Do you have new international team members? You probably have helped them move country, company or job. But have you helped them move their minds?
For many of us, dealing with cultures other than our own has become a necessary part of everyday life: we either live in an intercultural context or we are exposed to it through work. People who move job, company or country are exposed to difficult situations as they deal with all kinds of change and culture in their new environment.
Change and Culture Shock can be stressful, emotionally draining and may cause physical problems as well. Many overseas placements are terminated early because of failure in areas relating to culture and adaptation. This costs companies greatly and also sets the departing person back in terms of finance, career, emotional upheaval, not to mention the impact on their family. If you have relocated, you know how challenging it can be to integrate and deliver in a new environment within a short space of time, especially if that new environment is culturally very different to the one you have come from! This is why the first six months are vitally important. You need to establish the potential for success within that environment without delay. Your margin for error is limited.
The first phase of transition is the period in which you establish patterns of success or failure. If your spouse or children relocate with you it is even more essential to help them settle down and adjust to their new environment. The reality is that family related issues are often amongst the top reasons why senior expatriate placements fail. Transition management coaching for the executive and his or her family should be a mandatory element of the relocation process.
Transition management is more than just getting to know the do’s and don’ts of the new country. Understanding new cultural contexts is extremely important if you are going to thrive. Inter-Cultural Intelligence (ICI) combines knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable you to accurately assess, wisely take action, effectively interact, and thus successfully manage your work and your team. This means not only knowing your culture, other people’s culture, your company’s culture and national culture, but also knowing what to do with that information, and to have the competencies to think and act accordingly. By applying global insight, extensive experience and core people skills, you should have all the tools you require to equip you for global success.
Inter-Cultural Intelligence helps a team deal with the challenges of globalization and the complexities of working in an inter-cultural environment, and enables team members, especially those that have just joined from a different culture to remove the shock from culture shock. The ability to do this is a competence that every global leader should strive to develop.
The Inter-Culturally Intelligent leader has the ability to bring a group of people from different cultural backgrounds together in a team that trusts, communicates, thrives, and reaches set objectives. Which then allows people to build a strong sense of belonging (social capital) as well as a sense of common purpose.
KnowledgeWorkx’s Inter-Cultural Intelligence (ICI) Transition Management enables people to understand and manage change and culture shock in the intercultural work environment. We use our ICI transition management module to help people succeed and thrive in their new workplace.
To begin your culture learning journey, Contact us or get our mini-ebook: Inter-Cultural Intelligence: from surviving to thriving in the global space.