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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.

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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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.

Why is India so popular for American Expatriates?

Trade deals are a key reason.  The US is India’s key second biggest trading partner after China whilst India is the US’s eleventh largest trading partner.  The strength of mutual trading makes for a pretty strong relationship between the two countries and clearly generates considerable relocation opportunities for both parties. India is also one of the fastest growing global economies which makes it more likely that investments in this part of the world are likely to do well.

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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. Gestures are a very obvious example of such a difference.

Whether working at home in a culturally diverse workplace or flying off to emerging markets, understanding what people mean through their body language can be a challenge. The complexity of body language is unquestionable in the cross-cultural context.

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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?!  We might not get a demand for formal umbrella etiquette training but here’s some etiquette advice for those moving to the UK who may need to become acquainted with surviving the upcoming UK rainy season:

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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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Love Skittles

Love Skittles

Trump Jnr's Skittles meme is a stupid, irrational argument based on nothing but fear, ignorance and racist politics.

So Trump Jnr, son of the man who plans to make America great again, has come out and likened Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles.

This blog could launch into a tirade of abuse and arguments against Trump Jnr and his father, however we want to make a simple point to those who may see sense in his line of argument.

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Online Training – A Democratic Solution?

Online Training – A Democratic Solution?

Access for All

As cultural trainers, we oversee the delivery of high level cultural training to large multinationals. The benefits of the training extend beyond the company and help individuals to build skills and awareness which help in the long term.

Since we are proud of what we do, we are presented with an ethical dilemma when NGOs, small businesses and private individuals approach us with their training needs as they typically lack the budget to pay our fees.  

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Who on Earth Needs Cultural Training?

Who on Earth Needs Cultural Training?

Why UK Universities Invest in Cultural Awareness

I was recently at a dinner party in London for notable vultures and found myself speaking to a lovely vulture based in Wales who had flown down for the evening. Conversation led to work and what I do here at Commisceo, and what we do as a company, i.e cultural training.

“That’s different”, he said, "...but who on earth needs that?".

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Top Expat Relocation Concerns

Top Expat Relocation Concerns

Post-Brexit, Relocation of Resources is Top Priority

Price Waterhouse Cooper predicts that as many as 70,000 British employees will relocate to alternative European locations between now and 2020 following the vite to Brexit vote. This is not counting the thousands of non-British that could also leave.

We are already seeing signs and it is slowly becoming a reality for a number of employees. As a number of companies seek to retain access to European skills, initiatives and pan EU licensing & tax arrangements, relocation of key staff has become central to their contingency planning.

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Awesome Online Database of Cultural Differences

Awesome Online Database of Cultural Differences

Culture-Geeks Will Love This!

I’ve recently come across a totally awesome database – it’s a treasure trove of statistical information about cultures, societies, language, places and environments; something I thought I had to share with my fellow culture vultures.

What am I talking about?

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Mindfulness and Cultural Awareness

Mindfulness and Cultural Awareness

‘Mindfulness’ is an increasingly common term. We hear it bandied around by ‘celebs’ who have discovered mindfulness meditation as the means to a stress free life and we have heard the term used by people who try to practice ‘living in the moment’ whilst shrugging off stresses of the past or unrealised anxieties of the future.


Mindfulness also has its own unique meaning in the cultural training world.

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Cross Cultural Communication & PR

Cross Cultural Communication & PR

The Public Relations (PR) industry is responsible for creating and maintaining relationships between clients and customers. Through areas such as brand management, advertising, media relations and crisis management, PR practitioners seek to foster interest, trust and belief in a product or company.

PR practitioners are aware of how best to carry this out when dealing within their own nations and cultures, however, when dealing with a foreign audience it is critical that cross cultural differences are recognised.

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International Retail and Cross Cultural Issues

International Retail and Cross Cultural Issues

Looking for case studies of cross-cultural issues in the retail business?

In this article, we look at some examples from the retail industry where cultural differences or cultural issues have resulted in business success and failure.

This article will attempt to show the significance of the cross-cultural factors in international retail success. Through understanding the cultural reasons behind success or failure, it is then easy to apply the same principles to any business sector.

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Cultural Differences in International Merger and Acquisitions

Cultural Differences in International Merger and Acquisitions

Want to discover how organisational culture, cross-cultural issues and cultural differences shape the success or failure of mergers and acquisitions?

In today’s global economy more people are paying attention to the impact of culture on the international business environment.

Companies are crossing national borders more often now than ever before as part of growth strategies. As a result they venture into foreign countries...and cultures.

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Guanxi: The Chinese Cultural Concept

Guanxi: The Chinese Cultural Concept

"Guanxi" (pronounced (gwan-shee) is one of the most powerful forces in Chinese culture. Though the direct translation of "guanxi" is "relationships", the concept as it is used and applied in Chinese culture is much richer and encompassing.

"Guanxi" does express the relationship of one person to another, or one party to another. However, more importantly the term also expresses an obligation of one party to another, built over time by the reciprocation of social exchanges and favours. If one has "guanxi" with another, one will be quick to do a favour, act on another’s behalf and depending on the depth of the relationship, do anything necessary for the other party. By establishing this type of relationship with someone, the other party is implicitly agreeing also to be available to reciprocate when the need arises. In such a way "guanxi" can be considered as a type of currency that can be saved and spent between the two parties. Like money, it is a resource that can also be also be exhausted, so one must be sensitive not to overextend the "guanxi" that has been established.

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Status - Cross Cultural Differences

Status - Cross Cultural Differences

Status exists in all societies but varies in fundamental ways. Cross cultural differences in they way in which we perceive status, gain status and react to status differ from culture to culture.

In this article we examine the cross cultural differences with relation to status and analyse how they manifest in certain areas in the workplace. For the sake of simplicity we identify two types of status; 'ascribed-status' and 'achieved-status'.

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Results of Poor Cross Cultural Awareness

Results of Poor Cross Cultural Awareness

Culture Matters

Having a poor understanding of the influence of cross cultural differences in areas such as management, PR, advertising and negotiations can eventually lead to blunders that can have damaging consequences.

It is crucial for today's business personnel to understand the impact of cross cultural differences on business, trade and internal company organisation. The success or failure of a company, venture, merger or acquisition is essentially in the hands of people. If these people are not cross culturally aware then misunderstandings, offence and a break down in communication can occur.

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Leadership across Cultures

Leadership across Cultures

"Education is the mother of leadership."
Wendell Willkie

With the march of globalisation and internationalisation growing louder and stronger, few successful businesses can now escape the need to work across cultures. Even if businesses or organisations are not working abroad or with foreign entities, it would be a challenge to identify any that have a mono-cultural workforce. Even here in the rural South West of England, businesses ranging from manufacturers to farms to care homes are employing foreign personnel in order to operate at maximum efficiency.

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Management Skills for Today

Management Skills for Today

The role of a manager is evolving in response to the needs of companies operating on the international stage.

The complexities of globalisation and international systems require today's manager to adapt in order to offer modern solutions to modern problems.

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