Culture and Diversity; Stories for Work and Life
Sunniva Heggertveit-Aoudia is a Norwegian coach, facilitator and consultant living in France. She is specialised in the fields of Diversity & Inclusion. Culture and Diversity; Stories for Work and Life offers views and experiences. She shares stories, ideas and reflections – sometimes with a humorous angle - but she also invites the readers to reflect and question themselves and others, the environment and cultures they live within. We have conducted an interview with her.
How important are inclusive leadership and cross-cultural intelligence for business today?
Many would agree that feeling heard and being part of a business culture and decisions - in other words being included - makes you motivated and wanting to give your best at work. An inclusive leader manages to create that feeling, which likely has an impact on people's productivity levels and whether the company attracts talent. inclusive leadership therefore influences a company's success on several levels.
We know that many a business deal or a business investment has gone wrong due to lack of understanding of local culture. Many still under-estimate the need for heightening cross-cultural intelligence among staff, it's not only about making a deal, it's about making day-to-day activity run smoothly. Global companies hire multi-cultural employees, but we also have multi-cultural environments in a local company. There is more and more a need for at least a basic introduction to working efficiently in this environment.
What are your expertise and specialization?
I am a certified professional coach working with individuals and teams. As a facilitator and consultant I am specialised in the fields of diversity and inclusion.
Which are the most challenging aspects about mentoring across cultures?
The challenge and the fun is the same thing; misinterpretation because of own cultural filters. Knowledge and an open mind are keys to making it work.
Who exactly do you want to reach with your book 'Culture and Diversity. Stories for Work and Life'?
Students of HR/D&I/Internationalisation, new managers/HR in international jobs. Anyone interested in the field of diversity and inclusion
What is your advice for new managers who wants to build relationships with people from other cultures? How do you recommend them to begin?
Main advice is to be curious aopen-mindedded. Ask questions to understand, talk with the team about the similarities and differences, and agree to 'talk about how to talk'.
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