Seven Steps to Cross-Cultural Relationship Building

I’ve just returned from the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit (BEWPS) in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It was an outstanding conference and an amazing kick-off to Women’s History month. Speakers included Lisa Nichols, Mellody Hobson, Carla Harris, Dorothy Terrell, and Don Thompson – just to name a few.  As I look forward to the work of Inspiration Zone, Elevating brands. Inspiring Dreams, I’m excited about the future and the opportunities to work with corporations and individuals to help them realize their dreams.

A key part of our collective success hinges on our ability to build relationships and engage people across cultures.  In light of my upcoming segment on WHDH Urban Update Sunday, March 8th at 11:30, I am reposting my seven tips for building cross-cultural relationship.  Do share them with others.  Our society and our communities and tune into Sunday’s broadcast.

Seven Tips for Building Cross-Cultural Relationships

There are many aspects of culture — shared language, traditions, norms and beliefs and customs.  Regardless of the culture, successful interactions across cultures are built on respect, trust and the ability to communicate effectively.  Use the following tips to build your cross-cultural relationships:

Seek to understand.  Don’t make assumptions.  Ideally you want to learn about different cultures through a variety of credible sources – your own personal relationships, books, travel, research and ongoing education.

Keep an open mind.  Avoid stereotypes.  Expand your base by building a broad cross-section of relationships – gender, race, sexual orientation, country of origin and people who think differently from you.

Start with “who you know.”  The best place to start is with others who you know inside and outside of your organization, business, and social organizations.

Attend multicultural networking events.  Professional organizations, cultural events, conferences, diversity forums, minority business expos and community events are all great places to network.

Get involved.  Volunteer and partner with groups and organizations where you can add value, while interacting and getting to know others from different backgrounds.  It will take time to build trust and to establish authentic relationships, so think long-term.

Keep your word.  Establishing trust is the key to sustained successful relationships.  If you say you’re going to do something – do it!

Assume positive intent.  Be positive. At some point miscommunication is likely to occur. When this happens, don’t give up. Assume positive intent and continue on the journey.  Persistence is the key. Stay the course and establish yourself as someone with genuine interest in maintaining relationships across cultures.

Juliette Mayers is Founder and CEO, Inspiration Zone LLC (IZL), Elevating Brands. Inspiring Dreams! IZL specializes in multicultural marketing, branding and thought leadership.  Follow on Twitter @jcmayers and visit www.inspirationzonellc.com 

Leadership Lessons from the New England Patriots

First, congratulations to the New England Patriots – Super Bowl XLIX Champions. What a win! I’m thrilled for my home team, for Boston and for the state of Massachusetts.   I’ve been following the Patriots and the numerous stories leading up to the Super Bowl, but not for the reasons you may think. I’m not a die-hard football fan. Sorry, please save the hate mail (LOL). My fascination with the Patriots has more to do with leadership. As an entrepreneur and speaker, I routinely look for examples that I can use to inspire clients and audiences. Here are three leadership take-ways from the Patriots and my interpretation:

  • Do Your Job. By now you’ve probably heard Belichick philosophy paraphrased as “do your job.” When Belichick addressed a group of financial advisors in June 2011, he drew parallels to business and coaching: ‘In business things change quickly in your profession and in ours. There are always new people and new environments.’ To stay competitive, Belichick said that everyone must do their part: ‘We need to all do our job,’ he added. He has repeated this philosophy in other forums. It seems so straight forward, yet leaders often are distracted by the crisis of the day, the drama of the hour and other interferences. Mastery of ones job, requires practice, stamina, resilience and laser-like focus. Just recently the Patriots have been bombarded with news inquiries, media coverage and persistent questioning regarding “Deflate Gate.” While everyone else seemed to be distracted by the media circus, the team under Belichick’s leadership remained focused on getting the job done and indeed they did! This brings me to my next observation:

Continue reading…

Just What the Doctor Ordered!

Caribbean Waves

Greetings!  I love the holidays because there are so many opportunities to connect with family, friends and colleagues.  At the same time, this time of year can be stressful, so its important to put health first.  Friends often ask for my secret to staying fit and managing stress.  My fitness routine is actually not a secret.  I start my day with exercise, prayer or meditation and I choose healthy foods most of the time.  I seek inspiration from many sources and I wear a Fitbit exercise tracker to monitor progress towards my activity goals. Losing my my mom when she was only 57 definitely influenced my decision to stay the course relative to healthy living. There are so many resources to help us get and stay on track.  Prioritize healthy living by finding the mix that works for you.  WebMD and Blackdoctor.org are two of my favorites resources.  Check them out and click here to view my featured tips on blackdoctor.org.  Follow me on Twitter: @jcmayers

 

Using the Power of Connection

Fotosearch_k5769499   There is nothing new under the sun.  I was first introduced to this concept through the bible (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  Can it be that history actually repeats itself?  The scenarios may be different, but the process and many of the experiences, patterns and actions are the same.  This is also true of personal and professional relationships.  When embraced, this concept can be transformative. It means Continue reading…

Celebrate the Contributions of Women

Let’s hope the day will come when the accomplishments of women are celebrated each and every day.  Women and men are working on the critical issues of gender equality, pay equity, board representation and on leveling the playing field for women’s advancement.  This month one community leader, Darryl Settles, is doing his part to celebrate women’s history by hosting a speakers series at his establishment in Boston.  I am proud to participate as the featured speaker on April 1st and encourage those who can, to join me for “Developing a Marketing Plan for Your Brand.”  Click here to see speakers and topics details: http://www.darrylscornerbarboston.com/pdfs/DCBKwhm14.pdf  There are many other events and celebrations.  I hope that you will find an event in your region that you can attend and that you will make a commitment to advancing the contributions of women, not just this month, but each and every day.  Happy Women’s History Month!  Join me on Twitter @jcmayers

Season’s Greetings & 20% Discount Offer

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  This is a time for giving, planning for the new year and a time to be inspired.  That’s why I am excited to offer you and your network 20% off  “A Black Woman’s Guide to Networking.”  It’s the perfect stocking stuffer, guide for 2013 planning and an inspirational gift for someone  you care about. See what all the buzz is about. Check out the reviews on amazon.com, then visit juliettemayers.com to make your purchase.

This special offer is available only on www.juliettemayers.com/books.  Upon checkout, enter discount code Y8VRJ3QW to receive your 20% discount.  Offer good only on purchases made on www.juliettemayers.com/books (processing by Createspace a division of Amazon.com)

 

 

 

Seven Tips for Building Cross-Cultural Relationships

There are many aspects of culture — shared language, traditions, norms and beliefs and customs.  Regardless of the culture, successful interactions across cultures are built on respect, trust and the ability to communicate effectively.  Use the following tips to build your cross-cultural relationships:

Seek to understand.  Don’t make assumptions.  Ideally you want to learn about different cultures through a variety of credible sources – your own personal relationships, books, travel, research and ongoing education.

Keep an open mind.  Avoid stereotypes.  Expand your base by building a broad cross-section of relationships – gender, race, sexual orientation, country of origin and people who think differently from you.

Start with “who you know.”  The best place to start is with others who you know inside and outside of your organization, business, and social organizations.

Attend multicultural networking events.  Professional organizations, cultural events, conferences, diversity forums, minority business expos and community events are all great places to network. Continue reading…

Part II of Harlem World’s Q & A with Juliette C. Mayers

A continuation of Danny Tinsdale’s interview with Juliette Mayers, author of “A Black Woman’s Guide to Networking, Advance Your Career. Grow Your Business!”

You talk about strategic networkingHow does that play out from a practical standpoint?  First, let me start by defining what I mean.  In my book, I refer to strategic and productive networking.  Strategic networking entails development of a plan with clear objectives, versus randomly connecting with people with no clear objective in mind.  Part of that plan includes the process of managing your relationships.  As it relates to your plan, not all contacts have equal value and therefore, you need to manage your network to yield the highest level of productivity.  In the book, I’ve outlined a three-tiered Strategic Networking Model for inner-circle contacts, high-value contacts and moderate-value contacts.  In this instance, value tiering is relative to alignment with your goals and objectives, degree of trust and the allocation of your time.  In short, you want to spend the most time with the people who have a high degree of alignment with your goals and people you trust.

What makes your book unique? In addition to addressing professional networking, my book acknowledges and addresses the realities of gender, race and class in Continue reading…

Part I of Harlem World’s Q & A with Juliette C. Mayers

How do you define networking?  Networking at its core is about relationship building.  As a best practice, you want to establish and nurture professional relationships on an on-going basis by being supportive of others and finding ways to add value both within your work environment and in the broader community.  Think of it as sowing good seeds into the “networking garden.”  You want to establish a strong brand as a “giver,” and as someone who does great work.  There will come a time when you will need help with your career or business agenda.  You want to have solid relationships in tact that you can draw upon to advance your career and grow your business!  The time to build those relationships is long before you need them.

What inspired you to write the book?  Almost nine years ago at the age of 57, my mom lost her battle with breast cancer. Continue reading…

The Big “MO”

Momentum Matters!  Whether it’s your exercise goal, career advancement or business expansion; momentum is essential.  The key is to have movement that builds strength, expands competencies and accelerates growth.  This time of year can be challenging for a lot of people.

Common questions – “Will I __(fill-in-the-blank_)__?”:

  • Stay in my current job?
  • Take my business to the next level?
  • Keep my commitment to volunteer more?
  • Stick with my exercise routine?
  • Learn that foreign language?
  • Expand my network to include people from different cultures?
  • Create an action plan for my dream?

An affirmative response to that last question “Will I create an action plan for my dream?” can Continue reading…