The Commisceo Global Blog - Perfect for Culture Vultures

Whether a press release, a case study of cultural difference, some tips on working abroad or some lessons in cross-communication, we try our best to satiate your inner culture vulture.

What is Your Favourite Quote Defining Culture?

What is Your Favourite Quote Defining Culture?

How would you describe or define culture?

What imagery would you use? How could you help someone understand the basic mechanics of culture and the impact this has on the world?

Not an easy one!

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How Culture and Communication Impact Multicultural Global Teams

How Culture and Communication Impact Multicultural Global Teams

The homogenous team is a thing of the past in most international organisations and companies. More and more teams are made up of people with different nationalities and therefore different cultures, languages, ideas, behaviours and ways of doing things.

Some would argue that the ‘international language of business’ negates any real communication issues within such a cross-cultural team; however those with hands-on experience of such teams would disagree.

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The Apprentice – Horrendous Racism or Cultural Ignorance?

The Apprentice – Horrendous Racism or Cultural Ignorance?

For those that follow The Apprentice, you can’t have missed the recent outburst by contestant Dillon St Paul in Episode 6, entitled ‘Discount Buying’.

Sticking to the traditional programme format, contestants were required to spend the night identifying the whereabouts of 9 items in and around London and then negotiate the best possible price for their purchase.

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How Lack of Cultural Awareness Can Cost A Business Big

How Lack of Cultural Awareness Can Cost A Business Big

Has globalisation led to a homgenity of culture when it comes to product, marketing, sales and service? Or have our cultural differences actually become more acute?

Cultural Differences in Business

Many people agree with the phrase that 'the world is getting smaller' - it is hard to disagree.

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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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5 Essential Skills Every International Business Person Needs

5 Essential Skills Every International Business Person Needs

Working internationally comes with certain challenges - navigating cultural differences is just one.

Being able to work, communicate, sell to or buy from people in different countries, working in different times zones, with different ways of doing things is essential.

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Cultural Differences in the Way we Listen

Cultural Differences in the Way we Listen

In our previous blogs we examined how cultural differences impact body language and the way we speak - we now turn our attention to a little-known skill we all have yet many forget to utilise! Listening.

Just as cultures differ in how we hold ourselves, use our eyes or communicate, cultures also differ in the way they respond to what is being said.

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Poor Understanding of Iran Leading to Cautious Business Approach

Poor Understanding of Iran Leading to Cautious Business Approach

It’s nearly a year since the restrictive sanctions imposed on Iran were lifted. These sanctions were not only applied by the UN, EU and US but also included sanctions from third party countries. The lifting of these sanctions has therefore been long-awaited by many and sets the stage for exciting times for those companies who have identified potential opportunities in Iran and who are keen to now pursue them.

Although our administration takes place in the sleepy South West of England, we witness global movements and trends first-hand. There’s not much we don’t know about what’s happening with our global neighbours.

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Cultural Differences in the Way We Speak

Cultural Differences in the Way We Speak

Carrying on from our blog about cultural differences in body language, we now look at one of the most important areas of cross-cultural understanding - that of communication.

Communication covers many areas such as verbal and non-verbal. One of the most obvious and apparent ways in which cultures differ is in the way we speak.

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Why India is Becoming a Top Expat Destination

Why India is Becoming a Top Expat Destination

As a cross cultural training consultancy, we have a great insight into the countries which rate highly as expat destinations and it seems that India is certainly viewed highly as a popular ‘go to’ country at the moment....especially with Americans. The numbers now moving to India for work is phenomenal.

Why is India so popular for American Expatriates?

Trade deals are a key reason.  The US is India’s key second biggest trading partner after China whilst India is the US’s eleventh largest trading partner.  The strength of mutual trading makes for a pretty strong relationship between the two countries and clearly generates considerable relocation opportunities for both parties. India is also one of the fastest growing global economies which makes it more likely that investments in this part of the world are likely to do well.

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Cultural Differences in Body Language

Cultural Differences in Body Language

Cultures differ in the way we use our bodies to communicate. Sometimes it is very obvious, many times very subtle. Gestures are a very obvious example of such a difference.

Whether working at home in a culturally diverse workplace or flying off to emerging markets, understanding what people mean through their body language can be a challenge. The complexity of body language is unquestionable in the cross-cultural context.

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Cross-Cultural Tips for Doing Business in Iran

Cross-Cultural Tips for Doing Business in Iran

Having received great feedback on my blog about the place of "tarof" in Persian culture, a few people have requested a brief guide to doing business in Iran for companies making the journey over.

So here goes....

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A Brief Guide to British Umbrella Etiquette

A Brief Guide to British Umbrella Etiquette

At Commisceo we do all things ‘etiquette’ – whether it’s dining etiquette in Brazil or gift giving etiquette in Mozambique.

Did you know however, that we also do British umbrella etiquette?!  We might not get a demand for formal umbrella etiquette training but here’s some etiquette advice for those moving to the UK who may need to become acquainted with surviving the upcoming UK rainy season:

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'Budgie Nine' - Culturally Belligerent or Innocently Ignorant?

'Budgie Nine' - Culturally Belligerent or Innocently Ignorant?

Have you heard about the 'Budgie Nine'? If not then here comes another perfect example of foreigners acting cuturally-inappropriately when abroad.

To celebrate their countrymen's victory at the Malaysia Grand Prix these 9 men from Australia stripped down to Malaysian-flag-printed swimwear — or "budgie smugglers" as they are known in Australia.

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Ta'rof - Understanding Iranian Culture

Ta'rof - Understanding Iranian Culture

Things are heating up in Iran at the moment. We can tell. Why? Because as new markets open up we usually see this reflected in the countries we provide cultural awareness courses for; and you guessed it, the demand for Iran is big.

On occasion when the help needed by our clients is specific enough, I deliver some of our Iran cultural awareness courses. One topic that attendees always struggle with is the cultural concept that is known as ta’rof.

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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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Could Cultural Awareness Training Get Any Better?

Could Cultural Awareness Training Get Any Better?

As a cultural awareness training consultant, I spend most of my time arranging cultural awareness training sessions for relocating expatriates, existing global companies and companies who plan to go global.

The training is delivered either face to face or remotely via professional trainers, with great feedback from our delegates.

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Love Skittles

Love Skittles

Trump Jnr's Skittles meme is a stupid, irrational argument based on nothing but fear, ignorance and racist politics.

So Trump Jnr, son of the man who plans to make America great again, has come out and likened Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles.

This blog could launch into a tirade of abuse and arguments against Trump Jnr and his father, however we want to make a simple point to those who may see sense in his line of argument.

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Erasmus is Key for Developing Cultural Awareness in UK

Erasmus is Key for Developing Cultural Awareness in UK

If UK loses out on Erasmus, we lose the next generation

One of the OMG moments I had during my post-Brexit bewilderment was what would happen to funding for the Erasmus programme; an EU initiative to support students to study abroad for one year. I was, and still am, genuinelly concerned about the impact it would have on us should we leave it. Why? Because I saw first hand the impact it has on improving young people's confidence, characters, employability and cultural awareness.

So it was with glee that I came across an article with my morning coffee on the Guardian which highlights calls for the government to protect British participation in the programme.

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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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