Our guidelines for international work
Four cornerstones describe our guidelines for international work:
1. Identifying one's own cultural bias
Those who see in themselves (in terms of values, behaviours, etc.) the measure of all things will not be successful abroad. Basic requirement for a sensitive yet self-confident demeanour in foreign countries is the recognition of one's own "German-ness" (or "American-ness", "French-ness", etc).
2. Practical relevance
Point of departure for each of our measures is the everyday life of the managers that we advise. The task is to prepare them for precisely those situations that are actually relevant to them in everyday life. This may, in one case, consist in an evaluation of the cultural compatibility of his business correspondence. In another, we analyze his negotiating strategies, etc. For many countries there are so-called "critical incidents" of everyday working life. Theoretical concepts are introduced wherever they aid comprehension (rather than representing an end in itself).
We always work with a "native speaker". In some cases, consultant and "native speaker" is one and the same person (e.g. our bi-cultural team members). In other cases, we enlist an external or internal company "native speaker". The "native speaker" does not necessarily need to be a trainer since our consultants provide this competence.
4. Fun, interest and curiosity in all things "foreign"
Cross-cultural issues are among the most interesting to encounter. They present an opportunity for personal growth by offering new experiences, perspectives and not at last also insights into oneself that are not easily garnered within one's own culture group. This is the attitude with which we approach the topic and it usually infects our clients as well!