The Blog for Culture Vultures

Satiate your inner Culture Vulture with regular news and posts about cultural awareness, doing business abroad, working in a multicultural environment, HR diversity and global mobility.

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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How Culture and Communication Impact Multicultural Global Teams

How Culture and Communication Impact Multicultural Global Teams

Do you know we offer multicultural team-building courses?

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

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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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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.

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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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Musings from the 2014 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition

Musings from the 2014 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition

The 18th annual Corporate Relocation Conference and Exhibition took place on the 3rd of February this year, in London. We attended the conference to gain further insight about the latest discussions in the field of global mobility.

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Putting the People Back into Global Mobility

Putting the People Back into Global Mobility
Most of the reputable global relocation companies conduct annual surveys whereby they gather data on global mobility trends in international companies. Plus Relocation – a company operating in corporate relocation for the past 40 years, just published the results of their Planning for International Mobility Survey.
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Why Multilingual Leadership is Needed Today

Why Multilingual Leadership is Needed Today
Last week, Triple Pundit published an interview with impact investment expert Jed Emerson. Here, Emerson explains why multilingual leadership is important for those involved in this field.
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10 Facts Every Manager of a Multicultural Team Should Remember

10 Facts Every Manager of a Multicultural Team Should Remember
As a team manager leading a multicultural team, you go through the stages of team development perhaps a bit longer than when working with most monocultural teams. When you feel you’ve had enough of battling the cultural differences, and that you just want to call it a day, don’t despair – keep in mind that due to the diversity, the ups and downs feel extreme however in the end, there is simply much more to gain.
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Finance for Non-Financial Managers: New Training Course

Finance for Non-Financial Managers: New Training Course
For many people the world of finance is a mystery, a closed book that just a few adventurous souls will dare to open. However, even if you are not working in the financial department, it is very important to understand the impact of financial aspects on non-financial processes within an organization.
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HR Training Course for Non-HR Managers

HR Training Course for Non-HR Managers

Up to now many companies have largely underestimated one essential part of their capital - and that is human capital. Businesses can have endless material and financial resources, but without a strong workforce, they cannot make use of these resources.

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An Introduction to Management Training Course

An Introduction to Management Training Course

Leadership may sound a lot more exciting and glamorous than management.  However, what do you think it takes to implement all the innovative ideas and ensure that visions will actually turn into reality? ...Exactly. This will not be achieved without having an effective management strategy in place. 

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Consultative Sales Skills: Using Solution Selling as part of your Sales Process

Consultative Sales Skills: Using Solution Selling as part of your Sales Process

Haven’t you always felt that being a salesperson is your vocation; that you just have in your blood? No? For those of you who do not feel that selling comes naturally to them, but have now found themselves in a sales position, I have good news for you: sales is not simply about pushing your products and services at people.

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Emotional Intelligence for Leaders and Managers

Emotional Intelligence for Leaders and Managers

It is important to realize how strongly our emotions influence our thoughts and attitudes. They mirror in our behaviour and impact our productivity, performance and well-being both at work and at home. Even if we tried, we would not be able to cut them out and ban them from our workplace – and we certainly shouldn’t.

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An Introduction to Customer Service Training Course

An Introduction to Customer Service Training Course

Due to its front line nature, bad customer service can severely damage the reputation of your business. It does not matter if you are working for a global player or in a cosy little sidewalk café in the countryside. Customer service matters, regardless of the size and location of your business.

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Time Management Training: Skills and Techniques

Time Management Training: Skills and Techniques

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by your workload and have no idea where to start and how to get organized? Does the term procrastination sound familiar to you? Can you relate to internal battles with work/life balance? You are not alone.

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HR Directors, Basil Fawlty and Global Communication

HR Directors, Basil Fawlty and Global Communication


Some recent findings by The London School of English show language and culture are still not getting the attention they deserve within companies today.In fact, the spirit of Basil Fawlty seems to live on within some British businesses!

Despite the Government pinning hopes on UK PLC exporting, it brings into question whether UK companies are thinking globally or relying on the rest of the world to think and act in such a manner?

The findings suggest that, "UK-based businesses could be risking international growth by failing to invest in cross-cultural, language and communications training."

The results spwan from research carried out that questioned 100 HR directors on their attitudes towards language and communication skills and their approach to training.

These centenary research results show a shocking lacking of regard for our international, non-native English speaking business partners,” says Timothy Blake, Chief Executive of the London School of English. “The Brits may be reluctant to learn other languages, but this research suggests that we are not even prepared to invest in the training required to adapt our own language, accents and behaviour to help non-native English speakers understand us.”

Headline findings in the report include:

•    78% HR Directors questioned did not consider it necessary to train native English speakers to moderate their vocabulary when negotiating with non-native English speakers
•    98% believed their non-native English speakers could communicate effectively in English.
•    Although 67% of those questioned believed that it was “very important” for business people to have a good cultural understanding of their trading partners; only 23% would offer training.
•    Only 4% believed the “Basil Fawlty” approach of speaking “more loudly” would be effective in communicating with non-native English speakers.

Worrying stuff isnt it?

by +Neil Payne
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Is the Global Manager Dead?

Is the Global Manager Dead?


According to Professor C. A. Bartlett who co-authored “Transnational Management” nearly 20 years ago, the business world is a very different place to what is was back when he wrote the book.
The book is now in its sixth edition and Bartlett describes it as a continuous work and a passion of his. He has filled the book over the years with case studies that demonstrate how the world of business works and also highlights how the world of business has changed over the years.
One of the biggest changes in the way that the international world of business now works is with the way that many modern businesses now operate. Communication has come on leaps and bounds since 1992 (when the book was first published) and it is easy to forget how quickly connected we can be with people on the other side of the globe. The internet and email has broadened business horizons and made many more places reachable and the improvement of the spread of information and data has been a real boon to businesses everywhere. Skype, satellite phone and video conferencing have all broken down the barriers of international business.
The very fact that technology has broken down international barriers means that there really is no such thing anymore as the global manager, as almost every office worker now spends their time in a global environment.
International divisions now also no longer really exist like they used to in the 1960s and 1970s when the managers were sent abroad for long periods of time. The fluidity of today’s world means that many companies look to recruit managers from all over the world as travel is no such of longer an issue as it used to be.
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The International Business of Language

The International Business of Language



Whilst the world is beginning to shrink with the opening up in communication and travel, so the world of business expands. In the last two decades never has there been such a need in the business world than to have a full, comprehensive knowledge and understanding of language and its impact across the globe. How much emphasis is given to language in your business? Language is the base communication throughout your business. Language transcends all in the business world. It is what makes the world the place it is and helps us to communicate with others.
Language as a tool in business should be seen as exactly that, a tool. Language should be as important to your business as your hard drives, your catalogues and manuals and all the other tools you perceive to be essential to conducting your business.

If you see language as a tool within your business you are more likely to foster the care and attention you need to place upon the way in which you use language. Perhaps you should adopt the mantra ‘language isn’t just for talking’. Language is for all communication. Some tips to help you to start using your tool of language in order to maximise your communication with your business counterparts. Firstly, you must be very clear and concise about the messages you wish to convey. Cut out the unnecessary words, don’t be convoluted about it, stick to the point and you will ensure you have been fully understood. Remember, and don’t forget, language is a tool and you want your tools to work for you. Personal style goes a long way to say something about you so don’t let the day’s stresses or any personal setbacks to show in the way you use your tool of language, believe it or not, a frown, a shortness or abruptness of manner can be off putting and leave the person with whom you are communicating feeling unsettled. Language is your business tool so, smile, make eye contact, it’s all part of the language. We call it body language.

It is extremely important in the world of business that your build good relationships. How do you do this? You use your language tool of course. It may seem like a time consuming exercise, may be even seen as patronising and pointless, but, if you are to succeed in fostering good, amicable and workable business relationships, a little training in how your company uses the language tool will not come amiss. Why not consider your own corporate brand of your valuable language tool? Why do you think the American’s use the phrase ‘have a nice day’? Because it works. Language says something about you. The language tool is your badge. Wear it well and you can’t go wrong.
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IHRM - Repatriation Management

IHRM - Repatriation Management



Despite ongoing concerns about high expatriate attrition rates companies do not seem to be paying a lot of attention to the repatriation phase. A similar observation can be made in HRM journals; whereas expatriation has been researched extensively during the last decades, repatriation has received scarce attention in literature. The purpose of this article is, therefore, to highlight the relevance of repatriation management in the earliest stages of expatriate management.

Recent research indicates that successful expatriation assignments rely on four elements: the selection of the candidates, pre-arrival preparation for both expatriate and family, the provided support and possibility to keep in touch with the home organization while on an expatriate assignment, and the repatriation arrangements after completion of the assignment (Baruch and Altman, 2002). That appropriate attention to repatriation arrangements is important follows out of various observations: (1) Valuable personnel frequently leave the organization relatively shortly after repatriation. Research findings from 2002 showed that about 50% of personnel left a financial services company within a few years following the return to their home country (Baruch & Altman, 2002).

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