About This Weeks Guest
Neil moved to Chennai in January 2010 with his wife and four suitcases. He prepared by reading a lot of good books and meeting a lot of knowledgeable people. However, nothing could have prepared him for what he experienced trying to start his own business and then working with a mid-sized family-owned Indian company. Every time that he thought India would finally get the best of him, he was able to add a layer of his understanding of India. His goal is to provide the most useful, helpful, insightful, and accurate information available on India.
His 3 tips to become more culturally competent are:
- Ask “Why” if there is something happening around you that you don’t understand. Even if what you see, hear or experience looks or sounds weird, don’t hesitate to ask what is going on.
- Dive deep(er) into the local culture if you’re staying for more than a year in another place. Don’t only stick to the expat circles and/or the lunches in five-star hotels. Meet local people, get into their homes and eat food together.
- Consider that someone else’s culture might be better than yours in their country. E.g. Leadership in India is more paternalistic. Americans can look at this and judge this negatively. But in a country like India, this style of management can be very functional. Be humble that their ways of working work for them.
Links that are mentioned in this episode:
- Website: http://learningindia.in
- Website: http://madrasmediamarketing.com
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/neilandindia
Build Your Cultural Competence
In the Culture Matters podcast, we interview real people with real stories.
Every other week there is a guest with broad international experience and lots of cultural insights. I interview real people with real stories.
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In the article don’t business in India we talk more about this subject. You can read it here.