As an American with life experiences of working and living in Europe, the Middle East and Asia for almost twenty years, Clark has learned the joys and challenges of working in other countries and with other cultures. In a lively and often humorous manner, he shares with his seminar participants “lessons learned” through these experiences and uses these to illustrate the importance of understanding cultural differences in being successful in a global market – whether that is in business, education, the nonprofit world, or in government and politics.

Clark Plexico has been a speaker and conducted seminars to hundreds of people from approximately two dozen countries, based on his international experiences in education, business and with nonprofit organizations.  He is also a training partner with Richard Lewis Communications and is a firm believer that the Lewis Model is the most practical, business-friendly and communication-based model.

Business, education, government, and NGOs are all facing the challenges of globalization, and are increasingly working in multicultural environments.  Teams in all sectors are becoming more global, whether in one location with multicultural members, or in separate offices in different locations around the world.  Individuals and organizations are increasingly working over different time zones and with colleagues who have different cultural ways of approaching and communicating problems and challenges.

Southeast Asia Leadership Academy - Sri Lanka

Southeast Asia Leadership Academy - Sri Lanka

"Cross-cultural Competency" has been named as one of the top ten most important skills for the 21st century.  This is because a “globally connected world” is one of the main drivers of structural change in the global workforce. Innovation is becoming more dependent on collaboration among people from different backgrounds who combine their knowledge to create something new.

While the diversity of thought that comes from multicultural teams can increase creativity, it can also cause misunderstanding and higher levels of conflict than what is found in teams of one nationality of culture. Cross-cultural intelligence is the key to managing conflict and maximizing the innovation that multicultural teams bring to an organization, and these skills are shared in Clark’s seminars and workshops.

Based on his own multicultural experiences and the Lewis Model, listed below are three of Clark’s seminars in cross-cultural skills for success in the 21st century:

  • “Communicating Successfully Across Cultures”

  • “Negotiating Successfully Across Cultures”

  • “How to Succeed in the International Arena”

Photo by Clark Plexico - while leading a cultural immersion trip in Southeast Asia

Photo by Clark Plexico - while leading a cultural immersion trip in Southeast Asia

The first is often a two hour to full day interactive workshop, when we examine what is meant by “culture” and what that means for the particular client organization.  In addition, participants will learn about different cultural types and their listening habits, meeting styles, and what motivates them. The workshop will also look at the characteristics of successful diverse teams, global leadership styles,  and how to build trust with different cultural types using the Lewis Model.

Should the team be interested in a follow-up day, the second seminar will go more deeply into negotiation, with a combination of theory and practice. It will look especially at persuasion and decision-making, based on scientific research into psychological (and cultural) biases that affect success. You will learn how to understand the different assumptions, beliefs and values held by the other side, and how to communicate effectively your point of view to those who hold different values and beliefs. You will also learn how to integrate different perspectives to create new solutions, and to negotiate for win-win solutions.

If thought useful to the client, the second day can be split into two halves.  The morning could be on negotiation, as described above. The afternoon could take things further with the team itself by having a 360 degree session, as developed by Richard Lewis Communications. The aim for such a session is to move beyond national culture to look at individuals and intra-personal/cultural perceptions within the team; and, to make individual and team commitments. The end result should be increased engagement and better over-all performance by both individuals and teams.