By HANS HOOGERDIJK [email protected]

Hans Hoogerdijk taught International Management & Communication in Utrecht and is the co-founder of Global Management Skills that provides Management Training, Coaching and Consultancy. Customers include Fortis Bank & Insurance, ABNAMRO Bank, PGGM Investments.

The (business) world is changing rapidly and more and more our success and personal effectiveness depends on our daily life behaviour and communication skills. This is even more the case in international situations and where people with different cultural backgrounds meet and have to work together.

A lot of business opportunities get lost because of the lack of intercultural sensitivity and cross border communication skills. The result: irritation, anger, more prejudice, unnecessary problems and in the end … less business!

Here in the Algarve I see examples of this every day while doing shopping, walking the streets of Lagos, dealing with the Câmara, gas companies, visiting restaurants, golf resorts – I could go on infinitely! Maybe I’m a workaholic but every time I see the trouble starting, I cannot stop analysing what is really going on. I want to interfere and help solve the issue. Of course, being an outsider I know this would make things even worse, so I keep my mouth shut…

Maybe I can be of much more help if I describe these situations in my new monthly column. I aim to describe the practical and recognisable situations, analyse them by means of a simple theoretical model and end with giving alternative ways of behaviour and communication.

The list of daily life subjects seems endless: intercultural prejudices, communication styles, management issues, sales and negotiation skills, customer focused habits, and so on. I expect people to react on these articles by asking questions or advice. So if you have any questions, please send me an email.

Hans Hoogerdijk can be contacted by emailing [email protected]