PREFACE FROM THE FOUNDER, SEEMA JAIN:
Halfway through 2022, and I can’t believe Seva Global is approaching its two-year anniversary this August! I still remember my daughter Sanjana and I sitting on our family room floor creating the company name and logo design. The name Seva (pronounced SAY-vah) is my daily reminder to do something good for someone each day – an act of selfless service.
This is where my mindset was when Sanjana and I created the brand:
The three rings represent Family & Friends, Community, and Career
The Seva script represents the compassionate side of cultural competency
The Global font represents the business side of cultural competency and its importance globally
The various shades of blue are calming and soothing colors – something we can probably all use in our fast-paced world
I cannot thank you enough for your support in my entrepreneurial journey. There were times I questioned myself: Did I make the right decision? Should I have left corporate America? Today, with all the support I have received from every one of you, I know this was the right path for me. It is continually inspiring to connect with CEOs, EVPs, CHROs, CDOs, and other leaders across so many different industries and to find myself in a position where I am constantly learning and growing in this work. The goal is to make a difference in people’s lives along the way. This month I am traveling to Houston to present to World Cinema, Inc. and then to Toronto to attend the Destinations International Conference for the first time. Thank you, United Airlines, Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter Ravinia, InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, and Arity, for new opportunities with your teams. As you plan your budget for 2023, please consider adding cultural competency to your goals and priorities. Whether it is a speaking engagement or consulting, we would love to partner with you to increase your organization’s cultural intelligence!
THIS EDITION'S CULTURAL COMPETENCY TIP: Some cultures that are more focused on relationship building, whereas others are more transactional. What does this mean exactly?
Relationship-building cultures tend to appreciate taking some time for the personal before getting down to business. They might want to know about your family, your interests, or other personal matters. This can be seen in many Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern cultures. Taking time to get to know your colleagues personally is seen as building trust before engaging in a business transaction or negotiation. By contrast, transactional cultures are typically ready to get to the task at hand right away, as is generally seen in the United States and Northern Europe.
Americans, in general, tend to live a fast-paced life and often want to get a contract signed as soon as possible without spending a lot of time on small talk. However, I would budget time for a leisurely lunch to get to know my Brazilian client and establish rapport before diving into business matters. Know what your client expects before you make a cultural faux pas.
NEXT CHAPTER: We are thrilled to announce that we have added a new team member, Tim Vesperman, who will be instrumental in launching our LGBTQ+ program. We love his energy and passion for cultural competency and feel confident he will be a great asset to Seva Global. Please visit our website to learn more about Tim.
TRAVEL SAFELY, TRAVEL WELL:
Seema’s 2022 schedule continues to keep her traveling around the country! If she is in your city and you’d like to schedule some time together for an in-person visit, please let us know.
Houston, Texas: Monday, July 11 – Wednesday, July 13
Toronto, Canada: Tuesday, July 19 – Friday, July 22
Charleston, South Carolina: Wednesday, August 3 – Thursday, August 4
Dallas, Texas: Wednesday, August 17 – Thursday, August 18
Washington, D.C.: Wednesday, August 31 – Friday, September 2
Dallas, Texas: Wednesday, September 7 – Thursday, September 8
Orlando, Florida: Monday, September 19 – Tuesday, September 20
Phoenix, Arizona: Wednesday, September 21 – Friday, September 23
By Zach Donofrio, Director of Development – New Construction, MI, OH, IN, KY, WV
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc.
In our sector of the hospitality industry, trust, rapport, and bridging the gap between cultures is not just paramount to growing our brands but is also key to helping our partners realize their entrepreneurial dreams. Recently, we were working with an Indian client on a deal in a high-end downtown market. During one of our early meetings, we gifted each partner a Lord Ganesh statue. Lord Ganesh is a deity in the Hindu religion that represents wisdom and prosperity, and we hoped that this small gesture would convey that we were wishing them as the best as they were in the middle of a large transaction at that time.
Fast forward a month. We were facing strong competition with other brands vying to place their product in this market. Therefore, we were elated when the client told us they wanted to move forward with our brand. After closing, when we asked our newest partners what had convinced them to move forward with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, they said, “We took the Lord Ganesh statue home after our initial meeting, and when our wives asked us where this came from, we explained the story and they said, ‘You have to do business with them!’”
At Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, we continually strive to make an impact in every interaction with our clients but doing so in a way that shows we are working to understand and immerse ourselves into our clients’ cultures. It was tremendous to have had the chance to learn first-hand from Seva Global the cultures and traditions of the Asian American community during a seminar they put on for our organization – it truly made all the difference.
Do you have a #mysevastory you’d like us to highlight? Let us know how you are helping a customer, colleague, community, family, or friend with cultural competence! You can send your “#mysevastory” to Tim Vesperman at email@example.com.
By Amir Ahmed, Executive Vice President of DISH Business
There is a plethora of examples that show understanding and building a culturally competent team keeps businesses from making ineffective and potentially disastrous decisions. Cross-cultural competencies go far beyond simply helping a company avoid stereotyping and exposing an internalized bias. They have far more practical benefits than most people realize, because everywhere there are people, there are differences.
Building cultural competency on my team has provided us with these six primary outcomes:
We have created and maintained unprecedented rapport between members of the team resulting in improved communications and lasting bonds.
We have clearer and more effective channels of communication that were not as pronounced before.
Training the team on cultural nuances has opened a whole host of new markets and networks within all the verticals we service.
The team’s relationships with vendors and partners they work with have deepened as our team now makes people feel valued, which in turn builds loyalty, low churn, and repeat business.
Learning about different cultures is deeply interesting and encourages a broader appetite for learning generally. The desire to learn more, in turn, drives innovation.
Being culturally competent helps you avoid mistakes, miscommunication, and dissatisfaction.
Overall, we at DISH Business have seen a marked improvement to our bottom line by investing in and encouraging training and development of cultural competency. Decreased dissatisfaction reduces churn and greater innovation directly results in better products and services. DISH is a company built on strong relationships and unique innovations and increasing our cultural competence has only made us excel further.
Seva Global offers a wide array of services to foster cultural competence across organizations. Through our customized solutions and consultations, we can help to increase employee engagement, enhance customer experience, and drive bottom line results. Our goal is to help teams become more culturally competent when engaging with people from different backgrounds. We would love your feedback on this newsletter. Please share with anyone you think it may interest!
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