Dear Readers,

CompassI cannot believe that another year has come to a close. 2012 was a year of stretching boundaries and embracing change for me and for Highroad Global Services. I spent the summer in Bangalore, India; launched our new website; finished my book on offshoring; put on two concerts with my guitar; and connected with people from around the world.

Make no mistake – those adventures came with their challenges. Along the way I got two stomach viruses in India, a tendon injury playing guitar, and experienced many bouts of frustration writing my book.

Out of the year 2012, however, came three messages that I would like to share with you:

Messages of the Year

  1. Take chances.
  2. Be present.
  3. Let go of control.

On the surface, working across cultures presents so many barriers. There are the obvious ones like language and time zones. Then there are the not-so-obvious ones like fundamental value differences and dealing with our own biases.

I invite you to consider how these three messages might help.

1.  Take chances:

  • Be brave and go sit next to that new Indian colleague who always eats alone in the office cafeteria
  • Ask your German colleague about a cultural behavior that puzzles you
  • Take a Chinese colleague up on their invitation to their home, even if you might offend them
  • Ask your American colleague to slow down when they speak; let them know you have difficulty understanding them
  • Want to learn more about your global colleagues? Check out this amazing resource: www.culturaldetective.com/cdonline

2.  Be present

  • When you attend a global conference call, shut down your e-mail and actively listen
  • Give non-native speakers of your language your full attention even when you are short on time and wish they would speak more quickly
  • Make intentional choices to connect with customers and teammates across cultures; call them when you don’t need to, or find out two new things about them on a personal level

3.  Let go of control

  • When you encounter a frustrating cross-cultural challenge, be willing to engage the ambiguity and say “I don’t know right now”
  • Expect a certain level of discomfort as part of global teamwork and practice being with that discomfort rather than trying to fix it
  • Make a mental boundary between what you can control and what you cannot, then practice responding to situations and opportunities as they arise

 

Thank You

On the Highroad, I remain utterly grateful for the people reach out to us, value our work, and engage in connection. Writing this blog for you has been an absolute joy, and I appreciate the chance to be enriched by every one of my readers.

Along with the entire Highroad team, I wish you a happy holiday season and an inspired 2013.

Enjoy the journey!

Vicki Flier Hudson

Vicki Flier Hudson

Vicki Flier Hudson, Chief Collaboration Officer for Highroad Global Services, Inc. inspires people to leverage the full power of differences. She has helped countless large-sized corporations establish successful operations across the globe and build bridges across cultures, distance, and time.

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