Press and Publications

IHRIM JournalBuilding Trust in Global Technical Teams 

By Marian Stetson-Rodriguez
Charis Intercultural Training Corp.

Global Teams are Challenged to Create Trust
Birgit, a German engineer, upon meeting her team for the first time, spends the first 10 minutes of her presentation delineating her education and professional background, plus her awards.

Mian-ze (“face”) is critical to the Chinese. It is a sign of respect. Bo’s mian-ze was damaged as she sat in the impromptu meeting with her Dutch colleagues who articulated the reasons why they felt the Chinese team’s mistakes caused the denial of approval.

Mauricio, a Colombian geologist, was pleasantly surprised when his US American manager not only spent the time to listen to Mauricio’s ideas, but delineated the next steps he would take to share Mauricio’s idea with senior management.

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IHRIM JournalIntroducing Change Across Cultures, Insights from the GLOBE Study

In Workforce Solutions Review magazine

By Marian Stetson-Rodriguez
Charis Intercultural Training Corp.

Global companies face many challenges when introducing change to achieve their strategies, and create collaboration with shared systems across worldwide operations. While it is human nature to resist change, the degree to which change is resisted and the manner to overcome resistance can be culture-specific. This article will draw upon the most recent and comprehensive research on global leadership and cultures, the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) Study, compare cultures in the construct that deals with change – Uncertainty Avoidance (UA), and give specific applications to introducing change in policies, staffing, and innovation.

GLOBE identified nine culture constructs, with UA addressing how cultures approach change. GLOBE defines Uncertainty Avoidance as “the extent to which members of societies seek orderliness, consistency, structure, formalized procedures, and laws to cover situations in their daily lives.”  By examining the culture construct of Uncertainty Avoidance, change agents can tailor their approaches to effectively introduce and manage change.

This research states that cultures that are high in uncertainty avoidance (UA) show more resistance to change, while cultures that are more uncertainty tolerant (Low UA) show less resistance to change. With rigorous research, the GLOBE community of scholars measured UA practices or “what is” for 62 cultures (see Table 1). These are useful to frame strategies for introducing change in various countries.

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San Francisco Chronicle
Money talks, so builders listen to the experts 

They learn that Chinese and Asian Indian home buyers prize harmony over hard sell. Shake hands gently. Make minimal eye contact. And never, ever say, “No.” What could entice the average American to do business this way?

Money, of course. And so a group of cultural experts from Pleasanton adeptly wielded that weapon at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference in San Francisco this week at “Embracing the Buying Power of Ethnic Homebuyers,” a seminar about building homes and business with the Chinese and with Asian Indians… (read more)

forbesmagazineForbes MagazineYou Say Tomato

In dealing with foreigners, Americans sometimes come across as intrusive, manipulative and garrulous. This can get partnerships off to a bad start.In negotiating with foreign business people, small things matter. During seemingly endless negotiations with the Japanese Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI), Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing’s (nyse: MMM – news – people) (3M) Harry Heltzer and a few of his colleagues… (read more)

workforce_management_coverworkforce_managementIntel’s Internal Approach

Unlike other large corporations such as Procter & Gamble and IBM that are sending willing employees to foreign language training programs at outside schools on a one-by-one basis, Intel is testing the waters of developing a more comprehensive course in-house. Despite the popular thinking that foreign-language training for Americans is expensive and unnecessary because… (read more)

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Mountain View Masala

High-tech firms are turning to Indian cultural training to boost performance.

Last August, Intel software manager Connie Martin arrived for work and received a new identity. She was handed some fake rupees and a nametag that read “Rekha Gupta,” and was told that she now hailed from a northern Indian trading family. For the next eight hours, she hit the books, studying the subtle dietary differences between Jainism and Hinduism, Indian political history, and Bollywood movies. At the end of the day, she was given a test on it all, which she aced. “I can even tell you how things changed under British rule in the 1800s,” she says… (read more)

sanjosemercuryThe culture of home sales

Builders and real estate agents get lessons in diversity

Manoj Mathai’s hunt for his first house could be a lesson to Silicon Valley real estate professionals.A home must have certain qualities to make the native of India happy:
The front door must face east, because good fortune comes from a rising sun. The master bedroom should be in the southeast corner of the home, because many Indians believe that’s where wealth resides. The kitchen needs to be spacious and well-ventilated to accommodate many family gatherings featuring homemade masala, a pungent blend of spices… (read more)

Charis is a Pioneer in Globalization of Business

When the Tri-Valley’s ground-breaking businesses are discussed, it’s usually the area’s high-tech firms that are mentioned. There’s another industry which has a pioneer in the park, however, and that industry is intercultural consulting.|

“I started in this business 20 years ago and people would ask me, ‘What do you do? Translations?,'” explains Marian Stetson-Rodriguez, founder and president of Charis Intercultural Training Corp. “Now there are master’s degree programs in intercultural communication at a number of universities, but it’s still an emerging field.”

The idea behind intercultural communication is to recognize behaviors, instilled by living in a particular culture, that can be misinterpreted when communicating to someone outside that…
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