Rapport Building in a Multicultural Environment
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Working overseas necessitates working alongside colleagues who come from different backgrounds and cultures. Coming into a workplace like this is a bit like coming into a roundabout, you have to know where the other person is coming from, as well as to know when to give way. Rapport building in a multicultural environment is not that hard, and we have some simple pointers for you.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mind your manners</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Imagine if you have two colleagues and, in the middle of a conversation with you, they talk amongst themselves in a language that only they can understand. How would you feel? </span><a href="http://mtstcil.org/skills/manners-test.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Manners</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is not just about politeness and courtesy, it’s also the consideration for others. As The Golden Rule said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bring joy with you</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Would you rather be the coworker who’s always the wet blanket, or the coworker that others look forward to seeing? I have a coworker that I’ve dubbed <a href="https://blog.trueprofile.io/stay-positive-live-overseas/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mr. Congeniality</a>. He greets each of us good morning with a smile, no matter what his mood is that day. You don’t need to joke around and set up pranks to get people to like you. Simply acknowledging them and giving them a smile is enough for most people.</span></p> <figure class="wp-block-image alignnone size-large wp-image-5233 size-full"><img loading="lazy" width="1024" height="682" src="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2021/03/pexels-photo-1015568-1024x682.jpg" alt="Rapport Building in a Multicultural Environment" class="wp-image-9944" title="Rapport Building in a Multicultural Environment" srcset="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2021/03/pexels-photo-1015568-1024x682.jpg 1024w, https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2021/03/pexels-photo-1015568-300x200.jpg 300w, https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2021/03/pexels-photo-1015568-768x512.jpg 768w, https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2021/03/pexels-photo-1015568-1200x800.jpg 1200w, https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2021/03/pexels-photo-1015568.jpg 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /><figcaption>As they say, honey attracts more bees than vinegar.</figcaption></figure> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Talk to people</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Talking to people can be as simple as asking them a question about themselves and listening. Not listening with an attempt to rebut and counter with your own experience, but hearing what they want to say. An interest in their country and their way of life can go a long way towards building rapport. A great conversationalist is actually a good listener.</span></p> <h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Observe and be sensitive</span></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A new hire will always land in an alien environment. It’s kind of like being dropped in the middle of the ocean and you have to observe first if there are sharks, if they’re just friendly whale sharks or the type to <a href="https://blog.trueprofile.io/conflict-workplace/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">eat you alive</a>. More so in a multicultural environment where a shake of the head may mean a yes when you thought it was a no. Where a thumbs up is actually an “up yours” and is considered rude. Ultimately, being observant and sensitive to cultural nuances is a no-brainer if you want to build rapport.</span></p>