Perception of Time in Different Cultures

Perception of Time | Equanimity Executive | Expat Coaching | Global Leadership CoachingTime might be perceived as scarce in some cultures while other cultural regions in the world feel they have plenty of time.

Philippe Rosinski explains very well these differences in his book Coaching Across Cultures.

Why is it important to be aware of this in our daily lives in a globalized world?

We are all living in an environment composed of individuals with diverse background. We cherish this richness but many times we feel frustrated when people from different cultural background seem to act without common sense.

I remember very well how difficult it was for me and my other Latin European, North African or Middle East friends to understand the fact that here, in the United States people were running and rushing all the time. Time simply is a commodity. Coming from a culture where we have and take plenty of time for ourselves and our families, it looked like craziness. One week of paid time off per year? Was it a joke?…

I fought for many months comparing and complaining; it drained my energy and of course limited my interactions with “crazy busy people”

When I was able to overcome the challenge of the difference and to accept it as a way of living, without judging it, it was much easier for me to adjust to this fast pace. I still requested my 3 or 4 weeks of paid time off, that were always granted (I compromised the salary for the time off). At the same time, I adapted very well to the scarcity of time and to my fellow American friends who lives that way. It became actually fun to “travel” from one culture to the other frequently and to find a great deal of benefits in both of the perceptions.

In both your personal and professional relationships to others, next time you find yourself irritated because a co-worker, a cashier or a friend tend to take too much or not enough time to accomplish a task, ask yourself if you are operating on the same perception of time. This individual might very well be frustrating by your behavior as well…By simply acknowledging the difference without judgment, you will simply release the frustration and be ready to bridge the gap!

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About the Author

Belinda MJ. Brown

In 2013, Belinda, COO and Executive Coach, has already delivered multiple conferences and workshops dedicated to the expatriates, their families and Human Resources. Among the most renowned hosts the Global Mobility Conference Mondissimo and AILA (the American Immigration Lawyer Associations). Expatriate herself, Belinda has had a remarkable success in assisting others. This accomplished and successful expatriate began her coaching business in 2011 to assist those in the process of making major transitions. She holds a Bachelor in Global Sourcing and Category Management and has 15 years of leadership experience in international European and American corporations . In 2006, Belinda prepared to move from Europe to the US. The move involved a major transition and evolution of her mindset to integrate with the American culture, values and corporate world. Belinda thoroughly understands the challenges faced by those who consider moving from one culture to another that why she decided to found an Executive and Expat Coaching practice: Equanimity Executive, LLC. She created a unique 5 steps process and developed tools and materials to assist expatriates, their families and organizations to facilitate any transition in a multicultural environment. She is an Associate Certified Coach, Certified Professional Coach and ELI Master Practitioner by iPEC, accredited Cultural Transformation Tools Consultant by the Barrett Values, and member of the ICF. As a coach, she focuses on the critical aspects of helping clients be WHO they are, achieve WHAT they want and IMPLEMENT sustainable changes. She wants her clients to live stress free, to achieve their professional and personal goals and to enjoy the amazing experience of relocating or leading in a multicultural environment. Belinda assists her clients around the world both in English and in French. Learn More by watching the following short interview. What is Global Leadership & Expat Coaching? Learn more

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