January 16, 2014

How to Change Behavior When Adapting to A New Culture

Creating a culture shock relief plan is only a part of the solution to some aspects of culture shock. When we adapt to new cultures, we are challenged to adapt new thoughts and behaviors. It can be, and often is, quite an emotional process. To dive into this deeper, it is important to understand a process of behavior change. I hope it's useful.

The following is a transcript of a slideshow podcast entitled Three Tier Inventory - Technique used to Alleviate Culture Shock.

Do you want to know how to deal with and overcome culture shock?

If yes, you have found what you're looking for!

Hi Everyone, I am Jennifer Kumar founder of Authentic Journeys.

Hope you're having a fantastic day.

Today I want to share one of several techniques I use while helping people explore aspects of successful cultural adjustment.

Everyday we can encounter unique cultural and social situations when living abroad (or now a days, even online) that we don't know how to manage. We can only do what we know, and until we know differently, it's only then that we can do differently. 

There are several parts 'to know differently' that I want to share today in what I call the 'three tier approach' to navigating and overcoming culture shock. These techniques work, but they are not overnight cures.

Often when we make life changes, including adapting successfully to other cultures we have to: 
  1. Learn what needs to be changed
  2. Understand our own thoughts about the issue and decide if we want to change and how
  3. Integrate our thoughts, behaviors and feelings together to create success.

This all sounds easy - but depending on what needs to be changed it may or may not be. Sometimes we go through this process without realizing it, and sometimes we need help from family, friends or someone like me- a cross cultural coach!

To help you through this process, I'd help you break down the issue into different parts, explore each step carefully and help you create success. This may take roughly two to five sessions depending on the issue. In doing this the goal is not to force change or identity but evolve a decision which suits you without compromising who you are so you can feel successful both inside and out.

If you're interested to start today with some self-development exercises you can do on your own, start brainstorming and writing down each step. Under each step, write down everything associated with that step and try to make sense out of it on your own or with help of family or friends. If you still need a non-biased supportive third person to help you out, don't hesitate to contact me.

This is part one of a three part series on this topic. Please move on to part two for an example analysis of this exercise.

Thanks for listening (reading) and have a great day!

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Networked blogs link: http://networkedblogs.com/SJVig

Authentic Journeys: Bridging Culture on Virtual Teams

We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.