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Expatriate CEOs: How do they adapt to the culture of their new country?

Do you have a professional mobility project in Australia? Are you wondering what best practices you need to know to facilitate your integration, both personally and professionally? To support you in this transition, we asked Sabrina Teller, Founder through cultureA consulting firm that helps expatriate executives adapt to the culture of their new country.

Cultural Integration: A Challenge for Expatriate CEOs

Administrative procedures, job search, housing search, language barrier… Any expatriate project involves many challenges related to settling in a new country and adapting to the local culture. As an expat manager, there is also a need for that Adapting to administrative culture Destination country-specific occupational codes, as explained by Sabrina Teller, herself an Australian expat with over 20 years of international career:

“On a professional level, many challenges can arise during expatriation. First of all, you have to learn to manage, express yourself and address others in another language. An expatriate CEO must also adapt to a completely new position, often with a level of responsibility and a team.

Between Australia and France, there is also Many cultural and administrative differences This is expected before departure. First of all, hierarchical symbols are very different. In Australia the hierarchy is more horizontal than in France. The manager and the employees are placed on an equal footing and the line manager establishes a genuine relationship of trust with his teams. Methods of communication also differ greatly between the two countries: in Australia, exchanges are direct, honest, matter-of-fact, clear and direct, regardless of hierarchical level (subordinates do not hesitate to voice their potential disagreement). Finally, the decision is made as a team: each party participates and is invited to express themselves. »

Keys to adapting to the local culture as an expat CEO

As Sabrina reminds us, alienation can be represented as a curve divided into several distinct stages: “honeymoon” phaseWhich translates into enthusiasm and enthusiasm to discover the new environment; stage of culture shock, which manifests itself in a certain amount of unease and frustration with cultural differences. then, integration stage and assimilation, whereby expatriates become increasingly acclimated to the local culture, learn local cultural norms, and expand their social circle.

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To quickly adapt to the administrative culture of the host country, you have to develop what is called a “cultural quotient”, as Sabrina explains to us:

“It is the cultural quotient, or QC, that will allow the expatriate to adapt to the situation in a new cultural context. Cultural intelligence rests on three pillars:

  • personal pronoun: To develop openness and discover another culture, one must first understand the cultural personality, values, beliefs, and preferences in terms of ways of working and communicating.
  • sympathy Observe situations without judgment or bias and fully understand different behaviors. Active listening is also very important for decoding exchanges. I also recommend paraphrasing information to avoid misunderstandings, taking your time before responding, and realizing that there are different approaches to the process.
  • Jurisdiction: You must also develop your managerial adaptability and flexibility to adapt to different cultural situations. »

Expatriate Executives, Facilitate your cultural immersion in Australia with Cross Culture!

Whatever the country, good cultural integration is a sine qua non for successful expatriation and finding a job. If this stage of adaptation to the local culture is not properly anticipated, many pitfalls may appear: frustration, tensions within the team, disengagement, low employee motivation, etc.

To secure your cultural integration as an expat executive in Australia, Sabrina Teller brings you, Cross Culture Personal assistance :

“I have always been fascinated by different cultures. After studying international business, I worked for twenty years as an export manager with multicultural teams, in France, England, then Australia, where I have been an expat since 2002. During this expatriation, I became aware of the cultural divide with France and that is it. The reason why I chose to become a multicultural counselor in 2019.

With Cross Culture, I support expats in their professional integration in the host country. I help them understand different local cultures and management styles, communicate with teams, manage projects effectively and get them ready as quickly as possible. »

You can thus benefit, with Cross Culture, from Personal training programmesAdapted to your needs and 100% remotely:

  • Intercultural training A day or half day with global topics for international mobility or management in Australia.
  • Personal follow-up sessions In short, practical formats, such as the 3-hour individual programme ‘Lifeline for expatriates’Which aims to better understand the cultural differences at work, identify their cultural characteristics and identify management techniques and leadership styles compatible with the culture of the host country.
  • Program dedicated to multicultural teams to help them collaborate more effectively.
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With a dedicated digital platform, you are supported in creating your own cultural profile. This tool allows you to clearly visualize cultural similarities and differences with the host country and anticipate problems with expats in the future.

“This support allows expatriate executives to get to know each other better, anticipate different scenarios, quietly embrace expatriates, and develop their resilience and long-term adaptability,” adds Sabrina Teller, founder of Cross Culture.

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