Integration or Repudiation

Who wants to spend time  with someone they don’t understand, who refuses to accept their way of life, their beliefs, their taboos, their evaluation of socially correct behaviour, their interests, their traditions, their heritage AND their humour!  

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So how many of your really good friends are a different nationality to you?  If you live in a different country do you understand, accept and support what goes on around you or are you always comparing negatively with the “better” way of doing it in your own country?  

Cross cultural integration and awareness is a major part of relationship building, success and ultimately happiness when in contact with any other nationality and even with the different ethnic diversity within your own country.    

Living in another country, understanding and embracing the culture and mentality of your host nation is the key to friendship, enjoyment and fulfilment.  Who wants to spend time  with someone they don’t understand, who refuses to accept their way of life, their beliefs, their taboos, their evaluation of socially correct behaviour, their interests, their traditions, their heritage AND their humour!  

Granted humour can be more difficult to grasp…  But don’t let that be an excuse for not trying!!!! The magic of OPAL (step into their shoes and become a native) would obviously help with that one.  

In business cross cultural integration and awareness is frequently the difference to a successful international career, building a smooth-running business with a productive workforce, being blessed with a positive and loyal client base and even THE KEY in gaining that highly sought after deal in front of your major competitors, even if their promises outwardly seem more attractive.  TRUST is the main criteria in international business on whatever level, and trust is NOT gained without understanding, acceptance, showing you are at ease and supportive of their beliefs, their values, their mentality, their culture and their way of doing things!  

It is no use saying I am not afraid of talking, I don’t have any problems …  great that you speak their language, this is obviously a step in the right direction BUT you are being self-centred and thinking about YOU.  You must think about others, what they feel, their likes, dislikes, their preferred way of doing things.  

For example, the Brits (and I am one of them) – Punctuality – Its important to us! If you are late for an appointment why should be believe you are trustworthy about a delivery date?  Other things too, being suitably dressed in our eyes is showing respect not only to us but also for yourself..  who wants to look a tramp?  If you look a tramp how can we believe that you business is efficient, organised and reliable?  Courtesy and good manners – an absolute ESSENTIAL if you wish to successfully do business with a British company.  To varying degrees this is the same for the majority of the Anglo-Saxon rooted nations, but every nation in all parts of their world have their own culture and individual mentality.  They are diverse, fascinating and  a wonderful discovery to enrich your life and enlarge your experience.  

Take the time to learn about the people you are in contact with, try to think like them, understand what they feel, why they feel it, what gives them pleasure, what upsets or offends them… and then ACT upon it.  Meet them on their own ground, make them feel good, understood, cared about…  Try it, they will love you for it, you will feel good about yourself and take pleasure in their pleasure… and you will be welcomed into a whole new world of friendship, fun and interest! 

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