Typically when we think about diversity equity and inclusion, we look at what’s going on in our companies and in our communities – and that’s usually just within the United States. But what happens when our business expands internationally? What happens when we need to communicate effectively with someone from a different country who speaks a different first language? Today in this mini-episode, Don shares his experiences and perspectives on global DEI.
Donald Thompson: As a professional, I’ve been really fortunate to have a lot of different interactions, both in the United States, but also internationally. But I didn’t start out as a global business leader. I started out as a quota carrying sales professional in tech sales in Raleigh, North Carolina. And certainly I had some amazingly inspirational jobs before that, but we’ll just start with the fun part.
But one of the things that’s really interesting is when you’re doing something for the first time, there’s a stress, there’s an anxiety based on not knowing. And so my first trip to do and work with an international sales team for a very large opportunity, I was excited about the engagement. I was excited about the meeting and, and meeting new folks from all over the world, but I was also very apprehensive.
And so one of the things that I did, because I really didn’t have that international sales background is I asked a lot of questions of team members that did have that experience. What were some of the cultural norms that I needed to be aware of? What were some of the phrases that sound and work just fine in the United States that might not be appropriate for someone that is of European descent or Asian Indian descent?
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