I yesterday read an article about the ignorant behavior and poor local understanding of American troops abroad. And having come across this reality at quite a fair amount of places on earth, I cannot doing anything else but agree. They just do it the American way, promoting the American culture. And than they act surprised when locals start attacking their embassies.
So, I´d like to offer a list of ten tips to the American government employees abroad how to better connect and get on with the locals! This advice can of course be used by anyone, from travelers to employees of multinational companies.
It is based on 28 years of experience, visiting 125 countries.
- You need to travel, visit other countries, smell them, feel them.
- But don´t travel with your own kind, find ways to travel to meet local people on their terms, motorized vehicles do not help.
- Remember you are a guest, if you don´t like what you see, go home.
- When you don´t understand, ask and try to see things from their perspective.
- Listen more than talk. But be curios.
- Humour is important and don´t take yourself to seriously.
- Don´t judge, have an open mind, what you see might not be the truth.
- Communication, Try to learn the language, if not try to communicate.
- Inform your self. Read and research a lot, but keep an open mind, read authors from that country. Remember objectivness doesn´t exist.
- Write, document and talk about your experiences, we need to inform others. Ignorance is dangerous.