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Mind the (Cultural) Gap

How do you deal with (your own) unexpected emotions when communicating across cultures?

Anxiety. Frustration. Anger

These are all experiences that many of us have when working in or with other cultures. It makes sense that we would since we're facing challenges and leaving our comfort zone.

👉 Interestingly, this often happens when communicating with a person or group whose culture is quite similar to yours - since you originally assumed similarity, the differences can be more surprising.

Becoming aware of your reactions and 'leaning in' to the discomfort by actively finding strategies for transformation can change those feelings of frustration etc. to other ones such as joy, empowerment, and satisfaction.

Recognizing and then transforming these emotions is the journey that I've been on with a client over the past few months. He has a multinational background as well as Taiwanese heritage, so assumed that working with various stakeholders in Taipei would be much easier than it was.

Here's his take on our coaching journey:

"I recommend Michelle's CulturalEQ coaching. To be able to get some points from different angles with the experience of different cultural backgrounds is unique. I come from a multicultural background and it is quite fascinating to see the same topic from a different cultural point of view, it may seem completely different, but the outcome at the end is the same: to build a better self. One of my most difficult goals was to stay calm and not get too emotional during tough meetings. During our sessions, Michelle gave some good points and advice that helped me to think more about the outcome and not about the feeling of anger.

During meetings our goal is to solve issues and advance together, not to create a deeper gap with the other party. Now, when I foresee a meeting that will be difficult to handle, I prepare myself more, thinking about how I should approach tough topics by building different scenarios to find a way to get the other party to listen and not get on the defensive. The experience was quite nice, it was refreshing to get a different point of view on the different topics we approached. It has helped me to see new ways to achieve my goals."

Contact me here to set up a Discovery Call on how you can develop your own CulturalEQ communication skills for leadership and team communication in today's VUCA world.

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