Thursday, November 15, 2007

Was it a Culture Shock??

I just got back on Tuesday night from a mini vacation/work week in beautiful Puerto Rico. I shared in fun activities with a friend and was also able to spend some time with family.

The work event was a seminar I presented to young entrepreneurs in the beauty industry. The theme was "Exhibe tu Exito en el 2008". Translated, showcase your success in 2008.

And yes, in case you're wondering, the presentation was in Spanish... that's another story :)
It was an awesome experience. It was the first training I've conducted in Spanish in the last 5 years.

I took away some great lessons I want to share with you. They have to do with the importance of knowing the cultural makeup and/or idiosyncrasies of your audience/client.

Even though I hadn't been in front of a culturally different audience in a very long time, I quickly realized I had to adjust my "representational systems" in order to gain acceptance and rapport. I'll tell you more about representational systems and rapport in a different post.

It wasn't difficult but I have to say it was challenging. The person who contracted me had me wait and hour and a half for late arrivals who turned out to be "no shows".
This is a big professional no, no. This is especially unacceptable when conducting a seminar about success!

I was able to address the issue and how not starting on time impacted the process and the people who were on time. However, I was not able to cover all the material as planned.

All in all, the end result was good. It was a small group and their verbal feedback was positive. I guided them through the "5 Steps of Success and Mastery Outcome" process in preparation for next year. One thing's for sure... the people in attendance were ready and eager to work on their success plans for 2008!

They were all beautiful and I'm so very glad to have met them. I will post a group picture with some of their testimonies later.

So what's the moral of the story? Although it was a rewarding experience, there are several things I would do differently next time when working with a "culturally different" group:

  • Communicate the work/partnership expectations ahead of time.
  • i.e. Duration of training, set-up of room including temperature, and have confirmation of participants.
In addition, I recommend the following in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation. These can apply at work, business, family, community, etc.:
  • Know who your audience is.
  • Adjust your representational systems accordingly.
  • Be flexible.
  • Enjoy the experience.
Hasta la proxima!


hpvanduuren said...

Yes it does seem to be a good idea to communicate the work/partnership expectations ahead of time.

Pop artists usually have themselves a 'Rider' with all kinds of - sometimes funny or even weird appearing - demands.

Although some of such 'demands' might sometimes look a little 'to much', it can't hurt to have a little 'Stardom Attitude' once in a while.

At my blog everybody gets
'Star Treatment'.

All the Best,

Sandra Alvarado said...

Hey HP, thanks for the tip. I like it!

Thanks :)

Favorite Quotes

  • "...the man whose sole object is to acquire wealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrfices before he can accomplish his object..." - from "As A Man Thinketh" by James Allen
  • "Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows." - Proverbs 13:11 NLT
  • "The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil." Thomas A. Edison
  • "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas A. Edison
  • "Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing." - Thomas A. Edison
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  • "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - The USA Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
  • "Little minds have little worries, big minds have no time for worries." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "...the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world." - 1 John 4:4 NLT
  • "Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." - Proverbs 18:21 NKJV
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