Blogs for Culture Vultures

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.

10 Deadly Misconceptions about Iran We Hear in Cross Cultural Training

10 Deadly Misconceptions about Iran We Hear in Cross Cultural Training

Training business professionals prior to going to Iran gives us excellent insight into the misconceptions, stereotypes, fears and worries many foreigners hold.

Here's the 10 most common.

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How different are North and South Korean Cultures?

How different are North and South Korean Cultures?

I recently heard someone of North Korean origin say that you cannot refer to someone as simply 'Korean'. 

From a Korean’s perspective, there’s no such thing as ‘Korean,’ as people originating from Korea identify as either South or North Korean.

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The Female Expatriate Experience of Relocating to the Middle East

The Female Expatriate Experience of Relocating to the Middle East

Working with relocating expats is great.  Not only do we get to share some of the pre-move buzz with relocating families, but we also get to hear the post arrival updates and share a little of the settling in excitement.  

Although an exciting time of change and opportunity, the preparation and lead up to relocation can be extremely stressful – particularly if the whole family are moving.  Anxieties vary widely, and depend on factors such as the target country, the presence of accompanying family members, the type of role being performed upon arrival and the degree to which an individual has travelled in in the past.  

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5 Steps from Cultural Ignorance to Cultural Savvy

5 Steps from Cultural Ignorance to Cultural Savvy

Sporting its own fair share of industry models, my favourite cultural model has to be one which outlines the steps between cultural ignorance and cultural savvy.

This model resonates with me on a personal note.  Why?  Well, working in the Oil and Gas industry overseeing project delivery across international teams, I thought I was great at working across cultures. It’s only since leaving and moving into a cultural based role that I can now appreciate that I was very ‘un-savvy’.   

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Where is the Most Expensive Destination for Expatriates?

Where is the Most Expensive Destination for Expatriates?

Since relocation training forms such a significant part of the work undertaken by us here at Commisceo, it’s essential that we keep up to date with global changes and their impacts on all things ‘expatriate’.

Mercer, is just one of our trusted ‘go to’ experts.  As consultants in the fields of talent, investments and health, their annual Cost of Living surveys are a must read for companies engaged in the relocation of their employees. 

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10 Tips to Get the Best out of a Cross-Cultural Virtual Team

10 Tips to Get the Best out of a Cross-Cultural Virtual Team

Working in an intercultural environment is becoming increasingly common. One of the results of such set-ups is an experience of more communication difficulties.

Different approaches to areas such management, communication, time, meetings, conflict resolution and the sharing of information are all culturally relative.

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Six Solid and Simple Tips for Avoiding Cultural Faux Pas When Working Abroad

Six Solid and Simple Tips for Avoiding Cultural Faux Pas When Working Abroad

Are you new to working abroad? Travelling to a foreign country for the first time for business?

Getting it right when working overseas is critical; but what do you do if you have little or no international exposure? You run the danger of too much exposure Borat-style!

Working internationally requires a very different skill-set to working domestically.  What works well for you in your home country may count against you when working abroad.  

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What is Your Favourite Quote Defining Culture?

What is Your Favourite Quote Defining Culture?

How would you describe or define culture?

What imagery would you use? How could you help someone understand the basic mechanics of culture and the impact this has on the world?

Not an easy one!

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How Culture and Communication Impact Multicultural Global Teams

How Culture and Communication Impact Multicultural Global Teams

The culturally homogenous team is a thing of the past in most international organisations and companies.

More and more teams are made up of people with different nationalities and therefore different cultures, languages, ideas, behaviours and ways of doing things.

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The Apprentice – Horrendous Racism or Cultural Ignorance?

The Apprentice – Horrendous Racism or Cultural Ignorance?

For those that follow The Apprentice, you can’t have missed the recent outburst by contestant Dillon St Paul in Episode 6, entitled ‘Discount Buying’.

Sticking to the traditional programme format, contestants were required to spend the night identifying the whereabouts of 9 items in and around London and then negotiate the best possible price for their purchase.

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How Lack of Cultural Awareness Can Cost A Business Big

How Lack of Cultural Awareness Can Cost A Business Big

Has globalisation led to a homogenity of culture when it comes to product, marketing, sales and service?

Or have our cultural differences actually become more acute?

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5 Essential Skills Every International Business Person Needs

5 Essential Skills Every International Business Person Needs

Working internationally comes with certain challenges - navigating cultural differences is just one.

Being able to work, communicate, sell to or buy from people in different countries, working in different times zones, with different ways of doing things is essential.

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Cultural Differences in the Way we Listen

Cultural Differences in the Way we Listen

In our previous blogs we examined how cultural differences impact body language and the way we speak - we now turn our attention to a little-known skill we all have yet many forget to utilise! Listening.

Just as cultures differ in how we hold ourselves, use our eyes or communicate, cultures also differ in the way they respond to what is being said.

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Poor Understanding of Iran Leading to Cautious Business Approach

Poor Understanding of Iran Leading to Cautious Business Approach

It’s nearly a year since the restrictive sanctions imposed on Iran were lifted.

These sanctions were not only applied by the UN, EU and US but also included sanctions from third party countries.

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Cultural Differences in the Way We Speak

Cultural Differences in the Way We Speak

Carrying on from our blog about cultural differences in body language, we now look at one of the most important areas of cross-cultural understanding - that of communication.

Communication covers many areas such as verbal and non-verbal. One of the most obvious and apparent ways in which cultures differ is in the way we speak.

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Why India is Becoming a Top Expat Destination

Why India is Becoming a Top Expat Destination

As a cross cultural training consultancy, we have a great insight into the countries which rate highly as expat destinations and it seems that India is certainly viewed highly as a popular ‘go to’ country at the moment....especially with Americans.

The numbers now moving to India for work is phenomenal.

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Cultural Differences in Body Language

Cultural Differences in Body Language

Cultures differ in the way we use our bodies to communicate.

Sometimes it is very obvious, many times very subtle.

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A Brief Guide to British Umbrella Etiquette

A Brief Guide to British Umbrella Etiquette

At Commisceo we do all things ‘etiquette’ – whether it’s dining etiquette in Brazil or gift giving etiquette in Mozambique.

Did you know however, that we also do British umbrella etiquette?! 

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'Budgie Nine' - Culturally Belligerent or Innocently Ignorant?

'Budgie Nine' - Culturally Belligerent or Innocently Ignorant?

Have you heard about the 'Budgie Nine'? If not then here comes another perfect example of foreigners acting cuturally-inappropriately when abroad.

To celebrate their countrymen's victory at the Malaysia Grand Prix these 9 men from Australia stripped down to Malaysian-flag-printed swimwear — or "budgie smugglers" as they are known in Australia.

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The Relocation Industry and Historical Context

The Relocation Industry and Historical Context

Mention the ‘relocation industry’ as conversation fodder at a dinner party and your guests will probably panic that you’re planning to expose them really dry conversation pieces such as Cost of Living Allowances, Trailing Spouses, Expat Taxation, Bridging Allowances etc

In actual fact, the relocation industry is an exciting one and not deserving of the stifled yawns that might otherwise be elicited when mentioned.

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