We were at Worldwide ERC's Global Workforce Symposium in Chicago last month, and one speaker who represents a large social media platform described the need for Mobility to really understand the diversity of their assignees’ entire life story. Mobility can only do this by asking the right questions - questions that we wouldn't usually think to ask in the workplace. For example, citing her own family, which is a multi-generational, single-parent household, she asked us to think about the implications of relocating critical talent that comes with not only
While this may not be the norm in the US, where this conference took place, multi-generational households are common in many parts of the world. How prepared are we to a) understand and b) support such an assignee from talent mobility perspective?
Another speaker shared the importance of a developing Global Mindset using an example of how he (an American) had a business colleague from China who was staying over the weekend in his city and gave all kinds of hints that she hoped he would show her around and be a “host” to her. Since this kind of request wouldn’t ordinarily come from an American, it took him several minutes to understand that this was very important to building their relationship. He then flexed his style to a great deal and spent an entire Saturday with her, establishing a sense of closeness and trust that lead to a committed
Hearing these stories, we thought to ourselves that developing awareness of our personal values and the values of others is a critical exercise that we need to do every day, in and out of the office. Learning to work with a global mindset is something we all do on the job, but it can be slow-going because it’s contingent upon the kinds of experiences and opportunities we get to work globally. When we want to fast-track our forming of new, more productive habits - ones that we all need to be successful in a culturally diverse workplace - instructor-led training or facilitated workshops can help.
Attending an international conference is one way to raise awareness and form new strategies, but professionals everywhere can fast-track their development by attending a workshop tailored to their specific needs. This is the beauty of customized learning, which can serve professionals at the granular level, to offer them the exact insights and skills they need to practice. Without a venue to exercise perspective-taking, we run the risk of forever falling into trap of, "I don't know what I don't know", and that's the place we all need to move towards to be effective on the global level.
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