571: Understanding Cross-Cultural Work with Dean Foster

In today’s episode of the As Told by Nomads Podcast, join me and my guest, Dean Foster, as we talk about how cultural awareness can improve global work interactions. Dean Foster is a speaker, presenter, and author, who has played a central role in developing cross-culture training and consulting. He is also the founder of DFA Intercultural Global Solutions and the former worldwide director of Berlitz Cross-Cultural. Currently, Dean serves as the executive strategic consultant of Dwellworks Intercultural, helping people develop global cultural agility and a skillset for working across borders. Now, if you want to be more culturally aware, feel free to get in touch with Dean Foster via his website down below!

Cultural Awareness In Global Virtual Work

With how global work has become, cultural awareness can significantly affect how we communicate with our clients and our team. After all, cultures often differ in communication styles. Some cultures would evade negatives and retreat into silence rather than elect a topic. Meanwhile, others would come forward with a case and explain issues in detail. A global meeting will always have people with varying communication styles, and having it in a virtual setting will only accentuate these differences even more. Hence, as a leader or even a member of a global meeting, whether virtual or not, you need to practice mindfulness, understanding, and respect, all essential in cultural awareness. That way, people can feel comfortable communicating the way they need to. You have to use virtual meetings as a vehicle for listening, not just telling, and it takes enlightenment from the right resources to do so, such as Cultural Concierge. 

Outline of the episode:

[04:07] Dean Foster’s background and how he got to where he is today.

[08:48] What changed in globalization and cross-cultural work through the years.

[16:30] How the revolution in technology supercharged the influence of cultural information and training.

[18:34] What Cultural Concierge is and how technology made it easier for the service to provide ongoing cross-cultural support.

[20:51] How cultural awareness can solve the fundamental issues of working globally.

[25:13] Being guided by a cultural expert versus doing the research yourself.

[27:13] The best practices for remote work and how to improve communication in a virtual setting.

[32:17] How Dean navigated between his media and teaching career through storytelling.

[35:50] Cultural Dexterity versus Cultural Relativity: how understanding and respect is essential in working globally.

[40:07] What Dean thinks is the future of virtual work based on life during the pandemic.

[41:53] The element of loneliness in the relocation business and how to get comfortable with separation from familiarity.

[45:42] How Dean Foster uses his difference to make a difference.




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