I speak in person too! I was recently invited to talk about my sweet spot – acclimating to an environment where cross-cultural differences are confronted head on. So I accepted, closed my eyes and jumped. And when the cameras started rolling, I realised that actually, working with an audience can be so much fun.
What does my perspective bring to the table? I am a perpetual outsider who has spent her entire life de-coding cultures that I’ve come to accept and appreciate innately—Canadian, French, Russian, American, British. Growing up within any given culture doesn’t give one the benefit of seeing what is unique about it. I’ve always started out “apart” from the societies where I landed. Eventually, I became “a part” of those same cultures that once felt so acutely foreign to me but I now embrace as my own.
I believe passionately in sharing my perspectives towards expanding cultural horizons and to exploring different approaches that challenge what we’ve always known, or done or how we’ve always thought. I would love to share these takes with you, in person.
Not only does Catherine have the charisma and charm to keep a large audience focused and interested but she also has a plethora of experiences and anecdotes that build into her thoughtful analysis of multicultural differences. Catherine’s presentation was an invaluable asset to our global teams’ efficiency.
Guillaume Cachia Henkel, Treasury Manager, North America
Acclimating Expats to
American Corporate Culture
Congratulations! You’ve been assigned to the land of “The American Dream”! But what makes it so? American corporate culture is like no other – and there are many unwritten cultural rules that your company may not think to warn you about. What role do personal space and personal hygiene play at the office? Why do Americans seem so much more impatient than any other culture? What are the acceptable norms for socialising at the office? Why is political correctness so significant? I shoot from the hip. I tell you like it is. No holds barred.
to the States
Been there. Done that. Know it. Right? It’s not as seamless as you’d think. Nowhere is the disconnect between “returning home” and “feeling at home” more stark then when we repatriate. It’s where our expectations of what we’ve always known and look forward to as familiar sharply contrast to the realities of what awaits when we’ve unpacked that last box. Here I explore the emotions, phases and realities of what has been deemed “the dark side” of expat life.
Acclimating Americans to
Welcome to Blighty*! There are already numerous expat groups and American-based clubs in place to help you settle in or sort through living logistics (banking, taxes, relocation & schooling, tourist attractions, etc.) as a newcomer to Britain. I don’t speak to any of that. My fascination is with the “indigenous population” (yes, I am “taking the Mickey”). I relate my personal experiences as an American whose entire social circle in London is purely British. I can speak to British: dinner party etiquette, humour, schooling, the vernacular, attitudes towards sex, drinking, socialising, class structure and their views towards us as Americans.
* a British English slang term for Britain or often specifically England