We have now come full circle up the neurological levels. We have seen how each level affects the others, up and down. We have seen how culture shapes each level and defines what we do and who we are much more profoundly than we are usually aware of.
This post is a recap on all that, to put everything succinctly in one place.
Your environment is where you live, where you work, the places you go to, the people you meet. It is what you read, watch and listen to. It is where you get all the cultural information in the fIrst place from. When you move to a new place, the environment is your point of entry into the new culture.
Behaviours are what you and other people do. It is where the most obvious clash of cultures will happen. It is where the most easily identifiable differences can be observed: what people eat, wear, how they move, they speak, the music they listen to for instance. When you come from a different culture, the behaviours you exhibit will seem strange to others. In the same way, how others behave is likely to baffle you.
Your skills and capabilities define to what extent you will understand and adapt to the new culture. We all have preferences in terms of how we behave and interact and how we expect others to interact with us. At the same time, we also have flexibility to how we can change to deviate from our natural preferences. The flexibility we exhibit is proportionate to our cultural skills and capabilities.
What matters most in terms of cultural understanding and adaptation are the beliefs and values you hold. The stronger we are limited by our beliefs and values and we want to hold on to them, the more difficult it will be to understand and adapt to another culture.
Your identity, that is who you have become to be is actually greatly influenced by your culture. I refer you to a previous post about it. This identity is likely to clash with a new environment, a new culture. It is not a question of ignoring or abandoning your identity when moving to a new culture. However, the experience will allow to grow your identity to become a richer person.
Finally, your purpose in life may be at odd with your new environment. However, I would argue that if you have your true purpose, you should follow it and adapt on the other levels to achieve your purpose, your mission.
So, in all this, where can a coach specialising in cultural diversity help you to achieve a faster transition to your new culture for you to reach your best level in your new surroundings. A coach can help you consider and understand how your new environment affects you and your performance in life. Understand if any arrangements could be adapted.
In terms of behaviours, again, a coach can help you make sense of your and others behaviours. However, only looking at changing behaviours is like covering cracks in a falling wall with wallpaper. It may appear better on the surface but nothing fundamental and long-standing will change.
Working on your skills and capabilities will definitely bring some deeper changes, like filling in the cracks.
However, for achieving a successful transition to your new culture, you will need to understand your beliefs and values and how and where they clash with the new culture, its own values and beliefs.This is like rebuilding the wall. Some of the material will be re-used, in a different way, and new material will come to build a stronger wall.Understanding with the help of a coach how your identity helps or hinders you in the new culture is like checking the foundations on which the wall is built. It may also be necessary to reinforce these foundations.
As you can see, being successful in a new culture requires you to question all your levels of interactions, with yourself and the world around you. No wonder it is not easy and a lot of people have significant problems when moving to a new place. If it is your case, reach out to check how I can help.