Successful abroad: case study

There were so many things she wanted to know about. She had already stumbled on the subtle relationships at work and felt that she interrupted their equilibrium. She was a successful, influential manager – this was the reason why she was offered a new position in Poland, which required moving away from her home country, Russia.

In the new location, however, she was not able to reach her goals as fast as she would have liked to.  The gossip said she was perceived as being much too pushy, perhaps not trustworthy, and she was on the verge of inadvertently ruining many of her professional relationships. However the company wanted the promising manager to perform much better than that, and they realized a relocation training might help her be more successful in her new role.

–What? Is it really so? But why would they think this way? – was one of her very frequent reactions in the relocation training on Polish culture which she received soon afterwards. It was valuable to learn so much about Poland and the ways her Polish colleagues would perceive her ways. Her analytical mind, combined with natural intelligence and experience from the previous positions, was operating like crazy. An analysis of accustomed behaviors of hers compared to the typical behaviors of the host country were the beginning of the breakthrough.– I got an idea of the underlying motives of certain behaviors and explored opportunities to learn from another culture – she said in the closing round. She might have underestimated cultural differences between Russia and Poland… and she might have overestimated her habitual ways of reaching goals, as if she could make a ‘copy-paste’ from them in the host country. Supported by the coach, she developed an action plan on how to start applying the acquired cultural knowledge.

– But it’s nice to know that we do have similarities and common needs. – she said at the end, and added, always hungry for more – I really liked it that the trainer listened carefully and adjusted to my train of thoughts. I could cope with a faster pace of the course!