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Tips for a adaptation to colombian culture.

At LARM we understand that the process of relocation to another country is a human process and as such, the accompaniment in it, must be comprehensive from beginning to end.

The transfer does not end when all the furniture arrive safely to the destination country because this is only the beginning of this journey that only the bravest take, the real challenge is in the adaptation that both the transferred professional and his/her family are about to assume and it is here where we want to be your allies and become this hand friend that makes the process of your professional simpler and to whom you can always turn if you need it. Here are the first tips to facilitate cultural adaptation for your transferred professional or if you are directly going through an international relocation process:

  • Maintaining Confidence in Yourself

  • Using a Cultural Interpreter or a Mentor

  • Continuous Learning from the Host Country

  • Finding the Reasons Behind Strange or Different Things

  • Part of Which Local People Have Good Will and Also in Their Good Will

  • Avoid criticizing nationals and avoid other transferees who have a negative attitude towards local culture

  • Seek to establish relationships with transferees and with nationals alike

  • Engage in local and international community projects

In addition to the process you are carrying out, it is important to bear in mind that it will be necessary to strengthen certain intercultural competencies and in LARM we can support you in this learning. Some of these competencies are:

  • Ability to enter a new or different cultural environment, handle the rules and customs of that environment, and feel comfortable in doing so..

  • Ability to identify & respond creatively to intercultural challenges in ways that promote mutual respect and commitment.

  • Identify and understand cultural differences that help facilitate intention with other cultures.

Taking into account what is mentioned as the first tips for your transfer process and the skills to be strengthened, these actions together produce quality cultural exchanges that allow to:

  • Mutual learning

  • Respect for the other

  • There is no dominance of either party

  • Great effort for deep understanding

  • Commitment of the parties to win/win and results

  • Building trust between the parties

  • Dedication of time to focus on process and communication

In addition, there are different tools that will also allow you a quality cultural exchange, these are:

  • Avoid stereotypes

  • Clarify intent and impact

  • Suspend value judgments or avoid superficially judging

  • Review your assumptions about actions and what is said by your counterparts, think how these are based on your own preferences.

  • Consider alternative interpretations based on the cultural preferences of your counterparts

  • Validate your conclusions with your counterpart or with a third party who is familiar with your culture

  • Clearly explain your intentions, especially when you think you may be being misunderstood

Now, everything learned so far is totally applicable when facing a culture like the Colombian. Here are some particularities of our culture that can help you with your adaptation:

  • Emotions and feelings will be taken into account in any decision.

  • The style of communication is indirect, so it is important to learn to read "between the lines".

  • Colombians have a very relaxed attitude with respect to time and business transactions must have an adequate pace.

  • Keeping an image clean is important in any situation.

  • Entertainment is an essential part of any cooperation and invitations must be accepted and then reciprocated.

  • Building a relationship is essential before any business can take place.

  • Age and seniority are respected, so show deference to the most important person in a meeting, as they will to you.

  • Business is usually not done during a meal, but your counterpart will be watching you constantly.

  • We Colombians love words, we are romantic by nature so we are very detailed • In business we take into account facts and figures, as well as emotions.

  • Don’t pressure your counterparts to make quick decisions and don’t try to rush into a meeting.

  • Colombians value courtesy very much and feel that the insistence is rude.

  • Negotiations are often long and lengthy and cannot be rushed.

  • Colombians are not natural hagglers, so keep realistic offers to avoid offending. • Colombians are indirect communicators and will avoid a direct response if it is likely to cause discomfort.

  • Great emphasis is placed on appearance, so always look well-groomed and pay attention to manners.

In conclusion to achieve a correct cultural adaptation it is imperative to understand that the differences must make us unique and not divide us and even more in a process such as international relocation where everyone is committed to their own way and the more you clarify your assumptions about others, they’ll do the same.

At LARM Colombia we have an expert team on relocation issues ready to guide and advise you. Contact us here to receive more information about cultural adaptation.

LARM, your home away from home!

Key words:

Relocation, adaptation, culture, tips, skills, tools, challenge, family, adventures, customs, LARM.

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This article is intellectual property of LARM Colombia SAS. It is forbidden to reproduce partially or totally the content of this post.

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