The Commisceo Global Blog

Keeping you up to date with all the news, articles, tools, opinions and press relating to the world of cultural understanding, in and out of business.

Where is the Most Expensive Destination for Expatriates?

Where is the Most Expensive Destination for Expatriates?

Since relocation training forms such a significant part of the work undertaken by us here at Commisceo, it’s essential that we keep up to date with global changes and their impacts on all things ‘expatriate’.

Mercer, is just one of our trusted ‘go to’ experts.  As consultants in the fields of talent, investments and health, their annual Cost of Living surveys are a must read for companies engaged in the relocation of their employees. 

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Dear President-elect of the United States

Dear President-elect of the United States

What is clear from your election campaign is that if you are truly going to be a President for "All Americans", then you need some help.

Let's talk straight Mr. T - you've alienated people. Mexicans and Muslims are probably hiding under pillows while Chancellor Merkel and President Xi Jinping are already worried about you embarrasing them.

Some of your campaign messages and sentiments displayed immense bias, premised on stereotypes, informed by a myopic interpretation of our world. What you need is some training, some coaching and some loving.

You have "Great" ambitions - but these can never be realised without embracing the positivity of cultural diversity at home and abroad.

So, Mr, President-elect of the USA, we are offering you access to our consultancy, our courses, our training - anything you need.

We could design a course about Islam for you, a training session on doing business with Mexicans, a workshop on self-awareness and unconscious bias or how about some diplomatic etiquette training to prepare you for global summits? Whatever you need - we will help.

So give us a call and let's get to work!

#mytip4trump

Knowing you are a big fan of Twitter, we have also started a hashtag #mytip4trump for people to send you tips on working across cultural lines.

This is going to become an amazing resource for you - people will have tips for you on your foriegn diplomatic visits, how to address certain ethnic minorities at home, how your communiation style may need tempering or simly some tips on how to become more aware of cultural differences.

You're welcome!
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The Relocation Industry and Historical Context

The Relocation Industry and Historical Context

Mention the ‘relocation industry’ as conversation fodder at a dinner party and your guests will probably panic that you’re planning to expose them really dry conversation pieces such as Cost of Living Allowances, Trailing Spouses, Expat Taxation, Bridging Allowances etc

In actual fact, the relocation industry is an exciting one and not deserving of the stifled yawns that might otherwise be elicited when mentioned.

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Online Training – A Democratic Solution?

Online Training – A Democratic Solution?

Access for All

As cultural trainers, we oversee the delivery of high level cultural training to large multinationals. The benefits of the training extend beyond the company and help individuals to build skills and awareness which help in the long term.

Since we are proud of what we do, we are presented with an ethical dilemma when NGOs, small businesses and private individuals approach us with their training needs as they typically lack the budget to pay our fees.  

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Who on Earth Needs Cultural Training?

Who on Earth Needs Cultural Training?

Why UK Universities Invest in Cultural Awareness

I was recently at a dinner party in London for notable vultures and found myself speaking to a lovely vulture based in Wales who had flown down for the evening. Conversation led to work and what I do here at Commisceo, and what we do as a company, i.e cultural training.

“That’s different”, he said, "...but who on earth needs that?".

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Intercultural Training and the Iceberg Model

Intercultural Training and the Iceberg Model

Many people question what culture is. How can it be defined? What analogies can be used to describe it?

In intercultural training one of the questions that is often asked of participants is to think what culture means to them. What picture can they draw to describe it? Whether they draw a tree, cauldron, plate of food or a tapestry they are all valid as culture means different things to different people. In essence what they are trying to describe is something that is made up of lots of things and is multifaceted.

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The Four Benefits of Intercultural Training

The Four Benefits of Intercultural Training

Intercultural training has become of increasing importance in the past 10 years. Companies and organizations that are working on the international stage are starting to realise that working in or with foreign countries is not like working at home.

Intercultural differences are causing obstacles to smooth, successful business relationships, dealings and ventures. People from managers, to sales personnel, to CEOs to HR staff are all now participating in intercultural training to help them become better at the their jobs.

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Approaches to Cultural Awareness Training

Approaches to Cultural Awareness Training

There are many approaches to training. Some sum these up as 'heavy' and 'light' approaches. What does this mean and how does it apply to business training?

Well, cultural awareness training (or any other training in fact) is a little like body building – one needs to know what their mind and body is capable of, what it enjoys and then set realistic goals for achieving that perfect body. From there you can either work with a personal trainer or look into how to balance both heavy and light approaches to training yourself. Heavy training in this sense being your body building, and light being more about CV and muscular work.

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15 Corporate Training Predictions for 2015

15 Corporate Training Predictions for 2015

For those of you who follow our social media accounts, you would have come across our 15 predictions about business & corporate training for 2015. For those that missed them - this is for you!

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Seeking Future African Cross Cultural Trainers

Seeking Future African Cross Cultural Trainers

Global Training Manager, Caroline, gives some insight into an upcoming train-the-trainer course for business professionals looking to become cultural awareness trainers and coaches.

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Emotional Intelligence for Leaders and Managers

Emotional Intelligence for Leaders and Managers
It is important to realize how strongly our emotions influence our thoughts and attitudes. They mirror in our behaviour and impact our productivity, performance and well-being both at work and at home. Even if we tried, we would not be able to cut them out and ban them from our workplace – and we certainly shouldn’t.
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Cultural Awareness Training helps US Army Cadets Build Bridges

Cultural Awareness Training helps US Army Cadets Build Bridges
Cultural awareness is important in today's day and age. Businesses, government bodies, the third sector and public services all realise the need to understand and embrace cultural diversity at many levels. The military is no exception; as illustrated by the US Army, cultural awareness training is reaping rewards.
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Active Listening: Cross-Cultural Business Communication Skills

Active Listening: Cross-Cultural Business Communication Skills
Active listening is a communication skill crucial to doing cross-cultural business. As a skill, it requires the listener to become attuned with the speaker in order to confirm what they have heard and moreover, to confirm the understanding of both parties. This active engagement may differ across cultures...
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Work across Cultures? You need Global Dexterity

Work across Cultures? You need Global Dexterity
You can read as many books about cultural awareness as you like; you will only become successful when working with other cultures when you put your knowledge into action.
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Cultural Awareness Training Brochure

Cultural Awareness Training Brochure

Interested in cultural awareness training? We have just released our 2013 business training brochure for courses with a cultural twist!

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Communication Skills and Cultural Differences Self-Study Guide

Communication Skills and Cultural Differences Self-Study Guide

Want to improve your people skills? Need to train staff in communication skills? Looking to overcome barriers to communication at work? Dealing with cultural diversity? If the answer is yes to any of these then why not download our free guide to cultural awareness?

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Drilling for Cultural Fuel

Drilling for Cultural Fuel
One of the best aspects of my work is getting to know how different industries work internally, and especially what their take is on training their employees. Being able to meet different HR, L&D and Training Managers and speak to them about their work is eye opening. In my last visit to Paris, a certain company really grabbed my attention in terms of their proactivity and dedication to training.
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Doing Business in The Middle East

Doing Business in The Middle East

The Middle East is an area which carries many stereotypes and myths. Before doing business in the Middle East it is imperative to learn about areas such as business culture, business etiquette, meeting protocol and negotiation techniques.  Through such knowledge stereotypes are broken and barriers to communication reduced.

When doing business in the Middle East, it is wise to bear in mind the great diversity within the region. However, a common religion, language and culture make the highlighting of general traits and features for the region valid.

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German and Afghan military go all out on Cultural Sensitivity

German and Afghan military go all out on Cultural Sensitivity
News round-up! See why German soldiers are receiving cultural sensitivity training and how Amazon conquered China. All news hot off the press!

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HR Directors, Basil Fawlty and Global Communication


Some recent findings by The London School of English show language and culture are still not getting the attention they deserve within companies today.In fact, the spirit of Basil Fawlty seems to live on within some British businesses!

Despite the Government pinning hopes on UK PLC exporting, it brings into question whether UK companies are thinking globally or relying on the rest of the world to think and act in such a manner?

The findings suggest that, "UK-based businesses could be risking international growth by failing to invest in cross-cultural, language and communications training."

The results spwan from research carried out that questioned 100 HR directors on their attitudes towards language and communication skills and their approach to training.

These centenary research results show a shocking lacking of regard for our international, non-native English speaking business partners,” says Timothy Blake, Chief Executive of the London School of English. “The Brits may be reluctant to learn other languages, but this research suggests that we are not even prepared to invest in the training required to adapt our own language, accents and behaviour to help non-native English speakers understand us.”

Headline findings in the report include:

•    78% HR Directors questioned did not consider it necessary to train native English speakers to moderate their vocabulary when negotiating with non-native English speakers
•    98% believed their non-native English speakers could communicate effectively in English.
•    Although 67% of those questioned believed that it was “very important” for business people to have a good cultural understanding of their trading partners; only 23% would offer training.
•    Only 4% believed the “Basil Fawlty” approach of speaking “more loudly” would be effective in communicating with non-native English speakers.

Worrying stuff isnt it?

by +Neil Payne
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