Leadership

Video: Five tips for working with people from other countries and cultures

Are ready to be part of a global workforce? Bill Detwiler gives you five tips to help you work well with people from other backgrounds and cultures.

Even if they don't work for a multinational conglomerate, IT pros are likely to interact and with people from around the world or at least from different regions of their own country. During this TR Dojo episode, I give you five tips to help you work well with people from other backgrounds and cultures.

For those who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or check out Calvin Sun's original article, which has five more tips for working with those from other countries and cultures.

You can also sign up to receive the latest TR Dojo lessons through one or more of the following methods:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

7 comments
Aramel
Aramel

I like working with people from other countries because it is just something new and interesting.When you meet new people with different cultures you see all those differences between people and you learn many things.

jackvandijk
jackvandijk

This is the most common mistake from Americans. In America, yes does not means yes, it means, "the messages has arrived on the other side, but I may ignore you". When an American shakes his head from left to right and back, it does not means "no", when he nods his head up and down, he only means emphasizing what is heard or said. The English spoken by people from another country is not "the King's English" it is not American English, it is their version of English. Believe me, I speak perfect Dutch and German, lived there and lived in the US, I have heard the problems. Even after living in the US of and on for 30 years, Americans think I am condescending, until they discover the typical direct approach from a born Dutchman. We say what we think and we think what we say. Americans on the whole are duplicitous in their communication, they only speak for effect, not for truth or their opinion. (Yes, money, or the lack thereoff prevents me from going back).

gallen6
gallen6

In this case 'who' does not mean identity but rather their function in the organization. In short are they 'decision makers'? I spent 10 years working in a German organization representing an American counterpart. With few exceptions I was empowered by my organization to make decisions and committments for my organization. On the other hand at meetings with my German collegues I was usually with subject matter experts and information collectors. So when I was ready to say, "let's do it", my counterparts were only able to commit to the next meeting. At first a frustrating experience but then I learned their business decision processes and was able to modify mine to make for smoother working relationships.

tewany
tewany

i am from an other country and my mistake was talking to a US person about football for 30 min before we both realized that we are talking abut two different sports. The most important one is not to assume where the person is from when you meet them. it is better to ask "Where are you from?" even if you know. instead of just saying what comes to your mind.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

Video since you guys updated the website. I don't think I should have to change browser security settings to allow me to view it either and I have the latest flash player installed.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

You don't have to be a world traveler to work with individuals from other countries or cultures. And if you haven't done so already, odds are that you will in the future. In this week's TR Dojo episode, I give you five tips for working well with people from other backgrounds and cultures, such as being mindful of literal translations and understanding when "yes" doesn't mean "yes". I'm also asking everyone to chime in with their biggest slip up when working with people from other countries or cultures. We're all human. We all make mistakes. It's how we learn from those mistakes that matters. Take the poll and let me know. Original post and poll: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/itdojo/video-five-tips-for-working-with-people-from-other-countries-and-cultures/2369

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

We're working on a fix for this. There is a problem for some Firefox users. Are you using Firefox?