Several years ago, I won a contest to attend The Protocol School of Washington, D.C.’s Protocol Officer Training. For the competition, I chose to create a video to assist the CEO of a large U.S. hospital navigate a three-country trip that focused on building relationships. They would travel first to Spain, then Nigeria, and end in South Africa. I was to create a briefing on what they needed to know to be successful. I used our own Living Abroad reports for the information to create my video, and it wowed the judges.
Classes went full days for a week, and we learned everything from precedence (the condition of being considered more important than someone or something else), to titles and forms of address (believe me, there are many, many different conventions around the world), and my favorite, international protocol.
My classmates were from all over the world and represented many different organizations. One woman was representing NASA – her husband was an astronaut. Another traveled from the Australian Army to attend, while two attendees traveled from Riyadh. There were many different representatives from the U.S. Armed Forces, and a couple of university protocol officers. It was quite an international group, and each person had their own needs and questions.
From a historical view, the foundation of protocol and the rule of precedence were determined by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Precedence was based on diplomatic titles and envoys were ranked according to the date their credentials were presented rather than the size or influence of the nation they represented.
We learned that every event requires a “protocol conductor.” In the relocation industry, this “conductor” role is played by global HR, the travel manager, and the training and development manager for the company. These individuals are responsible for dispersing information and coaching resources for a smooth relocation experience and effective business protocol around the world. They also provide practical information that leads to business success. And if this is all done right, the individuals representing the company will accomplish their goals while on assignment or during global business travel.
In the global mobility world, we know this success is based on cultural agility. Cultural awareness builds trust and rapport, creates connections, and strengthens confidence. Successful individuals have the ability to suspend their belief systems, and remain culturally curious. Several companies such as Citibank, Mosaic, and Regeneron require cultural training before an international assignment.
Why is cultural agility more important than ever? Because it:
— Accelerates new market development
— Promotes new talent placement
— Supplements technical and functional expertise
— Mitigates unnecessary risks
If you are a Global Mobility Manager, a Travel Manager, or a Training and Development Manager, you need tools that are informative and save you time.
How will Living Abroad help you?
- The International Relocation Center, with 197 destinations, supports assignees, their families, global business travelers, and those working in global teams. The reports include key pre-departure requirements, in-depth country orientation, and living-in information, as well as business and social customs.
- The Global Business Travel Center provides relevant articles for your global road warriors, which will prepare them for any situation when traveling abroad. With special focus on business etiquette, your business travelers will make a good impression from the introductions through the close of the business meeting.
- The Culture Coach Online is a powerful learning platform designed to prepare users to understand the impact of culture on business and personal relationships, and to learn how to improve their own cultural agility – whether abroad or at home.
Supporting your mobile workforce can be easy by subscribing to Living Abroad’s International Relocation Center, the Culture Coach Online, or the Global Business Travel Center. The International Relocation Center has 197 destinations to choose from and the Culture Coach Online, an online cultural learning platform, is available for 150 destinations. Both services easily link to your company intranet or relocation portal for access at any time.
If you move employees around the globe, train them for greater success abroad, or manage business travelers, contact Living Abroad. With our 30+ years of experience, trusted information, and exclusive suite of innovative tools, we can help you be an invaluable resource to your company and colleagues.
Give them local knowledge, globally.
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