By Allen Smith, J.D.June 4, 2019 (HR Magazine)
The president of one of the largest Dutch companies in the world thought he wasn’t a successful leader while on assignment in the United States. Three company vice presidents would not argue with him, but instead followed his orders without question; in the Netherlands, he would have expected his subordinates to debate with him. The company president believed he wasn’t generating enough confidence in his colleagues to get them to disagree. He had stumbled into something common for expatriates: culture shock.
Training before, during and after an employee’s time spent working abroad can help him or her understand cultural differences in management and communication styles, says Neal Goodman, Ph.D., president of Global Dynamics Inc. in Miami. Goodman shares the Dutch company president’s experience as an example of the difficulties his expatriate clients have faced in adjusting to different cultures around the world.