Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cultural sensitivity in business

Today I have a link for you about differences in expectations from one culture to another, with some really good case studies, from Harvard Business Review.

When you work with a company that does business globally, or even with different groups of people within the United States, the expectations can vary, for areas of interaction you might never have thought of. These can include how close one stands to another person; whether a business meeting begins with chit-chat or gets right to the point; even whether it’s okay to use your left hand for certain tasks.

No single blog post can give you information about every possible variation. Using the research skills you’ve learned as an English major or minor, you can find good information on the internet that will help you navigate the issues in a specific context—that is, now that you know how much you don’t know. And of course, your gracious and charming personality will help you overcome any gaffes you might make after you’ve done enough research to prove that you’re trying.

English degree as Leadership Studies

Here's a wonderful article that should give you some information about how to explain to a prospective employer why your degree in English is useful in the corporate world:

The above blog is written bySusan de la Vergne, whose homepage is here:

You've not only practiced the skills of reading, sorting through complex information, writing clearly, and so on -- you've been studying working models of how the world works (or doesn't), what motivates people, and how people work together (or don't) to solve the kinds of problems businesses, governments, and not-for-profits are all seeking to address.