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Category Archives: Intercultural communication

Multicultural Meetings: Do you speak up?

Multicultural Meetings: Do you speak up?

As children, we’re often to taught to use our words, speak our minds. At the same time, we’re taught to be polite and not interrupt others when they’re speaking. This can be confusing for us as adults, especially in the world of work. Especially at meetings, even more so at multicultural meetings. Even more so… Les mer

The Italian Job: Network(ing) Failure at Its Finest

The Italian Job: Network(ing) Failure at Its Finest

Sometimes I really bomb at this networking thing. The scene was a cathedral fellowship hall in Bologna, Italy in September last year. My chamber choir was visiting our Italian equivalent to put on a joint concert that evening. The Italians had put on a delicious spread of food for us before said concert started, and… Les mer

Norway: Happy OL Medal Count = Happy Norwegian Manager?

Norway: Happy OL Medal Count = Happy Norwegian Manager?

Need something special from your Norwegian boss? Strike while the OL-iron is hot! How so, you say? Well, consider Aftenposten’s headline this morning: OL statistics: Norway now holds a superior lead in the medal count Yes, little Norway, with a population just over 5 million people, is winning the 2018 Winter Olympics, or as they… Les mer

Competitive Conversation: Fighting the Phone

Competitive Conversation: Fighting the Phone

What is it with people and their phones? Picture the scene: You’re at a big work-related dinner in a big hotel dining room, where the terrible acoustics mean that the entire space is buzzing and bursting with noisy chatter. The servers haven’t come around yet to pour the white wine that will go with your… Les mer

Business Culture Clash: What’s in a (LinkedIn) photo?

Business Culture Clash: What’s in a (LinkedIn) photo?

People’s preferences about what’s professional or not never cease to surprise me. Was running yet another LinkedIn course in Norway last week, and had gotten to the point where I put up a slide filled with photos I’d lifted from different LI profiles. Intending to show what not to post on what is after all… Les mer

Integration in Norway: Mimicking or mocking a foreign accent?

Integration in Norway: Mimicking or mocking a foreign accent?

Was I a victim of prejudicial accent bullying? Or am I being overly sensitive and over the top dramatic (read: ridiculous)? First: It happened again just yesterday. Hearing the doorbell ring down the hall at work, I’d gone to open up for a man arriving for a meeting with one of my office neighbors. Showing… Les mer

Integration as International Business: Are you the buyer or the seller?

Integration as International Business: Are you the buyer or the seller?

When I was teaching at a regional business school several years ago, we used a book called Cross-Cultural Business Behavior by Richard Gesteland. The first chapter outlines what the author calls ‘the two iron rules of international business’. The first of these: “The seller must adapt to the buyer.” So during a recent session of… Les mer

Working in Norway: Don’t Say “Hello” in the Morning

Working in Norway: Don’t Say “Hello” in the Morning

I was recently on a website where foreign-born employees had been asked the following question: What is the most important unwritten rule in Norwegian workplace, which all work in Norway is based on? Readers were invited to guess the answer. The more serious suggestions: Don’t intrude on another’s personal space, position or beliefs Strive for… Les mer