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url 2017-01-31 11:50
Cross cultural communications: How to understand and adapt your behaviours?


Businesses have gone multinational and there is a huge shift in the way of doing business across the globe with the advent of online and international business. The workplaces of today have rapidly grown and become vast. Expatriates and people doing business across borders should be proactive and well informed about the culture of the people they are interacting with. A clear understanding of the cultures and knowing some basic or frequently used words can help in communicating effectively.


Modern technology and internet have made international transactions simple and reduced international trade complications to a great extent. More people are promoting businesses regularly as new markets have opened up for business across all cultures and geographical locations. Technology has also made it possible to facilitate easy conversations between people through language translation software and language conversion dictionaries. Cross Cultural Communication Trainings available online gives clear insights to appropriate ways to behave and communicate among cross cultures.  Electronic communication has made communication and networking as easy as working with someone in the neighbourhood or next town.


Why would someone limit himself by working with a location that has lesser demand and workforce rather than a location that has greater demand and can have easy access to most knowledgeable people in the entire world or the highest quality resources?


A multicultural workplace brings a lot of communication challenges. There are some cultural differences between employees located in various regions or organizations speak the same language. For example: English speakers in the US have differences in accent, spelling and pronunciation. Communication can be optimized between such cultures if these cultural differences are considered. People should have a mutual understanding of communicating with cultures to reap the benefits of a diverse workplace. An organizational work culture that is common to people of all cultures is being adopted by a majority of companies across the globe. Effective cross-cultural communication starts with a basic understanding of cultural diversity.  This can start by knowing the basic differences between cultures that are totally from our culture.


Better communication with individuals and groups who totally differ from our culture should be analysed carefully by paying attention to every detail. Below mentioned are some of the aspects to be considered while communicating among cross cultures:


Greetings and physical contact: This can become critical if a basic study and understanding of cultures is not present. For example, kissing a business associate with one peck on each cheek is an acceptable greeting in Paris but the same will not be acceptable in gulf countries. A firm handshake that is widely accepted in the U.S which is not recognized in all other cultures.


Ambiguity: The ways of seeing, thinking and interpreting are different in different cultures. There is a possibility of misunderstanding where languages are different and similar words can have two different or sometimes opposite meanings in different languages and cultures.


Attitude of Acceptance and Flexibility: Some people tend to void exposure or experience of the host culture as this might not be favourable for their culture or due to an attitude of introversion. This results in developing a closed mindset and learn and ignorance to learn and adapt to the new culture which will give rise to cultural shock and spoiling of business relationships.


Ethnocentrism: Assuming that own groups culture is right and moral. Considering other cultures as inferior can spoil and bring an end to a business relationship even before it starts. It is often an unconscious behaviour which is realised after reacting. It is always necessary to consider respecting a totally opposite culture or establishing a path that builds a favourable climate among such cultures. Cross Cultural Awareness Training conducted by people who have a practical experience of dealing with different cultures can be very helpful with practical approaches.

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review 2015-09-01 20:42
Complexities of the Past, Present, and Future
The Shadow of the Crescent Moon - Fatima Bhutto

THE SHADOW OF THE CRESCENT MOON is a riveting story that place over a couple hours on a rainy Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in a tribal region bordering Afghanistan, as three brothers and two of the women they love find their past, present, and future merge together. It is the thriller-like anticipation and the elegant language that had me reading this book in one session. I was interested in reading this book on a region in Pakistan that I knew very little about except from the pov of news updates regarding the American militia experience so I did “google” the town – Mir Ali before beginning the book and that gave me the necessary understanding to fully appreciate this enthralling storyline.


The prologue sets up the storyline as the three brothers are breakfasting together before going about their day but first they have to decide which mosque each will attend as, “It is too dangerous, too risky, to place all the family together in one mosque that could easily be hit. They no longer know by whom.”

Then as the minutes/hours tick by, we learn actually what each brother is doing and why. The flashbacks provide the necessary background information and the lyrical language shows how the people go about their lives doing ordinary things overshadowed by the hovering violence that is never spoken about out loud. While the stories concentrated mostly on the male characters, it is the two women characters whose resolve and spirit surprise those around them – their love ones and their opposers.


As the pace quickens toward the climax I am holding my breath as I turn the page to see what happens, the story ends. As I re-read the last couple of pages to see if I missed a clue it dawns on me that this ending is intentional by the author. How can she provide an ending when there is no known ending to this conflict and turmoil in this region. I might have finished reading the book but the story is not over.

Overall, this is a thought-provoking book on loyalty, identity, love, and sacrifice. A very solid debut novel and I look forward to reading future books by the author.


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review 2015-06-12 20:52
Chance Meetings: Stories About Cross-Cultural Karmic Collisions and Compassion - Madhu Bazaz Wangu

I loved, loved, loved this book of wonderful dark yet uplifting, spiritual and emotional, thought provoking short stories.  I loved the depth of each story, like a challenge, making me think what lesson I had learnt from each, I couldn't wait to read more to find out what the next story would be about.

Part fiction, part memoir, each powerful story wraps itself around Indian culture, traditions and the love of art, with unforgettable characters, this was a truly fascinating and enjoyable read.   My favorites if I have to pick had to be The Blackened Mirror, which really gripped me, next was the powerful, emotive story of love, loss and hope in A Precious Gift with every word seeming to pull at my heartstrings and finally Gauri's Freedom which had me hooked too. One story that really stood out was The Secret Healer, this had my emotions all over the place, such a sad story, which suddenly went off in a completely different, unexpected and painful direction and then ends up filling your heart with joy.

I found myself nodding in agreement, smiling, gasping as I read these short stories.  Such wonderful writing by this author, they were like a cleansing of the soul, triggering your mind to think more about each one, or reminding yourself that love changes everything, seeing the true beauty of life, opening your heart and mind and don't be judgemental in life and how easy it can be to stretch the hand of friendship that can change somebody's life.

I also enjoyed reading, at the beginning of the book, about the author's fascinating life , her passion for art and how she was chastised in life for wasting her time on her love of it, the sadness in her life which helped create the some of the stories and especially about her involvement in Vipassana meditation.  At the end of the book you are also treated to a chapter of the author's novel, An Immigrant Wife, which again really caught my interest.

This was definitely a book I will read again and probably again!

Source: beckvalleybooks.blogspot.com
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review 2015-05-08 02:12
Not off to a good start
An Arabian Courtship (Harlequin Presents #1313) - Lynne Graham


I suppose I have read this, but I don't remember. That's fine, because I liked experiencing it without any preconceived notions. I liked this quite a bit. Polly is young, but she's doesn't act addle-brained as some of Graham's more recent heroines. Don't get me wrong, I love LG's books, but sometimes I wish she didn't seem to make them so silly (especially over the hero because he's so good-looking). Polly in a difficult situation, having essentially been sold into marriage by her greedy father (who has gotten his family into dire financial straits, with four younger children and a wife of delicate constitution). Polly believes she has no chance for love, since her true love doesn't see her as anything but a friend. When she meets her future husband, Raschid, she might be impressed by his good looks, but his personality leaves a lot to ask for. Plus, he makes it seem like she'll be living in a modern version of purdah. But she can't really say no. Polly is nervous and drinks a bit too much at the wedding, so she doesn't make the best example of herself at the wedding. So far their marriage is off to a very bad start. It's pretty certain that Polly won't have to worry about losing her heart to her husband. Or so it seems.

I will always like arranged marriage and marriage of convenience books. It's a great way to put two people into very close proximity and where they are forced to build a relationship without any expectations of insta-love or sex. Raschid was far from likable at first, but he wasn't trying to be. It turns out that he's a very good man. Deeply honorable and with a core of kindness that over time Polly gets a chance to see. Like many of Graham's heroines, Raschid doesn't know what hits him. His silly English bride who he at first thinks the worst of, steals his heart in a big way, and with him determined never to fall in love. His first marriage, also arranged, went very badly, and he still has some very deep wounds that haven't healed. Polly is haunted by the spectre of his so-called perfect first wife (traditional and culturally appropriate to Raschid), and she thinks that Raschid's rejection is out of his enduring love for his wife. I felt sympathetic to Polly and for her in this tough situation. I couldn't imagine how tough it was to have so much of a change in culture she was experiencing, plus with a husband who can't seem to stand her. Over time, her viewpoint shows that things aren't as black and white.

I liked that this was a bit more serious than some of her newer books, with a more mature-seeming hero who isn't a womanizer or playboy. At first, I didn't like the way he was treating Polly, but there was a good explanation for that. I think it's more than evident before the book ends how much he loves Polly. I almost always like Lynne Graham's heroines, and I did like Polly quite a bit.

It's a good one worth tracking down for Lynne Graham fans.
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