I have been lucky to be raise as an expat kid by globe trotting parents. However, nothing had prepared me for the culture shock I had when I moved to India.
The shock was not about the ‘spiciness’ of the food, the very visible religious fervour , the social inequalities, the corruption or even the infrastructure. My shock was the corporate world. I had no working experience when i first started working in India, so the shock was not about learning Indian ways of working but about adapting to a corporate environment.
With my international experience, teaching background and previous call centre job, i found work easily in Bangalore’s training industry. Training call centre agents in english/american phonetics, grammar, customer service and culture for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week was an amazing learning experience. I met fantastic people, empowering mentors and really got to understand the impact of culture in the workplace. It wasn’t always easy. Because of different mental models, my colleagues/bosses/clients and i did not always see eye to eye. My biggest challenge was to be able to suspend my judgement of other people’s behaviour and try understanding their (usually) positive intentions without jumping to wrong conclusions and inadequate behaviour.
The video below is a slice of this extraordinary journey. Enjoy!