The McKinney Blog

3 Cross-cultural Things to Know For Success

By Steve McKinney

President, McKinney Consulting Inc. 

Accepting an overseas assignment, or work in a country other than one’s home country can be both exciting and daunting. Usually, the move preparation time is short, and that can add tension to the process of relocation. Then, there is the new job, in a new market to think about.

Starting a new position provides the opportunity to start fresh, and perhaps even reboot the way that we think about our personal work performance. This pause or change allows us to download new concepts, consider different ideas, and new approaches to how we work and lead. However, there is more to add to this equation. The nuances of a move to a new country, a different culture, and limited knowledge of the new work environment all have an impact on our work performance. Everyone wants to get started off on solid ground. First impressions are important and lasting. Mistakes should be minimalized in the new role.

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The 10 Things That I look For in a Hire

By Steve McKinney

President, McKinney Consulting Inc. 

If you reflect into a mirror at yourself, you probably do not see yourself the way others see you. Not only your appearance, but your actions, body gestures all give distinct clues to who you really are.

It is a fact that a singer hears herself differently than the audience hears her. The singer, when performing hears herself through her inner ear, which sounds differently to her than to the audience which hears her through their outer ears. So, perception is truly different from reality.

Reality or the Truth is we really do not know what is going on in someone’s brain. We do not hear them the way they hear themselves. What really motivates them or depresses them? We just don’t know. Our normal could be different from their normal. What we hear and what they hear is probably different.

How many of us really know ourselves, let alone someone else? How do we fit? Do we belong? David Thoreau once wrote. “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” So, we all struggle to see how we fit into society and the workplace.

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Korea’s Natural Resource - People

By Steve McKinney

President, McKinney Consulting Inc. 

Korea’s economic development, often described as the miracle on the Han River, was no miracle. It was a direct result of the effective and efficient leveraging of the only natural resource Korea has always had in abundance: the will of its people.

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Korean Culture: "In" and "Out"

by Dr. Horace H. Underwood
Professor Emeritus, Yonsei University

Two of the most common first impressions that foreigners have of Koreans are that they are incredibly polite and that they are incredibly rude.

In fact, the courtesy and kindness of Koreans is legendary and attested to by thousands of people who are fortunate enough to have a Korean friend. Overwhelming meals, unexpected gifts, constant and almost embarrassing attention to your personal whims: all of this and more have been yours if you have been invited out. This is not a modern invention; traditionally, one of the names of Korea was the "Eastern Land of Courtesy." The obligations of a host are paramount; the obligation of the guest is to lap it up.

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Honesty vs. Loyalty: Which is More Important?

By Dr. Horace H. Underwood
Professor Emeritus, Yonsei University

In Korea as in the West, honesty and loyalty are both virtues. In the West, in general, honesty is the higher virtue. In a Confucian society like Korea, loyalty is the higher virtue. Who is to choose? The difference is deeply rooted in Korean culture and has deep implications for Korean society and for those working with Koreans.

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