Cultural Innovation: Growing Beyond the Constraints of Your Cultural Conditioning

The lessons we learned from simply being in any particular environment put us into a mental cage. People primarily learn through cultural transmission. This process can happen through a large variety of means such as communicating with other people, observing and imitating other people’s behavior, reading books, watching movies, going to seminars and pretty much any other way of interacting…

Intercultural Empathy: A Guide to Real Understanding Across Cultures

Intercultural empathy is one of the key skills needed to develop a real understanding across cultures. Essentially, it consists of three dimensions: Cognitive empathy: the ability to put ourselves into the perspective of the other person and imagine how he or she perceives a particular situation Emotional empathy: the ability to imagine the feelings that the other is feeling in a particular…

Let’s Talk About Harmony: A Guide to Collective Communication Environments

Harmony is one of the most central ideas in many collective cultures. Recently, me and my classmates had an interesting conversation about a situation that happened in a class-setting. There was a professor who reacted very emotionally and defensively on any suggestion made by the students about how to improve the structure of the class. At one point the discussion…

3 Steps Helping You to Deal With Your Own Ethnocentrism

We are all affected by ethnocentrism. We simply can’t avoid it. And it doesn’t make sense to deny it. Ethnocentrism means that when we are looking at the behavioral patterns and beliefs from another culture, we are judging them based on the standards of our own cultural conditioning. One simple example I have come across again and again are German…

How to Create Balance Between Firmness of Character and Adaptability

Are you more like the break-dancer, or are you more like the sumo-ringer? The break-dancer is flexible. He adjusts quickly to any music which is playing, and he can move his body in a large variety of ways. The sumo-ringer is firm. He can withstand any weight that is pressing on him and he has the strength of will to…

The 10 Most Important Skills Needed for Intercultural Communication

Intercultural communication is a highly complex skill that is divided into a large number of different sub-skills. While a blog post could never be enough to cover all of these sub-skills, I am trying to list the most important one’s in this article. At this point my goal is merely to draw your attention onto different aspects of skills needed…

The Top 10 Intercultural Communication Blogs

In this article, I am going to list my favorite intercultural communication blogs, those who have been the most helpful to me as somebody trying to adapt to different cultural environments. Learning how to be an effective intercultural communicator is a difficult process and, like any other skill, requires guidance from other people who have already gone through the steps…

How to Deal With Conflict in Intercultural Communication Encounters

Conflict is an ordinary part of life, and an inevitable part of the expat life. With completely different expectations, assumptions, goals, behavior strategies and more, it is inevitable that two parties involved in an intercultural communication encounter will eventually face a situation of conflict. When you are faced with conflict, what do you do? The problem here is that your…

5 Reasons Why Expats Feel Like Wanting to Return Home

Every expat  has the feeling of wanting to return home from time to time. Most times, these feelings  are only temporary. Little periods of an emotional down can be enough for us to get us to a point where we want to put a stop to our lives overseas and return home. And yet, there is also something profoundly different.…

Why All Expats Need Regular Periods of Conscious Rest

It is no secret that today’s world is characterized by long working hours, constant connectivity and high degrees of stress at all times. A lot of people struggle with disconnecting from work and being reachable, let alone creating periods of pure resting. For expatriates, this phenomenon can become an even bigger problem than for other people. With that, I do…