If you are having trouble viewing this email, please click here.
 
   
  THE CULTURAL SYNERGIST
ISSUE 50
September
2015
 
I am currently in London having just attended the wedding of my nephew-in- law, Alexander. Alexander is of Scottish Norwegian decent, and his new wife Constance is German. I wanted to share some reflections about this European Union experience.

The pre-wedding gathering on Friday night included a dinner of fish and chips and beer – very British! The post-wedding lunch on Sunday included special German sausage brought all the way from Germany, along with pretzels, sauerkraut and pear schnapps – very German!  

The congregation consisted of people from 20 nationalities of various age groups. The wedding ceremony was held at the Danish Church in Regents Park, London. The vicar happened to be Norwegian and throughout the service he interjected some of his native language.  The ceremony included a blending of German, Norwegian and English. Hymns were an even mix of German and English, with most people making an effort to sing along to both. The readings were also a combination of the different languages that were represented, while the wedding reception again had a blend of different European traditions.  

It made me appreciate how inclusive it was to mix and match the traditions, the effort required to ensure it was done well; and importantly the willingness of everyone to participate. It reminded me of my own wedding day where we mixed and matched English and Indian traditions. It added to the richness of the happy day. 

These were both successful days in part because of the full participation of the guests who did make the effort to engage in culturally unfamiliar traditions. It also provided a great opportunity for people to engage in conversations about why different customs are performed and their significance.  It became a true exchange of cultural knowledge and understanding between people of all ages and nationalities.  

A reasonable level of openness and flexibility when exposing ourselves to new experiences is so important for bridging cultures.  How we engage in these new experiences has such a profound impact on the outcomes; whether it be a wedding, getting the most from your overseas travel or working in cross border teams.  It requires an initial level of awareness that differences exist and a willingness to engage in new situations and experiences.   

This wedding was a true illustration of how when people make the effort to bridge cultural differences the positive outcomes that can be achieved.  While I acknowledge that there is a big difference between a social occasion such as a wedding as opposed to a work environment, where people are expected to work successfully in cross border teams, the foundational prerequisites are still the same – openness, flexibility, awareness and adaptability.


I was a guest speaker this month at the Australian Human Resource Institute Conference and was interviewed for the Human Resource Magazine.  If you would like to read the article please click here.

Please click here if you would like to read or follow our Cultural Intelligence Blog



Best Wishes
Tom Verghese

LinkedIn Share Button
     Twitter Tweet Button

Send to Friend
 
  European Union Wedding

 
 












 

























       

 

Gauthier draws on her experience as a poetic translator and a cross-cultural leadership expert. Savoir-relier roughly translates to relational intelligence.  Savoir-relier is the art of connecting people together and maintaining high-quality relationships, as well as linking ideas and differences to create meaning.

This book contains an effective framework for building trustworthy, lasting relationships to enable leaders to work across cultural differences and navigate complex systems.

It is written with a distinct French voice and a twist of American culture.  It connects views and experiences across the European and North American continents, while making global diversity a core component of the approach. It encourages intuitive, human approaches to business, arguing that awareness, attention, observation, empathy and curiosity enhance our capacity to innovate and help us to leverage the world around us. 

 
 
  RECOMMENDED BOOK:
"
Leading with Sense: The Intuitive Power of Savoir-Relier" By Valerie Gauthier 2014
 
 
   
   
       
     
 
RESOURCES

'Raising Your Cultural IQ - DVD and CD

'Raising Your Cultural IQ' explores the issues around culture, the challenges that culture can pose and provides some great strategies on how to leverage on cultural differences and similarities.

 

'The Invisible Elephant - Exploring Cultural Awareness'
2nd Edition by Tom Verghese

Many aspects of culture are invisible, yet culture has an enormous impact on our lives. Like an Invisible Elephant, if ignored these aspects can lead to misunderstanding, stress and conflict. Alternatively, if attention is given to the Invisible Elephant, it can enhance productivity, improve teamwork and create more joy in our lives.

Book testimonial by Asma Ghabshi
Learning And Development Manager, Shell Oman:

"The Invisible Elephant made my perspective of my national culture in comparison to my personal culture more visible. It has given me a deep insight into dealing with people of different cultural backgrounds."


'Pillars of Growth - Strategies for Leading Sustainable Growth' - Book by Tom Verghese, Kerry Larkan, Steven Howard and Brad Tonini
Written with the business leaders and entrepreneurs of Asia in mind, 'Pillars of Growth' provides a road map to assist you in thinking through four critical concerns that impact the sustainable growth of every business.

Visit our store here

 

 
 
 
 

ABOUT CULTURAL SYNERGIES

Cultural Synergies' mission is to improve individual and organisational performance when interacting with people across distance, culture and time.

Take advantage of our years of international experience. All our services are tailored to individual client situations.

Visit our website www.culturalsynergies.com
for more information.
Phone: +61 3 9909 7456
Mobile: +61 (0) 419 999 292
Fax: +61 3 9909 7457
Email: [email protected]

 

PRIVACY POLICY

You are receiving this email from Cultural Synergies because we have met and we hope that you find this newsletter useful. To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, please add my email address to your address book today.

Cultural Synergies respects your right to privacy. We never share, rent, or sell your name or email to anyone else. Your privacy is safe with us.