Category Archives: communication

“French integration system produces segregation by egalitarian logic”


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In the original article in French,  « Notre système d’intégration produit des ségrégations en se pensant égalitaire », Patrick Simon, a French sociologist. offers an overview of the French integration model :

Here some key ideas that I have translated

In France social policies are blind to the origins and cultural differences but political actors are not.

We can even say that the issue of ethnic minorities is omnipresent in housing policies, in school, on the job market or public services. But as the Republic is supposed to ignore cultural differences, taking account of the origins takes place in the gray area of the policies and without control.

There is a strong opposition to measure and use French ethnic statistics … The refusal of ethnic statistics is only a manifestation of this more general desire not to see the differences, not to take them into account.

 

My experience:

As a long-term expat, I can totally relate with Mr Simon’s observations. I never felt what it is to be French before I left France more than 20 years ago.

I have lived and worked in more than 6 countries among them, Japan, USA and Russia (countries that offer the strongest cultural differences with France). Although I was not really aggressively discriminated there, in some occasions I really felt different or some “natives” made me feel different and sometimes not welcome (being named the “French” in our neighborhood instead of our family name in the community phone directory for example).

I simply cannot drop everything that makes me who I am,  my cultural values, beliefs, language and traditions in the name of integration or even in the name of respect for my host country as long as the way I behave is not hurting anybody’s feelings or their own values.

So I do understand that in France, for immigrants and their children it is really hard not to be able to be different, to show harmless cultural differences like dress code to avoid being discriminated.

It is important for my “integration” to be able to meet other French people or Expat people just to cope with  “home-sickness”  or more correctly, “the feeling of not being from there ” that most expats have at one point or another, a strategy for coping with culture shock.

Being able to speak your mother tongue with your friends in the streets without fear should not be taken for granted. In many countries,  you can be discriminated for that reason. When I lived in Belgium for example it was really strange to be rejected for speaking French in a Flemish speaking village while speaking  English was perfectly correct and people then were nice with me.

So I do agree that it is necessary that French people start embracing diversity as something truly positive for the country and to be more tolerant by being less ignorant.

My son has been living in many countries and attended different school systems and what I like about international schools  is that they don’t focus on one culture or one religion, they learn about other people’s traditions, values and beliefs. Learning and accepting cultural differences make those kids definitively more tolerant and open.

What should be done to increase ethnic tolerance in France ?

Related articles:

Cultural Intelligence is the Art of Understanding Empathy Across Cultures. 

What does it Mean To Be French ?  Has The French Secularism Model Failed?

Why employers value intercultural skills

Where are you really from ? An Expat Perspective On Racism

Why employers value intercultural skills


New research shows that employers around the world value staff who understand the role of culture at work. Source: www.britishcouncil.org

What do employers understand by ‘intercultural skills ?

  1.  Ability to understand different cultural contexts and viewpoints.
  2.  Respect for others’ and ‘adapting to different cultural settings
  3.  Accepting cultural differences
  4.  Speaking foreign languages
  5.  Open to new ideas and ways of thinking

 How do employers evaluate job candidates for intercultural skills?

  1. Strong communication throughout the interview and selection process
  2. The ability to speak foreign languages
  3. Demonstration of cultural sensitivity in the interview
  4. Experience studying overseas
  5. Experience working overseas

 What Is Your Company Doing To Develop Intercultural Skills ? 

See on Scoop.itInternational Career

The Chemistry of Positive Social Interactions In Leadership


 

 

 

 

 

Oxytocin has been described as the molecule of social connection associated with positive traits like trust, cooperation, and empathy.

Judith and Richard Glaser published an article in HBR on the results of a study that analyzed the hormonal response of positive and negative behaviors in managers. Source: blogs.hbr.org

Oxytocin is the hormone that we produce when we feel good during a conversation like positive feedback. Cortisol is the hormone of stress produced when we have fear of being criticized or rejected.

Cortisol stays much longer in the blood than oxytocin that is why we remember more negative comments than positive ones.

So the article suggests to be mindful of the behaviors that open us up, and those that close us down, in our relationships:

Behaviors that send positive messages:

  • Concern for others
  • Curiosity
  • Paint picture of mutual success
  • Open to difficult conversation

Behaviors that send negative messages:

  • Don’t trust others
  • Focus on convincing others
  • Pretend to be listening

Separately  I found other interesting studies showing that oxytocin levels increased in dog owners and their dogs after physical contact: Psychosocial and Psychophysiological Effects of Human-Animal Interactions: The Possible Role of Oxytocin

There is also evidences that oxytocin doesn’t make people more moral or immoral. It shifts people’s focus from themselves to their group or tribe . As a consequence, people may also exhibit more racism and intercultural or inter group clashes when those behaviors favor the group interests (Carsten de Dreu: Does the ‘love hormone’ foster racism? ).

“When you give preferential treatment to your in-group as ethnocentrism, you implicitly indirectly discriminate against people who do not belong to your in-group. And they feel that, they feel resentment, they may protest, so indirectly, it could be that oxytocin contributes to inter-group tensions” Carsten de Dreu

What oxytocin does is that once you see people as [belonging to your] in-group, you come to like them even more. Oxytocin doesn’t make you a racist; it makes you like and commit to your in-group.

Dealing with Difficult People: The Know-It-All


Got a know-it-all in your life who knows everything except, perhaps, how to act like a real human being? Read on for tips on how to deal.

According to the author of this article, Susan Davis, the Know It All (KIAs) are part of the most difficult people in the world to deal with, along with :

*The bullies

*The stealth destroyers

*The “yes” people

**The complainers

*The martyrs

There are KIAs everywhere but it is particularly annoying when this type of person is your boss, employee or co-worker.

So what can you do when you are engaged in a dead-end conversation with a KIA or worse with a clique of KIAs?

No matter what you say, those people will never be interested in your ideas if they don’t think like you. They usually use criticism, condescending or sarcastic tone and even try to intimidate you.

KIA people lack basic emotional intelligence and are self-defensive trying to exclude anybody who are not admiring their intelligence or agree with their truth or faith.

As much as possible  stay calm and relaxed not trying to argue at all. You will always lose if you try to battle with their ego. In addition, it is not good for your heart and well-being as you may feel frustrated and angry.

In case having a conversation is unavoidable, then ask the KIA person questions about their field of expertise  they will be more than happy to teach you something.

See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

Related Article : The 5 Signs of a Bad Leader

 

Do Facial Expressions Develop before Birth?


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

Fetal facial development is essential not only for postnatal bonding between parents and child, but also theoretically for the study of the origins of affect. However, how such movements become coordinated is poorly understood. 4-D ultrasound visualisation allows an objective coding of fetal facial movements.

Anne Egros‘s insight:

 Interesting study analysing specific movements of facial muscles of fetuses in the womb thanks to 4D ultrasounds.

This research has shown that specific facial muscles movements could be linked to specific emotions helping babies communicate long before the language is developed.

More research should be done but we can maybe conclude that those fetal expressions become  unconscious facial micro-movements in adults triggered by emotions  and that there are universal across cultures

 

See on www.plosone.org

Related articles: 

Facial Expressions Of Emotion Across Cultures: Are They Innate or Learned ?

Your body language shapes who you are | Video on TED.com

Guide to Reading Microexpressions

 

Intercultural Communication at Work


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

In this globalised world, communicating in intercultural contexts is not as easy as it may seem…

Anne Egros‘s insight:

When you don’t understand someone’s behavior in intercultural context, ask questions, don’t guess through your own perception.

Be aware of your own cultural bias is a good start then listen to other people and notice similarities or differences on how messages are perceived and understood by making sure there is no misinterpretation either in words, voice tone or body language.

Good demonstration at the end of this article using Anglo-Dutch Translation Guide.

See on www.spaces.nl

 

Find the Coaching in Criticism


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Image from Forbes Magazine: The Best Gift Leaders Can Give: Honest Feedback

Read original article “Find the Coaching in Criticism” from by Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone HBR Magazine, March 2014

Anne Egros‘s insight:

Learnings from the article:

What makes receiving feedback so hard? The process strikes at the tension between two core human needs—the need to learn and grow, and the need to be accepted just the way you are. As a result, even a seemingly benign suggestion can leave you feeling angry, anxious, badly treated, or profoundly threatened. A hedge such as “Don’t take this personally” does nothing to soften the blow.

The skills needed to receive feedback well are distinct and learnable. They include being able to identify and manage the emotions triggered by the feedback and extract value from criticism even when it’s poorly delivered.

Six Steps to Becoming a Better Receiver

1. Know your tendencies

2. Disentangle the “what” from the “who”

3. Sort toward coaching

4. Unpack the feedback

5. Ask for just one thing

6. Engage in small experiments

After you’ve worked to solicit and understand feedback, it may still be hard to discern which bits of advice will help you and which ones won’t. We suggest designing small experiments to find out. Even though you may doubt that a suggestion will be useful, if the downside risk is small and the upside potential is large, it’s worth a try.

See on hbr.org

Related article:

The Best Gift Leaders Can Give: Honest Feedback

 

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