Communicating and Leading Across Cultures

A few years ago on ExPat InSights, I was sitting across the CEO of the NCO Group in the Philippines, Keith Jones, and to one of my questions “What are your plans for your future?” He responded very confidently and calmly, “I am a global person, Raju, and I will take wherever I am needed and where I can add value.” For days and still until now the memory of his confidence and calmness has stayed on in my mind.

For years before that I had and also continue working with hundreds of such global executives coming in and, sometimes, going out of the Philippines. My interaction with them is called Cross Cultural Training but one of the executives referred it to as, “This was much more than just training but rather an in-depth coaching and immersion in the Filipino culture. The learning and insights were precious and I will apply them from day one and every day on.”

Going back to Keith Jones’ statement, today, I live with the conclusion and research proves it that global executives can move with calm, with confidence and create value across cultures when they learn to place themselves in the shoes of people of diverse cultures as they traverse across the globe. Of course, there is more than just stepping into the shoes of another but doing a lot more. It is compassion, it is vision, it is authentic value-creating action but the first step is stepping into the other person’s shoes.

In the Philippines, where I live, there is a word-a value called “Kapwa” and it is an all encompassing word that somehow gives cross cultural communications and leadership such credence and brilliance.  The dictionaries translate it as neighbor, reflection, one-of-a-pair, kindred etc., my “paramdam” is that it is all those translations and a lot more. It is also kindness, mercy, empathy, compassion and love all placed in one for all other human beings and for humankind itself.

Communicating Across Cultures

Communicating Across Cultures

Cross-cultural leaders like Keith Jones and Jeff Uthoff of Telus International know it intuitively, in their gut, in fact they “paramdam” it. Paramdam, by the way is to sense, too intuite, to know without being told.

Taking this first step of learning to place ourselves in the shoes of others starting with the assumption that in every human being, in every system and culture there is something that works, something that is beautiful and brilliant. Our job, our first objective is to seek and let this brilliance evolve, unleash itself.


My upcoming open to public events:

11/17/15 Communicating and Leading Across Cultures in Dubai :

12/14/15 Inspire Like a CEO in Mumbai:

12/21/15 Appreciative Leadership in Bangalore:

Posts on Facebook:

Talks on You Tube:

Choice Clips from ExPat InSights


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