- cracking the code

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

Integration in Norway: Find Your Tribe

Integration in Norway: Find Your Tribe

We were talking this week about what different people – in this case non-Norwegians attending my Intercultural Communication at Work course – think about the term ‘integration’. What did it really mean to them? A woman raised her hand and asked, “What do you think? Is it okay to hang around with people from your… Les mer

North Sea Decommissioning: Norway’s New Oil Adventure?

North Sea Decommissioning: Norway’s New Oil Adventure?

Have you ever wondered where old oil platforms go to die? Not being any oil industry insider myself, I’d not thought a whole lot about this question until putting together a presentation two months ago about how oil-producing Norway was handling its recent economic downturn. Not being any math person myself, I was easily impressed… Les mer

When Rude Isn’t Rude: Norway Scores Third Person Shutout

When Rude Isn’t Rude: Norway Scores Third Person Shutout

A shutout (US) is a game in which one team prevents the other from scoring any points. I teach a course called ‘Living in Norway’ for people new to the country. Its main aim is that by the time they walk out the door at the end of the evening, these newcomers will: ‘…understand Norwegian culture, behavior… Les mer

Job Applications: Why Do You Seek Approval?

Job Applications: Why Do You Seek Approval?

I’m teaching my CV/cover letter writing course tomorrow morning, and I already know what will go wrong. Not wrong, exactly, but where I’ll meet the most resistance and get the most questions from my course takers. This moment comes around slide 8, when I insert the following question somewhere into my instruction: Why do you… Les mer

Tell me: What’s the short version of your (working) life?

Tell me: What’s the short version of your (working) life?

Have you ever thought about practicing how to tell someone about what you do at work? When holding courses for foreign-born people like myself who are working in Norway, I advise them to practice and perform giving the short version of their life story. Why the short version? Because you should be aware that when… Les mer