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Intercultural Management ManagementconsultingWhat do we have in common?
New impulses from the science of Energology® for intercultural management

The number of intercultural contacts in everyday business is on the increase - even for accountants! In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, the ability to manage cultural differences to competitive advantage should be a corporate imperative, 'not a nice to have' option. more

New Perspectives for Intercultural Management


How important it is to know cultural customs and models of behaviour can become clear through the following example: If a manager shows his soles of foot to his Arabic business partner during their meeting, the latter will leave it in a huff. The manager can then write off the conclusion of a contract for a cooperation and say good-bye to the often intensive costs of this business trip.

     I.      Increasing Number of Intercultural Contacts

In the age of globalisation those or similar culture-based misunderstandings increasingly take place in the management-context, because the number of intercultural contacts raises continuously. Thereby it is unimportant whether the manager is in a foreign country himself – and naturally works with foreigners there - or he leads employees with diverse cultural origins in his home country. In order to being able to manage commonly conflictual and emotional situations, competent intercultural management is needed.

    II.      New Perspectives out of the Science of Energology ®

Based on the findings of the science of Energology® it is possible to offer new perspectives for intercultural management. According to the energological view it is not sufficient to know and bear in mind the customs of foreign cultures, it requires more:

  • Communication and communicative abilities in the intercultural context
  • The 3 basic forms of communication in intercultural management: Emotional Communication, Communication of Values, Communication of Information
  • Establishing a connection to the person himself and to his culture, in order to create a common basis. Therefore Energology® offers an extended comprehension of energy and energy flows in the management.
  • A fundamental perspective of man as a „energy composition“
  • Psychological conversation-management through the knowledge of the Octral Psychology© out of the Energology® by Kapur® for a target-oriented and mutually enriching exchange
  • Conscious integration of foreign values in the own comprehension of values without asserting one’s claims to change the other person and
  • The integration of emotions in the management as an energy resource that presently is yet unused.

   III.      Objectives and Benefits

By applying this knowledge one can recognize and purposefully use own and foreign energy potentials, bundle scattered energies and detect unemployed energies in order to use them. In the context of intercultural management it is possible – through the integration of these new perspectives –

  • To be able to deal with cultural differences not judging but appreciating,
  • To avoid culture-based misunderstandings,
  • To optimize the international project management,
  • To increase time and cost efficiency and
  • To be successful not only in the company but also personally in the international and intercultural field.

If one just takes a look at the communication of two culturally different business partners, important information can get lost or is not transported as intended. Especially in these cases the conscious usage of emotional communication is necessary.

   IV.      Dealing with one’s own Intercultural Awareness

Dealing with one’s own Intercultural Awareness is important for generating intercultural management competence. This means that one proofs his knowledge not only about culturally determined differences between people but also about their general similarities. Whatever culture one meets, in the end one always meets people, even if they differ greatly from an external and superficial perspective. The procedure of dealing with one’s own Intercultural Awareness is enriched by the findings of the Science of Energology®. In the following – after an example out of our consulting activities – some test bays are described in extracts which one can realise immediately:

1. Everything that is, is energy,

2. How someone comes across,

3. Recognizing assessment patterns,

4. Exchange instead of isolation.

  Example
 

The head of the IT-Department of an international pharmaceutical group travels to his employees in India. On the first day he holds a presentation of some project details which are essential for the project realisation. As a practised rhetorician he soon recognizes that his Indian audience begins to shake their heads during his presentation. He interprets this as a sign of disapproval, but nobody raises his hand to ask a question.

At the end of his presentation he consciously provides again the opportunity to ask questions. But again, nobody reacts. The head of the IT-Department is astonished that his presentation apparently mispleased his Indian employees, because actually they should assail him with questions at this moment. However, it remains silent and he cannot explain what happened here. Later, he talks to a colleague to whom he has built up confidence. He learns that shaking the head does not mean disapproval to Indians but approval. Therefore it would not have been necessary for him to worry, because the Indians were pleased of his presentation. That is why they didn’t ask any questions.

1. Everything that is, is Energy

A basic perspective to proof one’s own behaviour in intercultural situations is offered by dealing fundamentally and individually with human beings.

„Everything that is, is Energy and Energy is everything, that is.”
(A. Kapur, Founder of Energology®)

This means, everything that man knows and even everything that he does not know, is energy, though in different forms and types, but it always is energy fundamentally considered. It is the same in the example with the head of the IT-Department: According to the point of view of the Science of Energology® he could not recognize the energy which he was provided from his Indian audience as a constructive contribution to his presentation, because of his lack of knowledge about Indian gestures. Furthermore, because he could not recognize this form of energy he also could not take and use it. Thus, this energy potential passed him unused. Additionally, he used lots of energy to brood over this situation in order to find a solution for this problem. This behaviour cost him lot of energy which he won’t be able to use e.g. for his work in the corporate group.

If he have had the knowledge about Indian gestures and the dealing with human beings according to the energological point of view as just described, he would have been able to consciously use the energy of the approval from the Indians as return of investment for himself.

2. How someone comes across

Another perspective to improve one’s own Intercultural Awareness is to proof how one comes across and if this corresponds with the image which one has from oneself.

Man is so focused first to look at others and to criticise them, but his own behaviour is decisive for his actions and the consequences out of them. Thus, it would be the best to begin with criticising oneself.

Everybody has a certain image of himself, how he is and how he comes across, and everybody has a certain image of others, how they are and he knows, how they come across to him. These images influence his thoughts and actions. The question is if he is aware of those images as many of those patterns take place unconsciously. They originate in childhood, socialisation or are stamped by mass media.

Two examples:

How others see Germans: And how they see themselves:
Germans are time-dominated, always in a hurry; punctuality is an obsession. Time is central to our culture. Punctuality is a form of politeness.
Germany is a bureaucrat’s paradise. … It‘s chaotic. We believe in good rules and regulations. They avoid problems and solve problems.
(out of Bosewitz/Kleinschroth, Business across Cultures)

If a manager or anybody else knows, how he comes across and if he knows that this does not have to correspond with his own perceptions, he can better deal with the actions and reactions to himself by the members of foreign cultures and therefore can avoid the usual emotional dealing with it.

3. Recognizing Assessment Patterns

Looking at the perceptions one has on others is also essential for one’s own Intercultural Awareness, e.g.:

  • British people are calm, reserved, cool and conservative
  • Swiss are serious, honest, punctual and clean
  • Austrians are „gemütlich“ (cosy) and aware of their traditions.

These clichés and stereotypes often result in assessments, e.g. “This colleague is really stupid, that he doesn’t know this”. The head of the IT department in the above example with Indian people could have thought something like, e.g. “It’s their own fault, if they don’t understand what I tell them and they don’t ask”. Maybe he would top it and say „I will not tell them one more time“.
So, prejudices arise easily and eventually even conflicts. That this is no optimal initial situation at all for collaborations is certain. Therefore it is advisable, to recognize existing assessment patterns and to resolve them for a cherishing company with fellow men. Every human already naturally has a value. It is though needless to add subjective assessment to it.

ssessment patterns emerge from a two-dimensional way of thinking. That means, something is good or bad, pretty or ugly, liked or disliked. This way of thinking is energologically allocated to the body, one of eight parts of the human being out of the Octral Psychology©. To leave the two-dimensional way of thinking in order to think and act free of any assessment, an elementary perception of human beings is needed, as described in 1.: Everything that is, is energy.

4. Exchange instead of Isolation

In the example with the head of the IT department, it becomes obvious, that the irritation he had could only be solved through an exchange with a colleague. If he had isolated and retreated pondering, he would not have come to a solution.

Exchange is something, which connects people and keeps connections alive. They exchange experiences and knowledge and can profit from each other and enrich one another. The best is if this happens without assessment and without fear, for that everything can be said directly and honestly from heart. Confidence between the exchange partners plays a key role in order that someone does not shortly again drop a brick of intercultural situations.

A conversation partner can give the necessary input from outside for the examination of cultural standardisations and the handling of those. He acts as a mirror to discover, how things really are, because the difficulty is usually to glance on oneself, on that, what explains why we act how we act.

All these steps and others enable conscious and self-reflected acting in intercultural situations for more success, sovereignty and satisfaction.

Find more information on www.energologie.de or on www.energology.com for the English version.

Mag.phil. Nicola Spiegl, TM Thinker Manager out of the 3dManagement©, KDE Cooperation of Energology, Hanover, Germany

(First published by B+P.06/2005 in German)

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