From just a small amount of personal research, one can learn invaluable lessons and reminders from the work that has been done in the cultural sciences, which will serve you on your journey to international destinations. Not only that, but they can help you navigate the tricky waters of cultural clashes in your own backyard!
This TEDxBergen Talk by Pellegrino Riccardi, at 20 minutes long, provides a great introduction to Cross-Cultural Communication for those who have never academically encountered the subject before.
Think something as simple as parking is the same all around the world? Not so. Check out lines at the supermarket? Even more complicated.
Riccardi, who is both British and Italian, compares the vast differences between those cultures and that of his current home in Norway. He is truly a global citizen, who has had to encounter, understand, and adapt to new customs, unspoken norms, and all the other complex intricacies encompassing diverse traditions and identities in his work as an international cross-cultural expert.
An expressive Italian, Riccardi learned to ‘tone it down a notch’, or be a bit calmer when communicating with partners and friends in his new home of Norway. Why? It simply works out better for everyone.
Anyone who has been to a new country is familiar with the common culture shock that ensues. His advice? Stay curious about other cultures. As you travel, and no doubt become influenced by customs, behaviors, beliefs and practices outside the realm of your own culture, combine the best of them.
Enjoy the TED Talk and let me know what you think in the comments below! What has your experience been with cross-cultural communication?