As part of our new series, we will ask three questions to several people active in different fields of life: business, culture, entertainment and more!
Today we catch up with Izabela Markiewicz, a cross-cultural trainer!
1) What do you do?
I am business trainer and consultant specialising in international, cross-cultural settings. I work with multinational organisations, multicultural teams, individuals from different countries and cultures, and help them to increase cultural competency. I train clients in the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively in a culturally diverse environment. For example when you leave for China, or elsewhere, it’s crucial to know the social and business behavioral codes, be aware of what basic values are, and what motivates people. It’s great to know, for example, why silence is so important in Finland, why Indians shake their heads while listening, or why [Apple's] iPhone wasn’t such a big success in Japan.
2) What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Working as a trainer, consultant or facilitator is about searching for a real change. By “real”, I mean a change of mind, perception of things and change in behavior. When I see that people are welcoming new, different concepts of thinking and doing things (like perception of team work, organisational life, time concept, different communication styles), and they are trying to implement them in their everyday life because they see a value in that, that makes me happy.
3) What are the three most important tools of your trade?
It’s pretty well defined in regard to a business trainer in general, and it’s about openess, ability to work with a group as well as individuals, communication skills and a kind of charisma. In regard to cross-cultural fields, I would emphasise the role of: cross-cultural knowledge (for example Trompenaars Humpden-Turner’s book on culture), including different business models, skills to think and communicate in different way and openess. I deeply believe that my culture is not better than others (that’s a hard part sometimes;) and a crucial thing – intercultural experience.
Izabela Markiewicz is a partner with CCIQ Cross-Cultural Intelligence