Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Working Globesmart or Succeeding at Your Interview

Working Globesmart: 12 People Skills for Doing Business Across Borders

Author: Ernest Gundling

By any measure, business success is no longer solely about hard work, good intentions, and technical expertise. Relationship building, communication, and the ability to forge cooperation across organizational lines are key -- especially when operating across borders, spanning time zones, and crossing cultures. Whether you are working for a global corporation in a foreign office, on a virtual team that spans the globe, or in a multicultural workplace in your U.S. headquarters, you will find in Working GlobeSmart a field guide to global citizenship. From India to Italy, Turkey to Thailand, the author has gathered the insights of more than two dozen country and regional experts who have helped thousands of global managers succeed in complex multicultural business environments. With numerous examples, sample dialogue, and the author's unique GlobeSmart model, the book offers practical, skills-based advice on how to develop or participate on a global team, create effective training and development programs for multicultural learners stationed anywhere around the world, and gather the collective wisdom of your organization into a strategic vision that brings out the natural links between communication and change, culture and commerce. Demonstrating how global people skills add value to global business, Working GlobeSmart provides a road map for developing competencies at the organizational, group, and interpersonal level and details the twelve key skills critical for success -- from establishing credibility, teamwork, and negotiation to knowledge transfer, change management, and innovation.

Publishers Weekly

While the idea of a global village where people and markets seamlessly commingle is attractive, actually doing business across borders can be tricky. Gundling, an Asia specialist at the management consulting firm Meridian Resources Associates, sets out to light the way for those venturing into international waters. Gundling knows his stuff: the book is dense and detailed, with anecdotes on handling all manner of situations, from dealing with a Turkish subordinate to evaluating a Russian executive. It lacks literary flair, proceeding in an exceedingly workmanlike fashion instead of pulling readers in with rich narratives. It's an invaluable primer, though, in reminding executives that doing business abroad is more about people skills than anything else. Nuanced issues of culture and tradition are often what's behind communication breakdowns, so knowing how to behave and interact in foreign climes is what will launch readers beyond what the author derides as "cruise ship globalism" and help them arrive at a truly global understanding. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Global business is increasing dramatically and along with it, the cross-border friction that emerges when there are misunderstood or ignored cultural differences. Though every destination provides new hazards for mistakes, Ernest Gundling, an expert in strategic global approaches to leadership development, organizational change and innovation, explains that the challenges you will encounter are relatively predictable and easily anticipated.

The single greatest cause of difficulties in global business transactions is lack of appropriate people skills for relating to counterparts from other countries and cultures. In Working GlobeSmart, Gundling outlines the 12 fundamental skills managers need if they intend to move across borders and succeed. Not simply a list of culturally specific customs and behaviors, Working GlobeSmart presents a general set of behaviors spanning interpersonal, group and organizational skills. According to Gundling, managers, especially American managers, who can understand why these skills are important and incorporate them into their business dealings - whether in South America, Europe or Asia - will find that partners across the globe are more likely to respond and work together to achieve mutually beneficial results.

Global People Skills
Managers frequently underestimate the importance of global people skills to business. The model in Working GlobeSmart includes 12 competencies that include interpersonal, group, and organizational skills. Gundling writes that they must be well integrated throughout your organizational culture, because the value of your products, either at home or abroad, will decrease without the people skills to back them up.

Failures in global business are more insidious than acute. They seem small, but as they build up, they become lethal. Gundling writes that expecting others to speak one's own language; assuming everyone is eager to adopt your ways; and not taking the time to establish effective relationships abroad can all undercut plans that have been carefully strategized at home.

Generalizations about a national culture can be helpful in anticipating how people will act in unfamiliar settings, Gundling explains, but it is improper to apply stereotypes to an entire nationality that is most likely as varied culturally and ethnically as your own. By inquiring about another culture, identifying its contribution, learning its core values and attendant behavior, and understanding the gaps between you and the average profile of the other culture, he writes that you can predict areas of potential conflict both with business partners and your own personal limits.

Interpersonal Skills
Global skills are built on a foundation of strong personal relationships, but these relationships can take time and have many facets. According to Gundling, establishing credibility, handling feedback, obtaining information, and evaluating people are all critical interpersonal skills that international managers must develop when they work in another culture.

Gundling points out that often those with good people skills at home make the wrong choices abroad. The most common trap is to evaluate people positively on the basis of language skills when they are deficient in managing subordinates or working with customers. He says you must learn local standards so that you can discern when conduct that signals competence in your own environment has a different significance.

Group Skills
Beyond working one-on-one, so much of business relies on teamwork. Gundling explains that the problems of culture become magnified with each new person or culture that is added to the group. Working on global teams, training and development, selling and negotiating all need to be approached differently than they would be at home.

Organizational Skills
Once you have internalized these people skills and developed an awareness of the differences between your nation culture and that of your overseas partners, Gundling writes that you must determine how to adjust and accommodate your corporate culture to the business arena abroad as well.

As international managers head out to become global citizens they must consider how they will be changing the world, Gundling explains. Does the foreign country want the changes you bring? Should it have them? As values around the world change, he writes that the best place to initiate change is where local customers and employees desire it or are open to it. Rather than national international managers, he adds, the world needs global citizens who can easily move from one culture to another. He writes that they encompass the core items of trust, respect and listening, but also participating in meaningful work, profit, integrity, social justice, environmental sustainability, mutual learning, and personal and professional growth. Global citizens transcend the dichotomies of parent and subsidiary and home and host country. As the ratio of overseas to domestic revenue shifts dramatically, he explains that companies will need employees who can recognize local customer needs, weight them against the organization's strategic priorities, and invest valuable resources in the best interest of the company. Copyright © 2003 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Table of Contents:
About the Author
1The Global People Skills Model1
2Global People Skills and Culture21
Pt. IInterpersonal Skills
3Establishing Credibility and Feedback43
4Obtaining Information and Evaluating People63
Pt. IIGroup Skills
5Working on a Global Team89
6Training and Development119
Pt. IIIOrganizational Skills
9Strategic Planning219
10Transferring Knowledge245
12Managing Change297
Synthesis: People Skills and Global Citizenship327

New interesting textbook: Management or Informal Learning

Succeeding at Your Interview: A Practical Guide for Teachers

Author: Rita S Braus

Succeeding at Your Interview: A Practical Guide for Teachers uses an effective interactive format to present core information about interviewing for a teaching job, document a wide variety of interview processes, guide teacher candidates in developing strategies for interviewing, and increase their confidence in communicating their professional knowledge. In a spiral process, readers are asked to consider scenarios, respond to questions, contemplate the perspective offered by the authors, and modify their responses. The goal is to help teacher candidates develop and articulate a clear idea of their own professional knowledge and of the culture of the schools at which they are interviewing.

Special features:
*Eleven detailed chapters and five interview scenarios engage the reader in continuous reflective practice in the multifaceted activities integral to interviewing--beginning with organizing the job search and proceeding through the entire interview process.
*The scenarios implicitly develop knowledge and the chapters explicitly detail the information.
*Specific interview situations engage readers in articulating their professional knowledge, linking theory and practice.
*"Keep in Mind" comments, Margin Notes, and Decision Trees provide opportunities to reflect on the issues and develop personal responses.
*Sample documents, formats, questions, and responses enhance understanding of evaluation processes.
*Graphic organizers at the beginning and end of each chapter provide visual representations of the concepts and concerns addressed in each chapter, assisting the reader in identifying chapters relevant to their current needs inthe job search and in synthesizing, organizing, and reviewing the information contained in the chapter.

Table of Contents:
List of Tables
List of Figures
Pt. AStarting Your Search1
Ch. 1Gathering Information about Potential Teaching Positions15
Ch. 2Deciding Where To Apply29
Pt. BGetting Ready to Apply51
Ch. 3Organizing the Application Process63
Ch. 4Assembling Your Application Documents73
Pt. CKnowing the Process83
Ch. 5Exploring Screening Activities93
Ch. 6Interpreting Interviewers' Questions107
Pt. DPreparing Yourself117
Ch. 7Responding at Interviews127
Ch. 8Critiquing Typical Responses153
Ch. 9Communicating Your Confidence: Practice Makes Perfect163
Pt. EReflecting on Your Journey173
Ch. 10Learning From Your Interview189
Ch. 11Continuing the Journey201
Suggested Readings209

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