Tina Varughese | All Presentations
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Keynote Presentations:

50 Shades of Beige: Communicate with the Cross-Cultural Advantage 

Successful organizations understand that being able to communicate cross-culturally in the workplace leads to enhanced productivity, performance and employee engagement. Managing diversity drives profitability, leads to innovation and promotes an inspiring workplace culture.  Everybody can benefit from communicating more effectively, however, when 20% of Canada’s population is foreign-born (and much higher in urban centres), communicating with the cross-cultural advantage is arguably one of the most important types of communication to understand and benefit from in the 21st century. Any organization with a culturally-diverse client base or increasingly multicultural workforce would benefit greatly from this topic.

Key Takeaways
  • Cultural differences in communication: Indirect vs. direct speaking styles. 
  • Effective non-verbal communication techniques. 
  • How to use the VAK model of Communication for a cross-cultural advantage.

Human Resources | Recruiting and Retaining Foreign Workers for Success and Sustainability

Successful organizations understand that being able to attract, recruit and retain a qualified worker with appropriate skills, personality, attitude and motivation can be challenging at the best of times, let alone when chronic labour shortages exist in both skilled and non-skilled occupations. A shortage of skilled labour limits the ability to increase sales or production, which is why many successful organizations recruit foreign workers. The top source countries for foreign workers are India, China, Pakistan and the Philippines, all collective in nature. Collectivists often recommend suitable candidates because of their commitment to family and community, giving employers access to a rich database of potential recruits. However, managerial hiring practices are not standardized globally. Religious practices coupled with English as a second language can also affect productivity and profitability if not managed effectively.

Key Takeaways
  • Why hiring practices sometimes inadvertently ‘screen out’ suitable candidates.
  • Effective interview techniques with individualistic and collective cultures.
  • Are we speaking the same language? Constructive feedback across cultures.

Leadership | Gen Zen: Communicate, Collaborate and Cooperate in the Changing Workplace 

Successful leaders understand today’s increasingly multigenerational, multicultural and multifaceted workforce brings both opportunities and challenges if not managed effectively. To create trust, collaboration and creative work environments, inclusive leaders need to effectively communicate, understand and listen to their fellow employees. Everybody wants to be seen, wants to be heard and wants to be acknowledged. Learning how to communicate and cooperate in the workplace leads to a healthier, happier, motivating and inspiring workplace where everybody benefits.

Key Takeaways:
  • How to empower introverts in the workplace.
  • Techniques for team building through collaboration and understanding. 
  • The difference between monochromic and polychromic cultures and why it matters to the workplace.

Inclusive Leadership: From Silos to Solutions

Creating a great organization isn’t just about breaking down cultural barriers. It’s about building a workplace where everyone works towards a common purpose and feels included despite title, rank or position. Successful leaders understand people do not leave jobs. People leave people. Today’s successful leaders believe not only in investing in themselves, but encouraging others to grow, to learn and to develop in order to build inclusivity and trust, breakdown silos, foster employee engagement, encourage open lines of communication, promote creativity and create a healthy, happy and inspiring workplace.

Key Takeaways:
  • Inclusive personal and organizational purpose: How recognizing others’ contributions gives you a stronger sense of purpose.
  • Breaking down silos: How to create respectful, communicative, inclusive and collaborative teams.
  • Death by meeting: Five key steps to inclusive and effective meetings.

Unconscious Bias | Making a First Impression in Seven Seconds or Less

First impressions, positive or negative, are made in seven seconds or less. We all make quick assessments of others without even realizing it. We are not born with bias. Biases are formed by past situations, experiences, background and culture. Unconscious biases typically exist towards gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability (both physical and mental), and weight. Most of us will say “I see people for who they are” but do we? Unconscious biases affect and impact decision making both professionally and personally with real impact. Recognizing, managing and mitigating unconscious bias promotes diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion drives innovation, increases productivity, and stimulates creativity while promoting a healthy, happy, engaging workplace culture. 

Key Takeaways:
  • The Neuroscience behind Unconscious Bias (“No blame, no shame”) 
  • Managing and Mitigating Unconscious Bias in Recruitment, Retention and Employee Engagement 
  • Breaking Bias – Strategies for Gender, Maternal, Affinity and Ageism 

Sales & Service | Successfully Selling and Servicing to All Cultures 

The population in general is becoming increasingly multicultural. One-fifth of Canada’s population was born outside of Canada (much higher in urban centres) – making it one of the fastest growing niche markets today. Second and third generation immigrants are highly influenced by parental values, beliefs and cultural nuances. With diversity comes opportunity, and potential for growth in sales, brand loyalty and profitability. By building trust and rapport through understanding, recognizing and respecting cultural differences, successful companies can capitalize and profit from this often untapped market. 

Key Takeaways:
  • Work less, sell more: Increase repeat and referral business cross-culturally 
  • Are we speaking the same language? Successful cross-cultural negotiations 
  • When yes means no: How communication styles differ across cultures