We were inspired to write about the mindful international
manager by the work of others.
Ellen J. Langer developed the
concept of mindfulness and made it well-known in psychology
and beyond
in her book of the same name and in numerous
other publications.

The relevance of mindfulness to effective intercultural interaction
was described by the communication scholars
William B. Gudykunst and Stella Ting-Toomey. The term is also used in the management field.

What do we mean by ‘The Mindful International Manager’?
Mindful international managers:
• focus with understanding on the context and process of
communication and cooperation as well as on their outcome;

• create understanding when communicating with people with backgrounds different from their own, for example, by
     · listening actively
     · modifying their language to make it more comprehensible
     · paraphrasing
     · testing their own understanding and
     · paying attention to non-verbal behaviour;

• pay attention to their own cultural and individual assumptions, values and norms;

• realise that these are only one set of guiding principles for action amongst many others;

• pay attention to what they can see of the cultural and individual assumptions, values and norms of the people with whom they are working;

• try to see the different cultures and situations they are in through the eyes and with the feelings of the people they are working with;

• take account of these different perspectives and feelings in their own actions and in their evaluations of people from different cultures

What is meant by ‘competences for working
effectively across cultures’?
We mean the
• knowledge,
• skills,
• attitudes,
• traits and
• motives

which research and experience have shown you need in order to be effective in international situations. We describe these key intercultural competences so that you can reflect upon yourself and develop the competences which you think are important to you in your particular situation.

The key competences described in the book are taken from the Worldwork Ltd set of competences for working effectively in international contexts.