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Managing Culture Change Shock

Most people experience culture change shock when traveling to new destinations for work purposes. This is described as the anxiety or discomfort that you experience, when you have to move to a completely different and new work environment. Moving to another city or country for work often requires several adjustments in terms of how you live, what you eat, how you work and several other things that you often take for granted in your home country. Not all are able to adjust immediately to their surroundings, leading to culture change shock. While this is definitely unavoidable, it is not unmanageable; following are some ways to manage such shock.

Preparing to overcome by acceptance

Accepting your uneasiness to admit the changes and adjust to the new culture is the first rule towards overcoming culture shock. It is important to accept the problem, prepare for it and use available resources to cope and adjust under the given circumstances. Learning more about the new country will help you gain perspective for overcoming this culture change shock. Moreover, overcoming culture shock is all about having the right attitude. Having the right attitude to learn about new cultures as well as the acceptance of rejection or discrimination, at least in the initial stages, will help in the long run.

Transitional adjustments

For any individual to successfully adjust to new surroundings, it is important to have ample resources to help him or her to do so. In other words, important factors like housing, food, transportation issues, if solved, usually help the individual adjust better. It is often seen that most people, when traveling to foreign countries for work, prefer sticking to their usual routine. This includes speaking their own language, reading their own newspapers, eating their own type of food etc. While these factors will provide a sense of stability to the individual, they will act as obstacles to final change and adjustment, which is imperative for getting used to the changed surroundings. Therefore, it is important to utilize transitional resources to adjust to your new surroundings.

Importance of interpersonal relations

If you truly want to manage culture change shock, then it is important to identify and create a network of friends or family members, who will provide the support necessary for overcoming culture change obstacles. For example, identifying a friend or someone who has lived in that country longer will help you in overcoming your culture change problems more easily than if you were to do it all alone. Moreover, participating in the various activities of that country as well as studying their language will also help in adjustment.

Think positive while managing conflicts

Finally, when faced with any conflict in the new country, try and look at the positive aspect of that country. Moreover, try and analyze the differences that exist between your culture and the culture of the country you are currently residing in, as this will help you resolve your problems related to culture change shock, instead of causing frustration. Identifying and understanding the various areas of conflict will help in avoiding the same, which is an excellent way to manage culture shock.

Comments Listing
Posted: 15/08/2011 21:44:21

culture shock affects not only the person but all those dependant on him,adjustment is the only key to overcome

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