Why Watching Cultural Performances Is More Important Than You Thought

I must admit that I am not really the type who often goes to cultural events like dances, theater and so on. Maybe this will change now. The reason why I did not appreciate it very much was that I saw it more as pure entertainment, rather than something that I could learn from. But when I went to a performance of…

Why Your Stereotypes Can Literally Kill You And Make You Miserable

What do you think about the elderly? Reflect on  this  for a moment. What did it make you feel when you read these words commonly associated with aging? Did you nod your head? Or were you enraged by what you saw? The sad thing here is: no matter what your answer to these questions was, it is still possible that you have…

The Expat Personality: What type of person adjusts well to culture?

Do you think that you are doing a good job adjusting to your host culture? Not everybody is a perfect fit for a stressful job like living abroad. Different cultural norms leave us in many situations in which we don’t know how to act. They confuse us and make us feel stressed out. The stress is a result of the…

Cultural Learning: It’s Time to Experience, Reflect, and Experiment, NOW!

One of my American friends who teaches in Japan once told me how frustrated he was about the performance of his class, which was far below average at his school. He told me that his students simply were not motivated. However, unlike many other people, he did not seek the fault with his students. He set out to understand what…

Cultural Adaption and It’s Setbacks: When Expats Fall on Their Asses

“How much is the parrot” a woman asked. “Wow, ma’m,” uttered the owner, “this is a very expensive parrot, because he speaks both Spanish and English.” “Oh really? Can you get him to speak in both languages?” “Sure you can. Look, it’s quite simple: If you pull the left leg he speaks English.” And he pulled the parrot’s let leg.…

Self-Awareness is the Key to Figuring Out your Personal Values and those of Others

Today it somehow made click for me. When I was talking with one of my acquaintances, she explained to my why she had only one hour time to get lunch with me in every detail you could imagine. She went round and round and round, but my question only was how much time she had so that I could plan…

How to Adapt To Your Environment Without Loosing Yourself

Eminem isn’t exactly famous for his intellectual insights, but with this statement he comes very near to what I want to express in this post: your self is much more dependent on other people than you would have ever imagined.  In western cultures, we raise our children to express themselves and to strive towards their goals. In short: we value…

What Emotional Style Is And Why It Makes You Look Good Even Far From Home

Going abroad can be hard on your emotions. All the loneliness, home-sickness, strangeness, confusion. It can simply overwhelm you. One friend of mine even went back home after just one(!) week. It then comes to no surprise that companies select their expatriates carefully and often provide them with extensive training. However, this training can not do much to prepare you…

The Classic Match-Up: Diverse- VS. Homogeneous Work Groups

It is a classic problem and until now it’s unresolved. The question what teams work better: diverse teams or homogeneous one’s. Oh man, all these dilemmas we face…. Creativity vs. performance. Intra-group Conflict vs. Groupthink. Fresh Ideas vs. Real Results and so on… But what if we wouldn’t have to face these dilemmas anymore? What if we could have everything?…