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Cross-Cultural Consulting

Cross-Cultural Consulting


Are you sending staff to work in a new country? Do you have team members from different cultures in your office? Maybe you work with clients and suppliers overseas. Have you ever wondered…

  • “What does my staff need to know to create a good impression in a new market?”
  • “How do I get colleagues from overseas to understand deadlines?”
  • “How do I ask a question and get a meaningful answer?”
  • “What is the etiquette for meetings in other markets?”
  • “How do I create a sense of urgency among my team members?”
  • “How do I collect money?”
  • “Who are the decision-makers?”
  • “How do I rebuild a damaged relationship?”
  • “How can I get partners to commit to timelines?”
  • “Why won’t anyone give me a decision?”
  • “Why do my foreign staff think I’m rude?”

These are the kinds of questions which clients ask us every day. Airlines, mining companies, pharmaceutical companies, advertising agencies – they all face the challenges of having staff from different countries scattered around the globe. People from different places don’t always understand each other … and they don’t always get along.

Cultural differences are a well-documented source of conflict for business people operating in foreign markets or in culturally diverse teams. Failure to understand these differences and find ways to bridge the cultural divide can lead to conflict within your team, difficult relationships with clients and suppliers, delayed decision-making and reduced productivity. All of which is bad for the bottom line.

If your business is expanding to a new country, your team will encounter very different expectations about time management, contract negotiations and public morality. Understanding the culture of the new market is key to successfully transacting business there. Similarly, if you work in your home country, but with people from diverse backgrounds, understanding how they perceive the world is key to building a healthy, trusting relationship with them.

What We Do

We work with staff travelling to new markets, companies with established teams working cross-border and culturally diverse teams in Australia. Our goal is to create realistic expectations about the experience of working abroad or in a culturally diverse environment and we strive to help clients to build productive, harmonious working relationships between members of cross-cultural teams. Our briefings are tailored to the seniority, role, gender and interests of each participant. We focus on private and professional etiquette, cultural differences, religious considerations, political subtleties, racial and sexual mores. We also address the wider economic and regulatory contexts of each culture.

Here’s What Our Clients Say:

Ego Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd


Ego Pharmaceutical’s business in the Middle East has grown to represent a significant proportion of our world-wide business. This has meant that our business has grown more complex and cultural differences have a much greater impact.  We were aware that for some functions, such as planning and forecasting, our teams were operating under starkly different paradigms and that in general, communication between Australia and the Middle East didn’t always go to plan for either party. Sitting in between both groups it was clear that there were some frustrations and issues that our internal processes, procedures and values were not adequately addressing.
Based on a thorough situation analysis, Dearin & Associates put together a training program for Ego Pharmaceuticals across a wide range functions that have some interaction with, or are impacted by the Middle East. This involved providing some models to explain the basis for the differences but more importantly, lots of interaction and discussion of real issues and misconceptions.
Following on from the feedback from this training Dearin & Associates then put together an “Australian” training session for Ego’s senior management team in the Middle East.
The program forced participants to confront the reality that there are some big differences between how Australians and Arabs view the world. There were many “aha” moments for both groups as they discussed examples of “strange” behavior that, in fact, turn out to be perfectly normal if you understand the differences in culture between the Middle East and Australia.
The training covered a wide range of topics but what really stood out were the changes in behaviour from staff who have regular contact with each other. At its simplest, the clear message from the training and subsequent interactions is that if both parties make a genuine effort to appreciate their cultural differences, things do work better and in fact, working together actually becomes far more enjoyable.
Dearin & Associates‘s feedback also helped senior management to identify some key areas to focus on and provide support for.
It is easy to feel that our challenges are unique to Ego Pharmaceuticals. Dearin & Associates unpacked this thinking and helped us to understand that the challenges are exactly what many companies experience and that with a bit of extra effort that our “challenges” do, indeed, become “opportunities”.
John Warmbrunn
Middle East North Africa Business Manager

To find out more about Dearin & Associates’ cross-cultural consulting services, contact us on or +612 8076  4660.

Click below to download the brochure:


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