A fresh take on ideas and trends in Human Capital

International Insights with Mindmill

Mindmill engages with diverse international companies all over the world. Besides people in the UK w

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Mindmill engages with diverse international companies all over the world. Besides people in the UK we like to work with the Africans, Arab Nations and European. Working with people from different cultures makes the daily work-life more challenging, exciting and refreshing. Getting to know how people with a different culture think, behave and interact gives new perspectives on your own life but also on the life of others. Some fun cultural facts! Did you know that South Africans use the handshake as their most common greeting and that they have a variety of handshakes between ethnic groups? Or that in a meeting in Saudi Arabia the person who asks the most questions is likely to be the least important? The decision maker is likely a silent observer.

While working with clients all over the world the world Culture pops up. Working internationally ends up in not only crossing borders, but you also cross different cultures. We can ask ourselves the following question: Is it possible that culture has influence on our negotiation? If the answer is possibly the next question will be, how?

First of all, there can be a lot of differences in communication styles between cultures. For example in the way people communicate; do they communicate direct and simple, or indirect and complex? In cultures such as Japan, reactions to your proposals may be gained by interpreting seemingly vague comments, gestures and other signs. In a first meeting you will not receive a defined commitment or rejection. In contrast, in cultures such as the USA or the Israel, you can expect to receive a clear and defined response to proposals and questions.
Some cultures think the goal of a business negotiation is a signed contract between the parties. Other cultures think the goal of a negotiation is rather building up a relationship between the two sides. If relation negotiator sit on the other side of the table, convincing them of your ability to deliver a low-cost contract will not help you to get the deal. It may be helpful to convince them that you can build up a rewarding relationship for both parties. Furthermore, cultures can act different regarding risk taking: do they like to take a lot of risks or do they prefer not to? The negotiations’ culture can affect the way people try new approaches, tolerate uncertainties and take action. The Japanese, with their intricate group decision-making process, tend to be risk averse. In comparison with them, Americans are risk takers.

The next few steps describe a few steps you can consider when you are trying to make a deal:

1.      Don’t rush the negotiating process. A negotiation that is moving too fast for one of the parties only heightens that person’s perception of the risks in the proposed deal.

2.      Devote attention to proposing rules and mechanisms that will reduce the apparent risks in the deal for the other side.

3.      Make sure that your counterpart has sufficient information about you, your company, and the proposed deal.

4.      Focus your efforts on building a relationship and fostering trust between the parties.

5.      Consider restructuring the deal so that the deal proceeds step by step in a series of increments, rather than all at once.

As we can see there are some cultural differences that we can be aware of during international negotiations. When you start a partnership with somebody from a different culture it can be handy to know from what culture they come from. Do you want to know what your organisation culture looks like? For example getting to know which culture in your organisation can affect other cultures? Maybe a 360 questionnaire is something for you, with this you gain insights from your employees about their vision regarding cultural diversity in your company.

Check Mindmill’s website and read more about the international companies we work with.

Explore what drives your employees

What is more important? Earning the greatest salary possible or doing what you really enjoy? Doing w

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What is more important? Earning the greatest salary possible or doing what you really enjoy? Doing work that satisfies your ambitions or just completing tasks that you are being asked to do? The main question here is: What drives an employee the most?

A hot topic going on in the HR sector is Emotional Intelligence. Basically, this is where a person has the capacity to be aware of and to be able to identify their own and other’s emotions.  People in business believe in keeping emotions and feelings private and objective would probably not agree with the importance of Emotional Intelligence. But why could this factor be useful? 

Studies showed that more than two thirds of all competencies relate to Emotional Intelligence, these competencies being essential for high performances. Daniel Goleman, the writer of the book “Emotional Intelligence: Why it can Matter More than IQ” provides two statements regarding Emotional Intelligence. Firstly, he writes that Emotional Intelligence may be more important for personal success than IQ. Secondly, Emotional Intelligence, unlike IQ, can be accurately measured and improved on. Knowing this, employers and employees could improve their Emotional Intelligence by training and information sessions. A higher Emotional Intelligence could lead to more success and understanding between employees. Employees that are comfortable with each other and are able to communicate well are likely to inspire each other in other to make successful working progresses.

Furthermore it is interesting to focus on the motivations of employees.  From experience I can say that doing something that motivates you keeps you more focussed, interested, productive and happy. Simply the feeling of working on a project you like will give you a great motivation to wake up in the morning and start on a new working day. As a company it is useful to find out your employees’ motivations. It will save you costs: Employees that are motivated not only work faster, but will also use their creativity to recommend process improvements that can lead to large amounts of saving for your organisation.

We at Mindmill always try to keep ourselves challenged. Finding new areas of interests, motivations and ideas helps us to keep enjoying the work we do!


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