The phenomenon of cultural globalization started around five decades ago, some very distinct cultural specificity remains today. It is critical to be aware and knowledgeable of such differences when doing business abroad. It takes a certain type of temperament to be able to deal and soon thrive in a foreign environment. This factor of suitability should be taken under careful consideration.
How often do we hear stories from the business world about foreign bosses who make unreasonable demands, counter-parts who seem to take real pleasure in being obstructive or devious, audiences who unexpectedly react to a presenterʼs proposals with hostility and aggression, negotiating partners who try to delay or, for no apparent reason, cancel a deal at the last moment. The result is often frustration — communication breakdowns because there seems to be a culture gap that neither side is aware of nor knows how to bridge.
What is this Academy about?
This session is about cultural differences and how they affect the process of doing and managing business abroad. We will work on two different aspects: Dispel the false notion that there is only one way to manage and organize; give you a clearer vision of your own culture and of cultural differences by identifying and understanding their complex interactions, and by learning how to deal with them in a business context. It is also essential to understand how people from other nations read our body language and behavior, and not only our words.
We may live in a global world, but doing business abroad can not only be about products and the bottom line. If we miss the big picture, which is a deep understanding of a specific cultural environment, we will miss the boat. In order to fully succeed in such ventures, we must be aware, respectful and sensitive to cultural diversities. Mark Twain once said that “Kindness is the only language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” The language of international business is not kindness, but if you do have a respectful approach of cultural differences, it will greatly improved the way you are perceived on foreign soil and it will make your job a lot easier.
Who is Paule?
Paule is an American who has been living and working for more than 20 years in Germany. She finished her studies in psychology and philosophy in the U.S., and has many years of successful experience in the challenging field of business communication, management and personnel training. Being born in Haiti and raised in a multicultural environment has given her the foundation and the right credentials to work with internationally operating companies. As of 2014 Paule is teaching at the Cologne Business School.
As always the Academy is open to all (not just trivago employees!) and is free entry with refreshments provided (beer and soft drinks).
The talk will take place in the B1 building (the white one) on the 3rd floor.
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