Special Guest Expert - Christian Höferle

Special Guest Expert - Christian Hoferle: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix

Special Guest Expert - Christian Hoferle: this eJwljl1LwzAUhv9KyYVXtaHtum6FISKiOMHJ1NuSpadtWL5MTpbp2H-3xcvzvjzPey6EG42gscUfC6Qh9yQlQntkmkMrOtIUdbUqyrJKCQ8ejQoe3H-xzJeLqkgJ49yEyTCH5Wpd5XVKegGyazVTs7MXEibtMTI3eNJcSHByikdE6xtKY4zZYMwggVnhM24U7Zw4AT0VdEY9zd-qGs8fu9CuX9_jgfN4-Lbb-LLdjTb-7r-Od0ziRkEn2I03wXHYdCZqaVj3OU2lBAXK-ZO9BS6YTJ4CeEwezxYcJrfJw-iER8F08mx6cBIyZRcT1hunGE7cfF6vf1OqZnA:1nIHOK:c70VQSsgWJbfE3_XY4C-Vfo9WvA video file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Speaker1:
Here's the big question how is it that most entrepreneurs hustle and are always busy and struggle to take just one step forward, only to fall two steps back? Their dedicated, determined and driven, but only a few finally break through and win. This show uncovers those quantum leap patterns of highly successful people, so you can simply model what they do and apply to your future success. That's the question, and the answers are right here. My name is who is the left? And this is the success patterns show. Welcome, everyone, happy Tuesday, my name is Brigitta, hopefully the CEO of the center of NLP and the mom of Amelie and Anna and the brainchild behind a ton of curriculum that I wrote and the wife of Christian. And who are you in for a treat today? Because I have I'm going to call him my better half here with me today. And of course, you know, as you're subscribing to my channel and are sharing it with others, you're going to learn that it's not just one person in the household or two people. It's a lot of people, whoever is coming from the household into this show. And today I have the privilege and the distinct honor to bring to you, the culture guy Christian, who is the cultural coach, trainer and mentor for multinational organizations or rather for people who work globally. Based here in Atlanta, Georgia, he is German by passport, American by choice, Bavarian at heart, and like I said, people call him the culture guy. His passion is to help people discover commonality when they're overwhelmed by difference, boy. And in what times do we live right now where we all need to listen to the culture guy? May you be crossing cultures and borders or not? His mission is to create peace by facilitating, understanding, relating and connecting. At the core of his purpose is culture. And as he helps people figure out this thing called culture, they'll work at their peak and in peace with others. Ladies and gentlemen, I am so honored to have here with me today. The one, the only the culture guy Welcome Christian.

Speaker2:
Well, thanks Honey, for that introduction. I'm excited.

Speaker1:
I'm excited to have you on my show. I would say, you're you're my number one, but you're actually the third on my show. So don't hold it against me. I'm so glad that you're I know, don't hold it against me that you're here, and I'm very, very privileged to have you here. So today we're going to talk about ice.

Speaker2:
Q. Yeah.

Speaker1:
What is ice?

Speaker2:
Q. Ice Q Well, spell it out for its i c e and then a Q, I put a dash in between. So it's clear that there's ice and there there's Q and ice. Q is the combination of three human power skills. It's IQ plus CQ Plus IQ and that equals IQ. There's nothing to do with frozen water or a rapper from Los Angeles. It's IQ and IQ is your. Intellectual prowess, your intelligence quotient, that's what most people know or heard of, that's how we measure or try to measure intelligence. I think it's more a measure of your subject matter. Expertize what it is, you do what you know about your work. And then there is CQ that is cultural intelligence, and we'll talk about this a little more. And then there is IQ emotional intelligence and the three together are Ice Cube. And this is what you want and this is what you need and this is what you should be expanding and building upon. If working across cultures is part of your work and life routine because common sense is not common and you can read it behind me here if you don't get culture. Eventually, culture will get you and it will hurt and it will cost you. And my job is to alleviate the pain, maybe even help you prevent it and certainly make sure that you don't lose money in the culture gap.

Speaker1:
So you you said a lot of great things, and there are many words that we specifically nowadays hear. Often emotional quotient is one of them IQ, right? Culture is another one of them. And I want to say, you know, we're both trainers in the corporate world. Those words get, I'm going to say, thrown around a lot. Can you help people understand? In your definition, what is culture?

Speaker2:
My definition, I'm going to borrow from a handful of definitions that I've read and heard over time. And maybe we can piecemeal them together and we all can make better sense of it. So for some people, culture is that behavior that we allow in a group to happen without being punished or sanctioned. So the lowest common denominator of we allow ourselves to do and be. Others say culture is a set of behavior, norms of rules of engagement that a group of people agrees upon, and maybe they don't agree. Or most likely, they don't agree upon these set of rules by comedian by rule setting. This more or less happens automatically over time as groups work together or live together. And it's easy to get confused with the terminology of culture because in the corporate world, we often hear it or see used in a in the sense of corporate organizational culture. How do groups of people work together in a company in any type of organization? And yet the culture in its original form is how we behave as humans in the tribes to which we belong. And essentially in today's world, those tribes extend to nations or to regions within nations or to geopolitical clusters. So some would say in your introduction, you called some of my tribal affiliations. So I'm German by passport. Yes, I'm a German national just like you. I'm an American by choice because I choose to live here.

Speaker2:
I've lived here. I did the math the other day. It's been more than 19 years of my life, so that's a little bit more than half of what now. It's actually not quite half. Yeah, and I'm also Bavarian, which is a certain region of Germany. So that is part of my cultural identity. And then I'm a trainer. I'm a coach. Yes, that is part of my identity. I'm a parent. I'm a dad. So that's a cultural identity. So whatever group we affiliate with or that we think we belong to, that has a certain sometimes written most of the time unwritten rules of how we are with each other, right? So culture, in a way, is the set of behaviors that we live and that we show to the world on a daily basis now in our work. I like to use a metaphor that's maybe a little too geeky or a little bit cerebral, but let's look at our human existence. Let's look at ourselves, at our body. You can touch yourself, touch your shoulder or touch your head. Touch your hips wherever you want to touch. This is your physical existence as a human being. That's your hardware. Just like the screen of the gadget that you're looking at right now to watch this video. That's your hardware. Inside that hardware is something that makes the hardware work.

Speaker2:
It's the operating system. So in our human existence, culture is the operating system that makes the hardware of this body work. And on the operating system, we run our programs, our application. You can hear me speak English right now. This is an application that was not factory installed on this system here, right? I came. I'm German Bavarian hardware installed or shipped to the world with a variant, German operating system. My culture and the English language was not part of that. I downloaded that on my system later in life, and in the beginning it was a bit glitchy. It didn't always work well. Today, it seems to be kind of OK. I still pronounce words, not properly for some, and sometimes I screw it up because my choice of words may not be ideal because my operating system is German. And when my German operating system uses the application of English language, that's not native to this, to this thing here, right? So the way I use the tool of English language is heavily involved by my German operating system. So this is a metaphor that we often use in our training and coaching engagements to make people aware of their deeply rooted programing, literally programing that they have inside of themselves that determine how they show up in the world and how they interact with each other.

Speaker1:
So this is all fascinating and the program. So you're saying that culture is a program that we run. Is that correct?

Speaker2:
In a way I would. I think it's more than a program. It's I think the the motherboard of all the programs, right? It's I say it's the operating system. So it's it's the very framework of our programing that allows all the other programs to work.

Speaker1:
So then cultural intelligence is one part of ice. Yep. And you know, I think we all know what IQ stands for. What's the key to what's the.

Speaker2:
What's the excuse, emotional intelligence, so this is our ability to relate to the emotions. Well, first of all, to relate to our own emotions, to be cognizant of our own emotional composition and how it can change depending on the situation that we find ourselves in. And also the ability to relate to other people's emotions, sometimes even animals emotions. A lot of people have a close connection with a pet, and some of these highly intelligent pets also have an emotional composition. So our ability to let's let me explain this in a woo-woo way. Our experience, our ability to pick up wavelengths of emotional energy and the ability to adjust our own behavior, our communication style, our nonverbals to the emotions of other people with the goal of creating maintaining rapport with the goal of reaching a desirable outcome for everybody involved.

Speaker1:
And I'm pretty sure, you know, you do a lot of great work, I know, because, you know, we work from we don't work in the same office, but our offices are close to each other. We're close to each other. So I know the incredible work that you do share with our listeners and our viewers. When an organization does not operate from Ice Q and I would say that probably happens more often than they would like. And then we think what happens when they don't operate from Ice Q?

Speaker2:
Well, first of all, I want to burst the bubble of an organization doing something this is this is corporate geek speak that I am prone to and that I've seen out in the corporate world a lot that an organization behaves a certain way. And I want to remind myself and everybody out there that it's not an organization that does something. It's the people that work in the organization that do things. So yes, the collective behavior might create that of a company. And let's face it, it's the the stakeholders, the employees, the team members, the leadership of a company which set their set the tone with their individual behavior that creates an organizational culture. So if a company does not develop its team members ice q, then. Well, bottom line is they're leaving money on the table because they're failing to connect with internally, with each other and are failing to empower each other to create more favorable outcomes. As as a team, they are failing to connect better with their supplier and vendor base. And probably most hurtful for the bottom line is that they're failing to connect with their audience and the audience being their customer, their clients who they are developing a relationship with. And I think if the pandemic has taught us anything, I hope it did just a little bit. But there's there's something that I think the pandemic brought to a collective attention is that when we as individuals or as companies enter the market to purchase something.

Speaker2:
We don't purchase. From the brand, you don't purchase my clients don't purchase from me because they like the TCM logo behind it. No, they engage and connect with me because they like the way they communicate with me. There is something. There is a story. There is a narrative. There is a human connection that creates a likability that creates a trust, which eventually leads to a purchase. We don't buy from brands we don't buy from. Forgive me for the name, but we don't buy from Amazon. No, we buy from the experience that we've had over the years and especially in the last two years through the pandemic of reliability, of great customer service, of same day delivery or next day delivery or whatever. Whatever the benchmarks of KPIs of that service are. That's what we buy from this is what creates the trust, right? So if a company fails to develop IQ within their employee base, these employees are not as well equipped to interact, relate with their client base, interact, relate to their colleagues, interact, relate to their vendor, supplier base and sometimes people still cause these. B, they still call it these IQ skills, they still call it soft skills. Sure, I'm not going to make that wrong. However, it does get my hair in the back to stand up a little bit whenever I hear that, because the reason why we call it soft skills is beyond me. Because to me and this is the experience not only of myself, but also that of our clients that have been working with us over the years, being able to relate to other people across behavioral differences, being able to connect with people across the culture gap, being able to adjust one's communication to effectively inspire, motivate and lead others to desirable outcomes.

Speaker2:
How is that tough, right? This is the essential of human interaction. If I'm not able to do that, if I'm not able to connect, if I'm not able to effectively communicate with those who are a bit different than I am, then nothing will get done. So I sometimes say without the so-called quote unquote soft skills, none of your hard skills work. So that's why we we put together this acronym of Ice Cube, because cultural intelligence and emotional intelligence were often put in this soft skill basket with IQ. The subject matter expertize being labeled as one of the harder skills. Well, we want to see them together, right? So this quote unquote soft plus heart is an essential skill. We call it power skills, so power skills is what Ice Cube is, essentially, and it's not hard, it's not soft. It's powerful to be able to relate to other people to connect, inspire, motivate and empower them to work at their peak and to create successful outcomes. No, this was a long run, forgive me. But there was such a broad question I had to dove in.

Speaker1:
Well, great information, Christian and guys, if I'm pretty sure that you have questions for Christian because I have so many questions now, I get to ask them all the time. This is your time to ask any of these questions. So when when you know they're not soft skills, as you already said, they're hard skills because clearly nothing can be done. No team, no individual, no organization as a whole can run without these skills, so they might as well be hard skills.

Speaker2:
Well, I don't want to label them as soft or hard either way, because I think this is an artificial categorization. I think these are. Essential for successful business conduct, it's it's a durable, transferable power skill, and whether you want to call them soft or heart, I don't care as long as you develop them, because if you don't, you're going to lose money. Bottom line.

Speaker1:
Power skill. So how do people how does an individual, first of all, even get to where you are today? I mean, you're you made a name for yourself. You are known as the culture guy. How do you get there?

Speaker2:
But people calling me that, I didn't I didn't choose that for myself, to be honest. I thought the culture guy, does that sound a little bit preposterous, a bit cheesy. That was my initial thought and it happened in a. In a mastermind group, and we were as masterminds go, there is usually sessions where everybody gets their hot seat two minutes and the quick rounds. And it was my turn and one of our members came in late. I'm not going to. Named that person, but somebody was late and they asked me again, So who is it, you are because I was fairly new to the group. And then I did a 30 second thing again and and the lady said, Oh, I know, I know, I know you're the culture guy. I was like, OK, well, and then people kept saying that, so I thought, OK, if the shoe fits, wear it. So that's how I became the culture guy. I started actually producing a podcast for a while under that title. It's still available out there. You can get it on my website or on iTunes or wherever you go to get your podcasts. The culture got and I'm OK with it now. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but to be honest, it encapsulates exactly what I do, so I'm OK with it.

Speaker1:
What are you? So the culture guy, that's how you got the name. But what made you go into that field?

Speaker2:
Yeah. Didn't go to school for this. And if you had asked me. Thirty years ago that I what are you going to do and is this something of a app? I went to school to become a journalist, which I was for quite a while, so I studied political science and history and all this good stuff. Where were some people back then thought, Well, what are you going to do with those degrees? And it sounds like you're going to be driving a cab or selling hot dogs on street side in New York? So it was not necessarily the. The major that people would advise you get into, but my desire was to become a journalist, to speak truth and to shed light on things that are under underreported on. So this was always been my drive to to collect information sorted by relevance and presented in a way that an audience would be willing to accept it. And when you and I, as I do, my wife and I, when we moved to the United States, I was still working as a freelance writer for magazines and news outlets in Germany and the UK and the English speaking world and a fairly large organization from Central Europe decided to build a greenfield project. Less than 30 minutes from our house and they happen to be from Germany, and this was a multibillion dollar investment. And this is where I thought, whoopsie, there is going to be a culture clash happening.

Speaker2:
At that time, we were living in Southeast Tennessee, in the Chattanooga area. For those of you are familiar with that. It's a beautiful area, beautiful landscape scenery, river valley, mountain forests, nice. And yet it's not the United States that most people from abroad would expect when they come to the United States. Most Europeans think of the U.S. and think New York City, they think Grand Canyon, they think Florida beaches and maybe Hollywood. They don't necessarily think Tennessee Valley. And it was crystal clear that when this company came in, they will be bringing people not only from Germany, but from other parts of the world, and they would be experiencing an America that is unlike anything I've experienced before. I myself had been to the U.S. long before I was an exchange student high school exchange student in my teens. So I've had this experience of being the stranger in a foreign land. I've learned how to adjust to another culture intuitively back in my teens, and I realized, OK, this is an opportunity to monetize and. Well, I think codify my experience in a way that it is of value to others, so long story short, we became a provider for this big, big investment project. We've been working with them for many, many years and help people from across the world settle into the United States. We help our team to work better together across cultural differences, and that's how I dropped into this field. And this is more than 15 years ago and we've been growing strong since the end.

Speaker2:
If you allow me this one more sentence raghida the true underlying reason the why. So to say behind this change from journalism to. Cultural expertize and ice cube training is rooted in our and our mutual history. So as you know, born in Germany, born long time after World War Two and yet saddled with the history of our country and the history of Germany and the history of our great great grandparents and great grandparents generation is that of one of the biggest, if not the biggest crime against humanity on record. And it happened, in my opinion, because Germans by and large and German leadership and maybe all of Europe at that time failed to communicate across cultural differences. And I think this is at the heart of so many, if not all, conflicts in the world is that we don't listen to each other. We can only understand each other if we listen, we if we relate. And this is what Germany is particularly bad at 80 90 years ago. So I cannot make our history undone. I can't change what happened during the Nazi regime and during the Holocaust. And yet the German. I feel it's an obligation to help others get a better understanding of other cultures and find ways and strategies to relate to those four different from us in order to get a win win win positive outcome for everybody involved.

Speaker1:
So thank you for that and I I appreciate the continuous work that you do, and it's not a job. It's a calling. Can I say that?

Speaker2:
Sometimes it's yes. Sometimes it is. Yeah.

Speaker1:
And you know, you mentioned, of course, we cross cultures from Germany to the states and then we cross them back and then we cross them over again. But you do not just work with U.S. to Germany cultures. You just did a training crossing cultures to what Korea would do.

Speaker2:
We handle all sorts of requests, right? So yes, we had a fairly large program with with a big Fortune 100 company just a couple of months ago. And they're their Korea side of the business they had some challenges with with Korean culture and how to be successful with that. I'm getting ready to do a program for a mid-sized company here in the U.S. who have a team that consists of 10 different nationalities. So it is Nepalese, there is Jordanians, there's Indians u.s.-mexican, there's a whole variety of people. So we don't really. Of course, we care where what cultures are involved, but that's not a limitation to the scope of work. So when clients come to us and say, Hey, we got this program with Kazakhstan actually did happen once. Also last year, then we'll find a way. There's always we have a network of affiliate trainers and coaches that I've built over the past 50 years that we can we can give marching orders very quickly. Actually, I got an email two days ago or, let's say, thirty six hours ago because it was a late email came in like at nine p.m. from one of the partner companies that we work with on the day. Christian, do you know somebody who could? Mm-hmm. I think it was Thailand. They needed a Thai trainer based in the U.S. and sure enough, we I have somebody in my network that we can sit to that project.

Speaker1:
So you're also the cultural connector. I hope so. That's the goal. So I know that you, you and your organization across cultures and the next one there's I know that you shared with me that there's a webinar coming up where we're going to go back to the roots. And that is,

Speaker2:
Yeah, we're going to have a webinar on February twenty four. So as you watch this, that may be watching the replay, this is the year twenty twenty two. That's the year we're talking about. So it's February 24 of twenty twenty two and we're doing a webinar on doing business with Germany. So how to close the culture gap, the transatlantic culture gap, and it's the target audience is mainly North Americans. However, we have already applications coming in from other countries, mainly Europe and Asia, so it's about how to cross the culture gap into Germany. If you try to do business with Germans, whether it be in Germany or you're doing business with German organizations abroad, what are those you need to pay attention to? What will make you more successful? So that's on Feb. 24. It's a complimentary webinar so free for you to join. The more the merrier. Come in, you

Speaker1:
Know, people, people and be on that webinar just to continue to hear Christian teach and speakers when he opens his mouth. One thing is for sure you're going to learn something like There's not one day where I don't learn something because my husband, Christian, the culture guy, reads the entire internet in the morning and then tells me what's new and I am not exaggerating. Ok, that's that's literally how it works. People ask us often, sometimes individually, me individually. How come you guys are from Germany? But you don't sound German. So Christian Pulisic, Fauci once said, I always wanted to hear us talk German. Why don't we talk German a little bit in an American way?

Speaker2:
And what do you mean you want me to speak the English language with a German accent or you want me to speak the Deutsche branch of Deutsche? What is it you want to do?

Speaker1:
No, I want you to speak sing because let me stage my training for students can. Know what you

Speaker2:
Do. Well, anyway. So yes, I may not have the stereotypical German accent. However, I do recognize that I do have an accent. And I know that some of my accent may sound a bit upper Midwestern because this is where I spent the first time of my time in the U.S. I spent in Minnesota. Don't you know? Yeah, you betcha. And then I lived here in the southeast for quite a while, so sometimes that sneaks in and in its entirety. It sounds weird because sometimes it goes into the Midwest corner and then it goes in the southeast corner and the German accent falls in between. So people have a hard time making sense of the stuff that comes out of my mouth.

Speaker1:
That's OK. I do, too, and you do same for me, so it's all I told you.

Speaker2:
It's not a native app. It came after the fact. It's glitchy.

Speaker1:
Deal with it. It's glitchy. I love it before we because you came bearing gifts and before we share those gifts with our listeners and viewers, you came bearing gifts. How do people get in touch with you, Christian?

Speaker2:
There is this magic invention called the telephone. You can call me on the phone and you will find the phone number by going on this very website. See, Bridget is really on task. The culture mastery. You've been wondering what that TKM back there stands for the culture mastery. That's where you go, and it will show you the email and it will show you a phone number. And that's easy peasy. That's how it's done. Sure, you can find us on LinkedIn, which is, by the way, my preferred social media. You can find us on Instagram, on Twitter and on on the Facebook too, I think, and on some other outlets. And yet this is the mother of all connection, the culture mastery.

Speaker1:
That's a fantastic the culture master, 3Com, make sure that you put it in your URL in your browser right now, the culture mastery and save it, put it in your as a I don't know how do you say bookmark you want to book market and now you also came bearing gifts? What did you bring?

Speaker2:
Well, I brought an e-book which is easy to carry through the internet. I didn't wrap it, however. It came with a custom link, so that's easy for you. And I brought an e-book that is called A Dozen Tips for efficient communication across culture. Long title sounds really important and there is a link. You see it. It's a Bit.ly Link and TCM, right? We learned that lesson and then e-book. That's how easy it is. And that's where you download the e-book. A dozen tips for efficient communication across cultures. It's in a way, an introduction to our work. It is are some of the fundamental pillars of the teachings that we present to our clients. And I think it's so important that everybody should have it and you should have it to go get it now. Thank you.

Speaker1:
Awesome. I have put that in the chat as well, and I want to make sure that I am taking this off. There we go. And so Christian, the culture mastery or you get your bitterly, bitterly TCM e-book, TCM e-book, I put it in the chat as well. Christian, thank you for. Supporting us with your insight and teaching us a little bit more about not just cultural intelligence, but also a little bit about emotional intelligence and how people can integrate that in their everyday life, and I would probably argue that everyone on a regular basis has some sort of cultural interaction with people. So follow the culture guy. Follow Christian on LinkedIn. Thank you for being here, Christian. I will certainly have you back on the show and for everyone else, guys tune in again next week. Same time on Tuesday. Same place. Yours. Truly, Brigitta, hopefully with Christian. Hopefully the culture guy. Thank you. Thank you for tuning in to the success pattern show at W WW Dot the success pattern show. My name is

Brigitta, who fully.

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Christian Höferle

Christian Höferle is a cultural coach, trainer, and mentor for multinational organizations - or rather: for people who work globally. Based in Atlanta, he is German by passport, American by choice, Bavarian at heart, and people call him The Culture Guy. His passion is to help people discover commonality when they are overwhelmed by difference. His mission is to create peace by facilitating understanding, relating, and connecting. At the core of this purpose is culture. And as he helps people figure out this “thing” called culture, they’ll work at their peak and in peace with others.

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