General Collaboration and Cultural Orientation Brazil/USA

Cross-cultural communication offers distinct challenges. Learn practical tools to effectively accomplish tasks, be more productive, and simply enjoy working together.  Intercultural English Services, Inc. assists all nationalities but  specializes in Brazilian-USA communication styles, helping Brazilians adapt to life in the USA and preparing “USAers” for living in Brazil.  IES understands the unique communication and cultural challenges that Brazilians and USAers may face in the workplace and in daily living. IES collaborates with specialists on country-specific cross-cultural communication challenges, leadership development, team-building, management, and professional skills. Through  intentional learning, practice, and actions, we increase our awareness, understanding, and acceptance to better interface with differences and make connections; hence, making this world a more peaceful place to live. 

One Example of an Intercultural Consideration

Let’s look at one example that may affect the workplace. Geert Hofstedt, a well-known international management expert, provides insights on several characteristics that define cultures. One cultural dimension is “Individualism/Collectivism”. Hofstedt states that one aspect how a society is defined is the notion of “we” or “I”. For example, is the society concept of family defined by the immediate family or extended through grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins? Is there an exchange for loyalty? For a high collective society, such as Brazil, the time taken to know each other is critical before any transactions take place. For a high individualistic society, such as United States, the focus is more on what the person does rather than who they are and where they come from. In the global workplace, where we find individuals who grew up in varying degrees of individualistic or collectivistic cultures, it is not only important to be aware of these cultural dimensions and the demonstrated behaviors but to be aware of your own perceptions and to genuinely appreciate and successfully function in multicultural environments. 

“Kathy had arranged a phone conversation on best management practices in Brazil between a high level stateside Brazilian manager and me. I am from the USA and will be managing a new office for a German company in Brazil. Along with this excellent management information, I found the “Working in Brazil” video and the results of the assessment test useful for my preparation of living in Brazil. Kathy adapted well to our styles and needs throughout the briefing.” Siemens Manager

“Kathy Ellis embodies the word ‘dedication.’ She is a true global citizen with a strong background in helping expats adjust to their host culture and get to success quickly. I hired Kathy recently for a complex project involving a team of Indian engineers moving to Brazil for a high-stakes assignment. I was amazed by Kathy’s knowledge, her rapport-building ability, and her unwavering commitment to the engineers’ success. She was extremely sensitive to their needs, and went above and beyond the call of duty to make them comfortable. Her understanding of Brazilian culture runs deep, and she gave the engineers a strong array of strategies to navigate their new assignment. I have worked with her on numerous occasions, and always with great results. I highly recommend Kathy for any company or individual looking to hit the ground running in the new country!”   -Vicki Hudson, Chief Collaboration Officer, Highroad Global Services

In 2019, I was invited for an interview by The Graded School in Sao Paulo, Brazil as part of their 100-year celebration. I was a teacher at Graded during the 1980s.

“We appreciate the teaching Kathy did with our Brazilian Coaches. She was able to make their transition to the U.S. and my volleyball club smoother as she broke down videos, sport-specific terminology and parent/player conversation for them. Our coaches embraced and enjoyed working with her, as she was very passionate about their progress.” Rafa Silva, Owner,  Rio Volleyball Club in Smyrna, Ga, USA

I was honored to host Benedita da Silva for a talk on her foundation at a university in Atlanta.

IES volunteers for community organizations.

IES encourages participants to attend networking and volunteer events. These international MBA candidates come from Vietnam, China, and Canada.

“Kathy has been a supporter of the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce of the SE for more than 20 years. During these years, Kathy has been an important connector between our organization and international companies, mostly working with Brazilian clients on USA orientations, advance language assistance for professionals, and collaborations with various destination services and business owners. On all occasions we worked together, Kathy always delivered above and beyond the scope of the assignment. Her desire to help and make others feel very comfortable working with her has not only made Kathy a good leader, but a great team player.” Lucia Jennings, Interim Chairman, Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce