intercultural Management

Intercultural Management

'The art of communication is the language of leadership'
James Humes

Today's businesses are complex entities. However, one fundamental principle of success remains constant - the need for communication.

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Intercultural Training and the Iceberg Model

Intercultural Training and the Iceberg Model

Many people question what culture is. How can it be defined? What analogies can be used to describe it?

In intercultural training one of the questions that is often asked of participants is to think what culture means to them. What picture can they draw to describe it? Whether they draw a tree, cauldron, plate of food or a tapestry they are all valid as culture means different things to different people. In essence what they are trying to describe is something that is made up of lots of things and is multifaceted.

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The Six Steps to Intercultural Communication

The Six Steps to Intercultural Communication

We live in an increasingly complex world. One element of this complexity is the mixing of different cultures, languages and faiths. Within the business world intercultural communication is vital for success. Effective communication between colleagues from different cultural backgrounds ensures a team is working harmoniously.

The six steps to intercultural communication are basic pointers that all working in intercultural teams should be aware of to ensure culture becomes a vehicle for positive advancement rather than a barrier.

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Intercultural Communication Tips

Intercultural Communication Tips

Working across cultures is a new experience for many people. Intercultural communication can be a dynamic and creative affair but occasionally due to the inability to interpret people correctly it can be a challenge. Building an understanding of other people's cultures, their communication styles and behaviors can go a long way in improving relationships and being more successful in an intercultural environment.

Even without trawling through lots of books, articles or even taking part in an intercultural communication workshop it is possible to implement some basic principles to help improve one's intercultural communication skills. The following intercultural communication tips are provided to help people working in international and multicultural environments get some basic insight into dealing more effectively with people and not letting culture become an issue.

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The Stages of Culture Shock

The Stages of Culture Shock

'Culture shock' is used to describe the emotional rollercoaster that someone experiences when living in a new country. Anyone that has worked and lived in a foreign country will experience culture shock of some sort.

Culture shock affects anyone from business personnel and their families, to EFL teachers to sports stars. Recognising culture shock is an important way of being able to deal with it. Dealing with it helps minimise the risk of becoming disillusioned with a new country and the possibility of deciding that a quick return 'home' is the only solution.

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Cultural Sensitivity in Business

Cultural Sensitivity in Business

Interested or affected by the impact of language and culture in business?

This article gives concrete, real examples of how a lack of cultural sensitivity can result in a negative impact on a business.

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Cultural Awareness in the Multicultural workplace

Cultural Awareness in the Multicultural workplace

"Understand the differences; act on the commonalities." - Andrew Masondo, African National Congress

The nature of our workplaces has changed. We have moved away from the monochromic make-up of our offices to one that is now coloured by team members from all over the world. With this new multicultural make-up come differences in cultures which in turn bring differences in areas such as communication styles, approach to time, managerial styles and a plethora of other cross cultural differences.

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Cross Cultural Solutions for Exporters

Cross Cultural Solutions for Exporters

Globalisation, internationalization and trans-border trade are all terms that have been coined over the past decade(s) to reflect the reality of international trade.

Although international trade has long been in operation, the scale, frequency and speed at which it is conducted today is incomparable.

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Cross Cultural Marketing Blunders

Cross Cultural Marketing Blunders

Although a little cruel, cross cultural marketing mistakes are a humorous means of understanding the impact poor cultural awareness can have when selling or working abroad.

Marketing is perhaps one of the trickiest elements to get right when taking your business or product into new and unchartered territories. Language, culture, local practices and many other factors heavily influence success or failure.

Many companies have learned the hard way that you have to think outside of your own cultural bubble when it comes to marketing abroad and be very much in tune with local means and ways.

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Cross Cultural Business Blunders

Cross Cultural Business Blunders

The following cultural blunders are presented to our visitors and we would again like to stress that such examples of "culture gone wrong" are presented in order illustrate to people how crucial cultural awareness is in international business today.

1 - Managers at one American company were startled when they discovered that the brand name of the cooking oil they were marketing in a Latin American country translated into Spanish as "Jackass Oil."

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Tips on Giving Cross Cultural Presentations

Tips on Giving Cross Cultural Presentations

Do you give presentations abroad or to multicultural audiences?

You don't want an audience looking like this do you?

This article gives great tips on delivering presentations across cultural lines:

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Cross Cultural Negotiations

Cross Cultural Negotiations

How to Approach International Negotiations with Cultural Awareness

  • Can your international negotiations feel like this sometimes?
  • Do you feel cultural differences get in the way of a successful negotiation?
  • Looking for tips on how to improve your negotiation style and techniques?

Then this is the article for you!

Is Cultural Awareness Necessary?

Cross cultural negotiation is one of many specialized areas within the wider field of cross cultural communications. By taking cross cultural negotiation training, negotiators and sales personnel give themselves an advantage over competitors.

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How Culture Impacts Job Interviews

How Culture Impacts Job Interviews

At this moment in time, the increase in cross border human traffic has meant that companies are no longer dealing with a homogenous native community from which they recruit their staff.

Companies are now facing cross cultural challenges in how they recruit, manage and develop a multi-cultural staff base.

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Culture in Advertising

Culture in Advertising

"Culture is a like dropping an Alka-seltzer into a glass - you don't see it, but somehow it does something"
Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Culture affects everything we do.

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Business Meeting Etiquette

Business Meeting Etiquette

Business etiquette is essentially about building relationships with colleagues, clients or customers. In the business world, it is these people that can influence your success or failure. Etiquette, and in particular business etiquette, is simply a means of maximising your business potential by presenting yourself favourably.

Business meetings are one arena in which poor etiquette can have negative effects. By improving your business meeting etiquette you automatically improve your chances of success. Comfort, trust, attentiveness and clear communication are examples of the positive results of demonstrating good etiquette.

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Business Card Etiquette

Business Card Etiquette

When doing business abroad it is important to understand the local culture.

Culture includes areas such as a country's norms, values, behaviours, food, architecture, fashion and art. However, one area of culture that is important for the international business person is etiquette.

Understanding business etiquette allows you to feel comfortable in your dealings with foreign friends, colleagues, customers or clients. Knowing what to do and say in the right places will help build trust and open lines of communication.

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The Four Benefits of Intercultural Training

The Four Benefits of Intercultural Training

4 Fab Ways Cultural Training Helps

Intercultural training has become of increasing importance in the past 10 years. Companies and organizations that are working on the international stage are starting to realise that working in or with foreign countries is not like working at home.

Cultural differences are causing obstacles to smooth, successful business relationships, dealings and ventures. People from managers, to sales personnel, to CEOs to HR staff are all now participating in intercultural training to help them become better at the their jobs.

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Approaches to Cultural Awareness Training

Approaches to Cultural Awareness Training

There are many approaches to training. Some sum these up as 'heavy' and 'light' approaches. What does this mean and how does it apply to business training?

Well, cultural awareness training (or any other training in fact) is a little like body building – one needs to know what their mind and body is capable of, what it enjoys and then set realistic goals for achieving that perfect body. From there you can either work with a personal trainer or look into how to balance both heavy and light approaches to training yourself. Heavy training in this sense being your body building, and light being more about CV and muscular work.

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The Role of Cultural Differences in Autism

The Role of Cultural Differences in Autism

When learning about culture, really we are learning to look beyond surface deep. Cutural awareness you could argue is about possibilities not limits.

It is this very same thinking picked up by a piece in Scientific American entitled, "How Cultural Differences Affect Autism Diagnoses".

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Foreign Languages: Employment and Career Opportunities

Foreign Languages: Employment and Career Opportunities

Many people love learning languages or would like to learn a language and use their language skills in a job.

In today's global economy the demand for language skills continues to grow as governments, businesses and organisations build relationships with foreign interests.

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