Working abroad: living between windows and mirrors

Related imageI came across this Fast Company article recently (click image) with basic, but useful, insights for doing business in Latin America, with the crucial reminder that intercultural exchanges can serve as much as a mirror by which to contemplate one’s own culture as a window through which to view other ways of life.

The author, who is Mexican-American, reflects: “Working in Latin America has made me more aware of how American my temperament actually is. In retrospect, it was only through the experiences I’ve had in the region lately that I was able to really understand my own cultural tendencies.”

Language study, travel, reading, asking questions, and getting to know our fellow citizens–of the country and world–allow for the kind of intercultural seeing and understanding that few other experiences can provide.

As for the rest of the article, I echo the author’s observations on prioritizing relationship-building with Latin American clients before getting down to business a la americana. Although simple enough in theory, this concept can be surprisingly challenging for we gringos to put into practice. More information on why that is, from each perspective, in an upcoming post.

Chau for now!

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