Three Tips for Cross-cultural Networking


“Don’t think you’re the smartest person in the room. Listen more. Have a beginner’s mindset.” - Jean Chow, SCS instructor

Networking can be a powerful tool for career advancement. It can help you build your confidence, exchange ideas, and provide pathways to new opportunities. Networking expert and SCS instructor Jean Chow shares three tips for networking in multicultural settings. 

1. Consider The Platinum Rule vs The Golden Rule

Most people know The Golden Rule – Treat others how you want to be treated. Yet it’s not always the best way to approach people. You only know how you want to be treated, your background, your cultural upbringing, your standards.

The Platinum Rule is an important shift in perspective which challenges you to treat others how they want to be treated.

So how do we know how they want to be treated? Applying the Platinum Rule involves understanding and respecting the unique preferences of individuals in various contexts, (including cultural context), developing meaningful relationships, and offering helpful collaboration.

2. Humility helps

Don’t think you’re the smartest person in the room. Listen more. Have a beginner’s mindset. In Japanese, the word “shoshin” means “beginner’s mind.” You may find it refreshing and freeing when you learn to let go of your preconceptions and have an attitude of openness when learning

3. Be culturally curious and sensitive

Do you work on a multicultural team and/or work for a multinational company? Often, the answer is “Yes!” Look around. In our professional and personal lives, we may all speak the same language but this doesn’t necessarily translate into engagement and collaboration. Communication is not so straightforward. English is widely spoken in the following countries: Canada, U.S., U.K., Ghana, and Australia, and yet our cultures are different.

Whether you are an emerging or established leader, our course Fearless Networking – Connecting Across Cultures can help you learn more about your own communication style and discover how it can be further developed to facilitate successful professional networking and meaningful relationships. 

Super connector and SCS instructor Jean Chow is currently focused on her successful professional coaching practice, aptly known on social media as @MsBizWiz, she also hosts the “Dream Network”, a highly diverse, international professional networking organization, which she founded in 2018. Jean knows instinctively what could be and is excited by the prospect of connecting people, ideas, and projects to get things done or to create something bigger and better. No longer active on the squash court (now Pickleball!), she is delighted her squash network continues to thrive and help others. Jean enjoys spending time as a volunteer mentor helping youth recognize and realize their potential and is writing a field guide about her intelligent approach to successful networking.


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