Session 2: Working Effectively Across Cultures - Mexico



June 13, 2012
Time 12:00 - 1:00 PM (CT)
Presented by IOR Global Services
Charisse Kosova, Manager, Intercultural Training
Maria Garaitonandia, Intercultural Trainer, Coach & Business Presenter

Mexico and the U.S. have been business partners for generations. And yet, it is still common for U.S. companies to struggle with working with their Mexican colleagues and business associates. One of the reasons for this ongoing struggle is a limited understanding of the deep cultural values that drive Mexican business behavior. The first step toward building more successful working relationships is to look beyond the surface frustrations and explore the motivation behind the business practices. If you are working in Mexico or with Mexican colleagues, this session will offer useful information and practical tips that can lead to more productive and rewarding business outcomes.

This session will:

  • Bring to the surface some of main challenges that U.S. Americans have when working with Mexico
  • Provide a historical understanding of the some of the differences that influence the way Mexico sees its relationship with U.S. business
  • Identify the key cultural differences that drive business behavior and define the Mexican work environment
  • Offer strategies for bridging differences
  • Provide tips on protocol, etiquette and business entertaining as a way to build relationships and trust in the workplace

Presenter Biographies:

Maria Garaitonandia, a Cuban-American living in Mexico, has over 15 years experience in positions involving intercultural issues in  management, customer service, and education in both Mexico and the United States.  She has been a professor at Monterrey Tec University, Cuernavaca Campus in Mexico, teaching courses such as Intercultural Communication, International Negotiation, Mexican Business Management and Doing Business in the Global Marketplace.   She has published articles in Business Mexico and Corporate Relocation News on intercultural management.  She provides intercultural training and coaching to clients involved in foreign assignments as well as global teamwork training.  Maria holds a B.A. in International Relations and a certificate in Latin American Studies from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia and a M.S. in Management and Organizational Development from Alliant International University in Mexico City.  She is certified in various cross-cultural models as well as the DISC and COI evalulation tools.  Maria has attended and supported workshops at the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication in Portland, OR, from which she has received the Intercultural Foundations Certification.

Charisse Kosova, Manager of Intercultural Training, designs and develops intercultural curricula  and manages IOR’s international training team. In addition, Charisse facilitates face-to-face and virtual programs focused on intercultural communication skills, building multicultural teams, and developing strategies for addressing the challenges of the global workplace.

Charisse has lived and worked in the US, Morocco, Japan and the UK and in Ethiopia as a child. In London, she led work exchange department for an international education organization. In Japan, she provided language and cross-cultural consulting for Japanese professionals in the manufacturing industry.  In Austin, Texas, Charisse was IOR’s lead trainer for the Motorola Semiconductor intercultural training project. She also developed cross-cultural training seminars for University of Texas. Charisse has spent considerable time in the non-profit sector and was the Training Coordinator at Literacy Chicago; Program Director at Literacy Austin; and a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco for two years.

Charisse holds a BA degree in Sociology / Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Master's in Adult Education from National Louis University, Chicago, and  has studied French, Hebrew, Moroccan Arabic, and Japanese. She is certified in several intercultural assessment instruments and is an ASTD certified Workplace Learning and Performance Coach.