10 Steps for Dealing with Different Cultures: Page 2

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9. Ask each person how they would like to be addressed and treated. Master the correct pronunciation and spelling of the names of people you work with. Talk to them about their expectations and how you can respect their position and the value they add.

10. Assume nothing―a smile and handshake are not necessarily an agreement, “yes” can mean “no”, unsmiling may not mean unfriendly, silence may not mean disagreement. Ask questions and be ready to be flexible. It is much easier to change your own behaviors than influence someone else’s.

Editor's note: 3,4,5 & 6 are Based on the work of Geert Hofstede who identifies five dimensions along which national cultures differ.

Donnie MacNicol is director of management consultancy Team Animation and Chair of the Association for Project Management People Specific Interest Group. He can be reached at donnie@teamanimation.co.uk.

Paul Saunders is director of One Step Beyond, a cross-cultural training and consulting organization. He can be reached at paul.saunders@osbconsultingandtraining.com.

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Tags: Project Management Tools, Project Leadership, Cross cultural

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