When cross­ing cul­tures, use global dex­ter­ity


Finweek English Edition - - MANAGEMENT -

at home.

Many man­agers and lead­ers have lived, worked or stud­ied abroad, and there are many books and ar­ti­cles de­scrib­ing cul­tural dif­fer­ences. But what th­ese books don’t tell you is that learn­ing about dif­fer­ences across cul­tures is only a f irst step to­ward ef­fec­tive cul­tural adap­ta­tion, and if all you do is read about th­ese dif­fer­ences, you will likely suf­fer the same fate as Greg. It’s not only the dif­fer­ences that most peo­ple need to un­der­stand to be ef­fec­tive in for­eign cul­tural in­ter­ac­tions; it’s global dex­ter­ity, the abil­ity to adapt or shift be­hav­iour in light of th­ese cul­tural dif­fer­ences. And that’s some­thing that’s of­ten eas­ier said than done.

For starters, it’s of­ten very dif­fi­cult to be­have in a way you aren’t used to, even if you have an in­tel­lec­tual un­der­stand­ing of what th­ese be­hav­iours are sup­posed to be. From my work with pro­fes­sion­als from a

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