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ET-042: A Leaders’ need for becoming culturally senstive and aware

With Mr. Liu Liu

ET-042: A conversation with Liu Liu

and your host Wayne Brown on April 11, 2023

Episode notes: A conversation with Liu Liu

Hello and welcome to Episode 42. I’m Wayne Brown and we are delighted that you could join us on The ET Project. This podcast is for Executive Talent all over the world who we’re affectionately referred to as Team ET.

Today we’re visiting Mr. Liu Liu, a colleague based in a small township of Horsham, some 30 kilometers southwest of London.

Liu is an ICF-certified cross-cultural intelligence coach, a project manager, mentor, trainer, and facilitator. His cross-cultural management journey started when he was working as a foreign affairs secretary in a University Language Center in the southwest of China.

This is a highly important topic that all leaders are increasingly facing, through the application of virtual teams, located globally. With more diverse teams established inside one operation and with more people opting for freelance work that knows no boundaries.

Being able to understand your colleague that lives on the other side of the planet, speaks a different native language and lives in a culture 180 degrees the opposite to your own.

Join us today ET as we chat, cross-cultural communication, under the episode title of, A Leader’s Need for Becoming Culturally Sensitive and Aware.

Here is an extract from our conversation as we start to get into it…

“…The reason why I call it cross-cultural intelligence coaching is because there are no shortage of books and materials about cross-culture, from tourist type of books to other more depth scholarship research. But the challenge for our everyday people, and particularly people in management, is you struggle to apply to… You read a good book on culture, on cross-culture, and then you go back to your day-to-day management delivery and project, these two don’t match. You don’t know how to actually match it up to apply those layer of culture onto your management day-to-day life. So that’s where I came in based on my own experience.…”

Today’s Guest: MR. LIU LIU

Liu now has more than two decades of experience and specialized in helping international organizations and businesses to improve communications and cooperation among staff for better individual and team performance. He coaches managers and leaders working across cultural contexts to build trust, communicate effectively and deliver results.

He also coaches people on management, leadership and career development. Liu is someone who helps you to imagine a greater possibility for yourself and supports you in achieving it. As a senior manager in an international relief and development organization, he’s worked with people in over 30 countries and uses coaching as an approach to manage cross-country teams and complex projects that deliver results and impact.

As an experienced trainer and facilitator Liu has delivered training on management related and other subjects in over 30 countries. With a cross-country marriage, developing a career on a second country, and working in an organization that has a reach of 50 countries, Liu understands the importance and the pitfalls of working cross-culturally and developing a career in an unfamiliar environment.

He’s an executive contributor to the Brand’s Magazine and holds a BA with honors in International Studies, and a Master of Science in development management.

Final words from Liu:

“I think like you say, we can talk for hours because this is just such an important issue for managers and leaders today. If we look at our career, even my own, when you progress on your career, you become manager, become leader, you are given a lot of trainings about management issue, financial management, HR, and yeah, this and that.

But none of them relates to cross-cultural intelligence.

So that’s why only recently I’m speaking to our HR people and some other HR people in different organizations, they said, “Well, what you are doing is so needed because we are having constantly have to mediate the problems actually cause exactly by that. And the people hurt, people leave. But if only we have this kind of in cross-cultural intelligence, we would reduce a lot of those.

“That’s why… Actually, yeah, my own programs used to train our own staff in the organization as well. So, yeah. And some other people coming to me. I really would really encourage people to take intentional steps to learn about it, how to handle it, don’t just assume.”

[music]

0:00:04.9 Wayne Brown: Hello and welcome to Episode 42. I’m Wayne Brown and we are delighted that you could join us on The ET Project. This podcast is for Executive Talent all over the world who we’re affectionately referred to as Team ET. Today we’re visiting Mr. Liu Liu, a colleague based in a small township of Horsham, some 30 kilometers southwest of London. Liu is an ICF-certified cross-cultural intelligence coach, a project manager, mentor, trainer, and facilitator. His cross-cultural management journey started when he was working as a foreign affairs secretary in a University Language Center in the southwest of China. Liu now has more than two decades of experience, and specialized in helping international organizations and businesses to improve communications and cooperation among staff for better individual and team performance. He coaches managers and leaders working across cultural contexts to build trust, communicate effectively and deliver results.

0:01:09.3 WB: He also coaches people on management, leadership and career development. Liu is someone who helps you to imagine a greater possibility for yourself and supports you in achieving it. As a senior manager in an international relief and development organization, he’s worked with people in over 30 countries and uses coaching as an approach to manage cross-country teams and complex projects that deliver results and impact. He’s also an experienced trainer and facilitator who’s delivered training on management related and other subjects in over 30 countries. With a cross-country marriage, developing a career on a second country, and working in an organization that has a reach of 50 countries, Liu understands the importance and the pitfalls of working cross-culturally and developing a career in an unfamiliar environment. He’s an executive contributor to the BranD’s Magazine and holds a BA with honors in International Studies, and a Master’s of Science in development management. Join us today ET as we chat, cross-cultural communication, under the episode title of, A Leader’s Need for Becoming Culturally Sensitive and Aware.

0:02:27.1 Speaker 2: Welcome to The ET Project, a podcast for those executive talents determined to release their true potential and create an impact. Join our veteran coach and mentor Wayne Brown as we unpack an exciting future together.

0:02:40.8 WB: All right. Welcome Team ET, welcome to another week. And today we’re back over in the UK a little bit south of London in the township of Horsham, and our special guest today is Mr. Liu Liu. Welcome to the ET Project. Great to have you on the show.

0:03:03.0 Mr. Liu Liu: Well, thank you. And thank you for having me on the show. And I’m delighted to be part of this program.

0:03:09.2 WB: As our viewers can probably pick up from your accent, you’re not British, and they may have a further clue by my stumbling over your pronunciation of your names. I’m sitting in Shanghai at the moment, and you come from China as well. So maybe introduce a little bit about who you are and your background.

0:03:29.5 LL: Sure. So like Wayne alluded to, so and I am, I like to call that I’m made in China, like many other things these days. I grew up in this city called Kunming in Yunnan province. So if you’re not familiar with China, look at the map. The China map looks like a big chicken. And the head is heading towards the east and connecting with Korean where the wing is now Shanghai is like the chicken’s tummy. So I always say that I come from the best part of the chicken, the chicken’s bottom [laughter] the southwest province, which the province borders with Myanmar and Vietnam. And I come from the capital city of Kunming.

0:04:16.5 WB: And I was just mentioning that I was there for almost two weeks just recently and for those that don’t know, Kunming, it’s the capital flower city of China. So it’s where all the floral purchases pretty much around China, and I guess exported out of China as well.

0:04:37.4 LL: That’s right. That’s right. It’s one of the biggest industries for Kunming and for the province. And yeah, and in terms of how I got to the UK, so it’s really a love story like many love stories. So I was working in the university in the Yunnan University at the time over 20 odd years back. And we have a language center where we teach international students from over 100 countries Chinese. I was the foreign affairs secretary of that center on the management side and where I met my wife, Allison, and she came with a team from the UK to study and work there for three years. So that’s how we met each other, got married and moved to the UK.

0:05:34.3 WB: You moved directly to Horsham, or did you move somewhere else?

0:05:37.9 LL: That’s right. That’s right. Horsham is where Allison grew up, it’s her hometown. So it’s in the southeast of England in this county called West of Sussex. So it’s quite a historical market town. So what is unique about Horsham is actually, it sits halfway between London and the coastal city of Brighton. So in the Asian Times, that’s the halfway place provide a place to rest and to recharge. So the word Horsham actually comes from old Roman word, Horsham. It’s about, I think the meaning is about where the horse get recharged and rested. So it’s quite a nice town and I really like it because in many of the towns in the UK or in the West, you have a high street, but in Horsham you have a town center, that’s where the east street, south street, west street will come together, have quite a hub in a town center and all the activities happening and markets every weekend. So lovely place to live in.

0:06:45.4 WB: Yeah. I’ve seen the pictures. I can’t say though, I’ve visited the town itself, but I know the area in general and it is a beautiful countryside location. So I can well imagine as the horses come up from Brighton or down from London, the need to have some location to park and rest and re-nourish. Being in the UK, one of the things that’s been very obvious in the last 12 months or so is the politics. How are you coping with the British politics and the way of the Western world versus what you are used to in China?

0:07:26.4 LL: That’s an interesting subject because I think the headline of media tend to focus on the head figures of the politicians. But in any case, by the large, I think it will… We look at the UK, all the changes of the head of states in the past few months or past six months, very drastic changes. But what is amazing by the systems are actually the large group of the civil servants, they actually kept the system going and running. And there’s no chaos. And I have to say, I marvel this system because I often think if any of this kind of drastic changes happened in other parts of the countries in the world, it’s bound to be chaotic. And well, when it happen in UK, people will just have a moan and yeah, have a complaint and life goes on. And then the smooth transition of the changeover of the head of states, I have to say, I marvel that system. Yeah.

0:08:29.1 WB: I’ve just finished watching a short series with “Harry & Meghan” out of the royal family and it’s very interesting to watch the politics that sit behind the royal facade. How are you finding it? Do you hear much about it or do you follow it at all?

0:08:48.4 LL: Yes, broadly I’m following the storyline of… Well, I think my personal view is that unfortunately the royal household and in household, it’s family unit. But because who they are, the family story has been kind of both exposed and exemplorated by the media and put on a lot of the spin from different angles, so made it quite unfortunate event. I think people are entitled to their opinions. I think the opinions, broadly speaking, are divided both in the UK and even in Europe when we traveled to the Netherland last year. And yeah, people are quite divided by them. Who’s in the right, who’s in the wrong, but I think like many, this Chinese saying that the best officials couldn’t make the best judge of the family affairs, I think that applies to this case as well.

0:09:51.8 WB: Yeah. I don’t envy anyone in that much of a spotlight and trying to live their life. It must be extremely difficult. Anything occurring in your life or around the world that’s got you excited at the moment?

0:10:07.4 LL: Well, I think what I’m really excited at the moment is to get tractions of my coaching practice and to really gain momentum to get to meet people around the world. I am working with people around the world in my other job already, but this is opening a new chapter in my life. It’s different group, different talents all around the world like yourself and some others. Yeah, I’m really excited every day, every week I get to meet new people and talk to them about what I do and connect with like-minded people, that’s just exciting. It’s a new chapter opening in my life.

0:10:49.5 WB: For the listeners, I’ll explain now why I was asking the questions I was asking, because Liu is a cross-cultural intelligence coach, and so I was interested just to listen to your opinions about different cultural aspects and how you are coping with them yourself living in a foreign country from where you grew up. So I think it’s really insightful and interesting to be able to listen to how other people see things that we sort of have grown up with and take for granted to some extent. So that was the reason for some of those questions I asked that may have seemed a little bit strange to our listener base, but I think it’ll become clearer as we move in to talk more about what you’re actually doing. Before we get into our topics, I’d like to spend a little bit of time just to reflect on your career and see whether we can highlight or if you already understand, was there a specific pivotal moment in your career where it really led you in this direction to being a cross-cultural intelligence coach?

0:11:55.9 LL: I think, looking at my career or in my life in general, there are few, you say pivotal points or junctions really related to me being somebody who walked into this cross-cultural life intentionally. So because all started with choosing my wife as British lady. So the pivotal point, the first one is actually when I moved to the UK, I was in the university in China in a management position, quite comfortable in my 20s. And then when I moved into UK, the whole thing, nothing matters anymore because as an immigrant, what you have gained, what you had before, it doesn’t count. So that was a low of my career, if you like. But then being a Chinese, I wasn’t kind of sulking myself thinking, “Oh, what’s happening? Why?” And all that. The Chinese way of facing the challenge is actually, “This is a new reality. How can I get up from here?” So then I started with the organization I’m working in today in the post room, and many people don’t believe that now because I’m in a senior management position. I started in the post room as immigrant. So this is my low. And then as I build my career step by step.

0:13:29.8 LL: And then, I was also studying with the university, Open University. It’s quite famous in the UK. So because that allows you to study while you are working. So I studied for 16 years with Open University to get my degree, another degree because whatever you had in china doesn’t count anymore. I got another degree, another master’s. And then yeah. So another pivotal point is that I think five, six years back I was the program advisor for West Africa region. And then I was actually asked to lead the global initiative, or we call that a priority for the organization on environmental and economic sustainability. That was a pivotal moment because the message was quite clear saying that, because what I have done so far, I think the leadership team, the executive team wanted me to lead this.

0:14:33.5 LL: So one of the three priorities in the organization. Yeah, I was delighted. So as I moved forward, made this happen, and then it turned out actually it’s one of the best performing initiatives among the three of them. And many of the management models I used and it’s just worked wonderfully. But more important is the fact my cross-cultural background allowed me to operate very smoothly between the so-called Anglo-Saxon culture and the rest of the world culture. So I switched between these two quite well and allowed me to really deliver what I’m asked to do. Yeah. So that’s my pivotal moment, the low and the high.

0:15:27.3 WB: But it’s a perfect segue into the main body of our discussion today around this cross-cultural landscape, for want of a better word. I’m wondering, there’s obviously a number of areas that we could talk about when it comes to the differences between cultures. When you look at your own practice in terms of cross-cultural intelligence coaching, what is it that really jumps out for you that people need your support with?

0:16:03.7 LL: The reason why I call it cross-cultural intelligence coaching is because there are no shortage of books and materials about cross-culture, from tourist type of books to other more depth scholarship research. But the challenge for our everyday people, and particularly people in management, is you struggle to apply to… You read a good book on culture, on cross-culture, and then you go back to your day-to-day management delivery and project, these two don’t match. You don’t know how to actually match it up to apply those layer of culture onto your management day-to-day life. So that’s where I came in based on my own experience. And it all came a few years back. People asked me that, “How did you do it?” It’s my boss actually said, several bosses said to me, “How did you do it?” That forced me to externalize what I know, what I consider as not natural, but kind of understood by myself. Then I put it down and put it in the program to really want to benefit my colleagues and others. So this is where it’s coming from, is to help people to apply the cultural intelligence into their day-to-day management work.

0:17:34.6 WB: So I can imagine that there’s quite a number of specific areas that jump out from time to time. And one of those is probably around communication. It’s going to be a very broad topic of course, because of language, because of body language, because of the whole raft of different communication elements. But I know you talk about formal versus informal communication. So I wonder if you could share a little bit about how that plays out when you’re with your clients or what it is you look at in that.

0:18:13.1 LL: Absolutely. So I think, when we are working now with European, American, Anglo-Saxon based culture, efficiency is key. That when it comes to communication, like the way I have been communicating with you, short and precise, to the points.

0:18:32.3 WB: Yes.

0:18:33.0 LL: The time, place and all the essential information, just a, “Hi, Wayne.” “Hi, Liu Liu.” But at workplace, when I am communicating with our colleagues and clients in Africa, in Asia, in Middle East, they are still of a culture of very hierarchical and very formal. So I need to really switch, need to be careful when I write an email, I need to write in a very still formal way. The way that you probably see it in the old way of writing in England. I would say, Dear sir, Dear madam and the greetings from England and how are you? How is your family? So on, so forth, so that people feel they are respected.

0:19:21.6 WB: Right.

0:19:22.5 LL: So if I just write a very short and concise message to them, they will feel offended. And in fact, our colleagues complained about the way my English counterparts wrote to them to say, “How rude? I don’t know this guy. How can you just ask me for X, Y, and Z? I don’t know you.” So this is their communication. And when it comes to face to face, when we go to any meeting, if I have a catch up meeting with my European, American counterparts, we can talk a lot of things in half an hour. Like last week I had a meeting with a lady from a different generation. A young lady, younger than me, we never met, we just dive straight into the Excel sheet and talk about the nitty-gritty details. But that can’t happen with some other culture. So when I have a catch up with my colleagues, say West Africa and chat, I’ll spend good 10-15 minutes just to greet each other asking each other’s family and all that. And there they can really frustrate people from Anglo-Saxon country and culture. They think, “What am I doing? You’re wasting my time.” But all these are so essential. When you put into the context without doing that, you won’t have a relationship to conduct business part later on.

0:20:54.6 WB: So as I’m listening to your explanation, and the fact that I’m sitting in China at the moment, China’s culture is very much about building relationships, right? It’s very… Before you do business, you need to have that relationship. And then I was also thinking about my experience working in Germany. The written communication is somewhat formal. So they will start their written communication, “Dear Wayne” or “Dear Mr. Brown.” So it’s still that very formal approach. And if we move to the broader Western culture and I guess in the east as well, the social media method of communicating is very different now. So you use emojis, you use slang, you use very abbreviated wording. So I can really sense some of the challenges that you’re mentioning. You also talk about time management and I’m really curious to understand what jumps out for you when you highlight time management as a cross-cultural issue.

0:22:05.7 LL: I can use few examples to really illustrate that. Like when I went to India, Nepal, all those Asian countries and same with the Eastern Asian countries, I think time is more of a flexible concept.

0:22:25.6 WB: Right.

0:22:26.7 LL: That the importance is put on people attending the events but not necessarily on time. So if we set a business meeting at 9 o’clock, you are probably expecting people would turn up late and then tell you, “Oh, Sir, I’m sorry. This is a terrible traffic,” and all that. So if you get so uptight with being on time rather than actually the event that’s about people attending, and then you can get into a little bit of trouble with people if you get will grumpy with them because in their mind, time is flexible concept. The importance is for me to turn up in their meeting to meet with you. The relationship is important, not really the time.

0:23:14.0 WB: Yeah.

0:23:14.2 LL: However, that has been the implication when you come to work on a project deadline, then you need to really using a nice way to explain to them, “So look, these reports needs to be done by 10th of February yesterday.” Then you need to probably work it out backwards with them to say to work on the sequence of events for what needs to be done along the way. Because in their cultural tradition, in their mind, that’s not the way they think. So then it’s like the deadline attempts. It sometimes can be interpreted as they’re starting to work on it, so then they are bound to miss the deadline. So there’s a time management in both the meeting and when it comes to the work schedule.

0:24:10.0 WB: Yeah. Look, I can visualize many times in my own career in different countries where I was so frustrated with the lack of attention to managing their time particularly at the beginning in the mornings. As you said, one of the classic reasons given in many countries, not just in India or Middle East, is traffic. And it is a reality. This is the very interesting part. If you’ve ever traveled anywhere in many of those countries, traffic is such an unknown quantity. Some days it’s great. Some days it’s an absolute disaster. And for people that are really focused on time and time management, it takes a huge adjustment in your own self to be able to deal with it without losing your cool like you say. So yeah, I think that’s a great point.

0:25:08.0 LL: May I just give another example? When we work with management, with the team, very often in the West it’s quite a popular concept now to have a so-called brainstorm session and then say, “Oh, have five minutes, 10 minutes to have a brainstorm and listen that idea.” That actually doesn’t always work well in different cultural context because people really need time to have a very flowy bouncing idea around in a more casual, relaxed way.

0:25:45.0 WB: Right.

0:25:46.5 LL: Then that ideas come about. But if they’re full put under that pressure of five minutes, 10 minutes, then their brain doesn’t function like that, and then you actually don’t get the best out of them. They just kind of give you some very superficial answer and then you miss out. I think that’s another thing to really bear in mind. If you really want to get good ideas out of people in a different culture, in this kind of more flexible time culture, give them time to really discuss and discuss with them to bounce idea. Don’t force it in a very artificial way, “Five minutes brainstorm. Let’s go.”

[chuckle]

0:26:27.3 WB: Yes, yes. No, that’s very true. I’ve experienced exactly what you’ve just mentioned. There is a list, a long list I’m sure of many other differences between cultures. What else jumps out for you when you think about cross-cultures?

0:26:42.7 LL: As managers in any company or any organization, one important aspect, it actually both financial and money management. Everybody loves this project. Again, the culture differences can really have a huge impact on how money is managed. On a more benign level, if you go to say China or Middle East, if you ask for a quote or ask for a money, ask for a quote, ask for price, people give you a proxy, a range. That’s very common. Like I was in Düsseldorf last December to attend a trade event, and we actually talked with an Indian company who produced a machinery we were looking for. And I said, “So what is your price?” And then that person just give me a range. But then similarly, if you go in a same sort of exhibition, go for a German company, they’ll give you precise, exactly down to the dot. So that could give you a good trouble, how do you budget, right? So you get a proxy range. The other side is about the shame and guilt culture when it comes to people’s mismanaging money.

0:28:05.0 LL: So in many of the broadly speaking like the Christian-based culture, so-called guilt culture, there’s a clear cut between right and wrong. But with the same culture, it’s like, well, local conduct, it’s okay, as long as you’re not caught. You are not bring shame to yourself, to your family name and it’s okay. So that means when it comes to money management, if you are giving money to people managing the projects and so forth, they might end up bringing their relatives to a function and they might end up taking this like branded promotion stuff back home. How do you deal with that? And also the embezzlement issue, it’s ugly, but you have to face it. Yeah. So many of the countries in that same culture just think, “Well, it’s okay.” And the amount, what is okay, it’s fluid. Let me give you an example. In China, if you say people… When people see it on the news, if this official get caught by embezzlement and mishandling the money, people’s first thing comment often is, “Oh, this person got so greedy.” I’m meaning if it’s not this much, it’s okay. [laughter] Do you get my point? So it’s quite hard. Yeah, you have to really watch out for this kind of thing when it comes to financial management.

0:29:42.7 WB: And many Western corporations operating coming into those countries really struggle to understand that cultural aspect. As you said, they see it as black and white. You do it like this and everything is fine. If you don’t do it like this, then it’s illegal and there’s ramifications. Whereas other cultures don’t have that belief system and that’s just not the way that they operate. So it creates a lot of challenges for sure.

0:30:16.2 LL: Definitely, definitely. And even like the use of company car in the UK or in the Western society, maybe it’s like, yeah, company car means take you to work maybe from home to work or the business locations, while in other parts of the world means you take your wife to work and then drop your kids off and then pick up some more thing on way, all these things are included.

[laughter]

0:30:45.4 WB: We could go on for hours about this. I’m really curious about the demographics as well as the generational aspects. So age in particular, how does that factor in this scenario?

0:31:02.3 LL: Age is a another very important aspect. When we work with colleagues and companies cross-culturally, we really needs to understand that age dynamic. So I was talking to another lady in America the other day and she said in America you need to respect everybody the same in the room because the youngest might be your boss. Well, in a different culture, how people relates to your colleagues, they watch out, they look at how much gray hair you have, the age. So they work out a hierarchy and then they treat you differently, which means when… And then they assume that the eldest one is normally the boss. So this kind of dynamics needs to be really both managed as well as challenged in a nice way, say in a team meeting, a situation, I would never put people who are older than me, and particularly in this kind of a relationship culture on the spot. I won’t do that because they will publicly potentially humiliate them.

0:32:21.4 LL: So I will probably have a private conversation to get their ideas first and then to… Yeah. So don’t put them on the spot. And they are equally, if you want to really get good ideas, you could create, the manager, you could create a space, actually, in a meeting to particularly ask the young people to speak up and yeah, rather than allow that to kind of naturally happen. Because they won’t. Because for them, it’s not their turn. They don’t have the rights. So you need to really actively name them to say, “Oh, do you want to say something? Do you have an opinion?” So it’s about balancing that and to respect both the senior staff, their knowledge and experience, as well as the creativity side of the younger staff.

0:33:14.1 WB: You’re really talking about giving face, saving face within the Asian cultures in particular.

0:33:20.0 LL: Absolutely.

0:33:21.5 WB: For the senior people in the group. And then, as you said, for the younger generation, you need to bring them into the conversation rather than wait for them to join by themselves, because they may feel that it’s not their place or it’s disrespectful. As I listen to all of these areas, I can’t help but wonder how we are coexisting in this current virtual environment because today’s teams are so global or they have the potential to be so global. As you’ve highlighted, the cultural differences in some cases are very stuck. And so we can very easily create tension, misunderstanding, insult, when we had none of that as our desire. So I’m just wondering, what does the future look like for the world as we become this global entity? How do we overcome this cultural barrier?

0:34:25.5 LL: I really believe that we are blessed to live in such a global and international culture as well as being blinded by it. So blessed is like we are interacting now on a day-to-day basis with people from different country and culture. But blinded means because particularly now for better and for worse reason, English is the business language. So when people are communicating in English, that covers the fact that we don’t speak the same language. So the English language is just a disguise. So that gives people the wrong impression that, “Oh, we understand each other.” But we don’t. I think what people needs to really not tune in, to take an intentional step to learn about it.

0:35:18.2 WB: Yes.

0:35:19.7 LL: How we can handle it. Imagine you are the analogy. It’s like you are from Australia, you drive on the left side, same as the UK, and then you come to Asia, they drive on the right side. So people needs to know when to drive on which side. But that takes intentional learning. You can’t just assume. I think for us as so-called international citizens or in a global village, we’re ready to take intentional steps to learn about it, how to drive on a different side of the road.

0:35:53.5 WB: I love this whole topic because it’s so relevant in the world that we share today. And it’s not going away soon. The message for me and for our listener base who are predominantly leaders, is really that we have to be cognizant. We have to be really intentional, as you say, in our effort to understand everyone that we’re working with and realize that we are all different. We all have our idiosyncrasies based on the cultures we’ve grown up with, based on our traditional approaches. And those things are foundational to who we are. And if we ignore that, we run the risk of whatever it is we’re working on, totally breaking down. And I’ve been involved in a number of programs recently working with global teams where this is so evident. You get people in the team coming from Spain who have a different mindset around time framing, working with people from China, working with people from America, and it’s a whole boiling pot of dynamic shifting constantly to try and make the project successful. So look, I think you are on something really important here within the work that you’re doing. Is there anything we haven’t touched on so far in our discussion that you want to cover today in this conversation?

0:37:20.9 LL: I think like you say, we can talk for hours because this is just such an important issue for managers and leaders today. If we look at our career, even my own, when you progress on your career, you become manager, become leader, you are given a lot of trainings about management issue, financial management, HR, and yeah, this and that.

0:37:45.8 WB: Yes.

0:37:46.2 LL: But none of them relates to cross-cultural intelligence.

0:37:49.6 WB: Correct.

0:37:51.6 LL: So that’s why only recently I’m speaking to our HR people and some other HR people in different organizations, they said, “Well, what you are doing is so needed because we are having constantly have to mediate the problems actually cause exactly by that. And the people hurt, people leave. But if only we have this kind of in cross-cultural intelligence, we would reduce a lot of those.” That’s why… Actually, yeah, my own programs used to train our own staff in the organization as well. So, yeah. And some other people coming to me. I really would really encourage people to take intentional steps to learn about it, how to handle it, don’t just assume.

0:38:40.2 WB: It is so important. I really look forward to see some of the results from the work that you’re doing. Where can people go to connect with you if they would like to learn more?

0:38:51.0 LL: I have a private coaching practice called liuliucoaching.com. So that’s spelled L-I-U-L-I-U coaching.com. You can also find me on LinkedIn to connect. So yeah, please just connect with me, look at my webpage to see if this is for you. And I will be delighted to work with any of the audience who’s listening to really get you to… It’s like my over 20 years experience, I’ll give it to you in few weeks time. [laughter] It’ll save you quite a lot of trouble and money when we’re talking about business.

0:39:31.3 WB: Excellent. We’ll link to those contact points in our show notes. So for anyone listening, if you didn’t get that down, you can find it in our show notes. Liu, I personally learned a lot of things and there’s a lot more clarity around some of the things that I’ve experienced now. Yeah, so thank you.

0:39:50.9 LL: Thank you. Thank you so much for you to give me the opportunity to share with your audience. Thank you.

0:39:58.3 Speaker 2: Thank you for joining us on The ET Project, a show for executive talent development. Until next time. Check out our site for free videos, eBooks, webinars and blogs at coaching4companies.com

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