A Journey to Adaptation
Every entrepreneur, no matter where they are from should have some sort of understanding of Global Dexterity. Globalization, coupled with a rapidly changing world are demanding entrepreneurs to step outside their cultural comfort zones. Similarly, as an entrepreneur of the modern age, I have caught wind of the emerging trend towards Global Dexterity but prior to the class if asked, I would have been unable to contemplate its relevance.
As such, this class has introduced a concept which I have been looking forward to learning from the moment that I entered Brandeis University. To some, this might seem irrelevant but I have seen in the past how underestimated the relevance of culture could cost ruin opportunities.
For this project, I decided to tackle a cultural dimension that I believe would benefit me in the future, namely self-promotion. I knew that addressing this issue would indirectly target other cultural dimensions that I have disclosed when diagnosing the culture code. However, besides benefits, I knew that I was going to face many challenges too. The main challenges that I faced were both physical and psychological. On the one hand, physical challenges like my nonverbal communication skills were none existent. This observation was made by my mentor who went on to explain how posture and gestures can impact the way people would perceive me. In general, people who have a formal posture are said to be more appealing and confidence – a stereotype that does a perfect job explaining my situation. On the other hand, psychological challenges – which are the primary challenge – were restricting my ability to perform optimally in many of our mock-interview meetings.
To overcome these challenges, I decided to use my mentor’s knowledge and understanding of the culture to help me rehearse a potential business meeting. After two weeks of trying, I was starting to notice differences in my verbal and nonverbal communication skills – an improvement that was highlighted by the mentor, as well as colleagues.
The more we rehearsed the better I felt about myself. Yet, I knew that once the actual situation (for which I was preparing) tool place, I would lose the ability to control the tide of the conversation.
It is worth noting that many of these realizations were coming from the notes that I was maintaining on a daily basis, and the feedback from the mentor.
In light of my newly expected challenge, I decided to take a gradual approach to adapting this new behavior. Accordingly, I scheduled a meeting with a client – which was already overdue – to report on our success and introduce a price change in our offerings. One of the reasons why the meeting was overdue stems from the fact that communicating a price change to a client is really difficult, and it would require a lot of convincing for it to happen. After a relatively long meeting, I was able to control a conversation and successfully make the point. The main reason for my success was customization. Not only was using conviction and clarity to guide me through the meeting, but I was also relying on customization to communicate compassion (old me) as well as success (new me).
Setting up a meeting with the client helped me stimulate the final situation that I encountered. After a long waiting game, I was given the opportunity to meet a small business owner in Boston who was looking to have a new website designed and developed. Excited to hear the news, I headed to Boston to meet with this ‘potential’ client. Thanks to countless hours of preparation, I was able to blend by a new cultural behavior within my old set of behaviors with relative ease. The conversations seemed flawless, as if there were no cultural barriers between me and the potential client. Ultimately, I was able to communicate the value that my business offers to owners like him. A such, I compiled a list of key lessons that I learned from this global dexterity experience and I’m thankful to Prof. Molinksy for helping us become better versions of our self in the US.