Last time I spoke about the Tip 1 of Cross-Cultural Intelligence 101 which was Really Listen. Today I’ll talk a bit about the second tip of Cross-Cultural Intelligence 101 – Pay Attention.
This may sound simple but unfortunately in today’s world life is so fast that we often rush and pay no attention to our surroundings. Yet if we stop and make it our objective to observe, it’s amazing how much we can actually learn.
Just imagine that you have permanently perched yourself in one of those European sidewalk cafes where all you do is “people watch”. What do you notice in the new for your culture? How do people interact with each other? Which situations bring up anger and frustration? Which situations bring up positive emotions? If you are new on the job, what is the corporate environment? Which professional habits are worth taking note of?
Observing and paying attention will help you learn more about your surroundings; will help you understand which issues you may want to avoid with certain people and which issues you may want to explore; and, finally, observing will get you in the habit of noticing the “energy” of your companions. This energy is one of the most important indicators of what’s really important to a person.
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