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Cultural Agility: Building a Pipeline of Successful Global Professionals by Paula Caligiuri

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CHAPTER 6

BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR CULTURAL AGILITY WITH CROSS-CULTURAL TRAINING

Asif Zulfiqar is a culturally agile professional from Pakistan who has lived and worked in the United States, Finland, and the United Kingdom. Asif understands the subtle power of country-specific differences, noting that “even basic behaviors, such as saying ‘hello,’ can be culturally bound and can be misinterpreted if not done correctly. For example, American colleagues don’t shake hands every day—only after not seeing each other for a long time; a subtle nod or simple ‘hello’ would suffice.” He adds that this same behavior would be rude in his home country of Pakistan, where “it is polite to acknowledge another person with a handshake and a verbal ‘Assalam-o-alaikum’ ...

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