Belonging +++ work-life balance +++ Denmark +++ Hungary +++ absolutely intercultural 294 +++

Dora Hegedus: Your Thinking Partner

In the last show we heard about different types of freedom and in this show, 294, we will continue this theme and find out how lack of freedom can drive someone to leave their country.

Also, in this show we’ll be looking beyond the Erasmus semester abroad, at what can happen when you aim to relocate to a new country permanently. Your head or your heart? Which will win?

We’ll end with a very important problem which Danish leaders often overlook. But is it just Danish leaders?

My name’s Anne Fox and this show is coming to you from Denmark, which is where today’s guest, Dora, decided to relocate to from Hungary. Dora is a coach and therapist and has noticed that, while the headline advantages of coming to Denmark to live are fairly well known globally, there is a downside, that Dora calls “killing me softly”.

But is this show all doom and gloom? No! We will finish with a very simple piece of advice that Dora has for Danish leaders, but which I think is very good advice for everyone.

Today I am talking with Dora Hegedus who runs a coaching company, called Your Thinking Partner, in Denmark. Dora will tell us why she felt that she and her family should leave Hungary, even though she was already in her fifties when they decided to make the move. 

absolutely killing me softly
But first we’ll find out why the famed work-life balance of working in Denmark is not enough and how Danish leaders are losing their new international employees through careless inattention to one critical factor. What Dora might call, absolutely killing me softly.

absolutely ready to leave
So a sense of belonging is critical to being able to take full advantage of the freedoms of Denmark and in our next segment we will hear how it was this sense of belonging that Dora felt slipping away in her native Hungary. Hear how Dora felt increasingly alienated as we go absolutely ready to leave.

absolutely helpful
Now we don’t want to leave you with the feeling that Denmark is a hopeless case for internationals. It is clearly working for Dora. So here is one last piece of advice that Dora has for Danish leaders on how to retain their foreign staff. Let’s go absolutely helpful.

So that’s it! Ask your foreign colleagues if they need help. Advice which I am sure would bear fruit everywhere, not just Denmark. What do you think? What’s the best way of helping people feel they belong in your country?

Share your story with us via comment or email, and you could feature in one of our upcoming shows. For more information and previous episodes, explore our website.

And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too.

By the way, did you know we are also  on Apple Podcasts and Spotify? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment.

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on the 7th of June.

Until then – stay tuned to your international colleagues!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox



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absolutely intercultural 107 +++ work-life balance +++ absolutely awful +++ Email advice +++ Sebastian Dorok +++

I’m back in good old Germany! I had a great time in Australia and made a number of intercultural experiences, as you were able hear over my last four episodes. However, now my everyday life has got me back, which is a bit of a shame, and as a consequence our category “absolutely down-under” has come to an end. I hope you enjoyed the stories and that I was able to give you a bit of an insight into cultural matters in Australia.

absolutely balanced
In different countries people have different ways of balancing their private lives and their work lives. To give you an example, our friend Mohamed in Aswan in Egypt is a very polychronic person and does not separate his private life from his work life at all. When my wife and I walk past the office of our friend on an ordinary work day he will insist that we come in, even if he is in the middle of a meeting and he will interrupt the meeting for half an hour, send out his business partners in order to have a cup of tea and biscuits with us while the others all happily wait until the meeting resumes after we have left. If, however, during this time Mohamed’s wife happens to stroll by with his delightful three-year old nephew this will easily add another half hour to the interruption of the meeting. Everybody in the office, including the business partners, seems to enjoy these social life interruptions in their work time, only my wife and I, both very monochronic, find it terribly hard to accept that important work is interrupted by private life. We cannot even enjoy the hospitality because according to our values and beliefs work comes first and private life has to wait, so we would prefer to meet Mohamed after his work, perhaps in a cafe. Recently, we had some friends from England over and we talked about how much private life and informality would be acceptable in our Northern European work places. I asked Elaine how she makes sure that her work life does not take over her private time.

absolutely awful
For some odd reason we almost have a bad conscience when we feel too comfortable at work and fear that if we get too relaxed this would seem inappropriate and unprofessional.
Well, personally I must admit, that I have one factor in my work place that really makes sure that I never feel absolutely comfortable – With shame, I am talking about my overflowing inbox – and in particular the sheer abundance of messages that I need to get through every day. However, I am in good company as many professionals nowadays suffer because of email-related stress. Let us hear what people most dislike about this form of communication which is still relatively new but has quickly risen to the top of the list in work communication, even though everybody seems to complain about it.

absolutely correct
The lack of personal touch, the problem with dozens of SPAM mails, long response time, misunderstandings because of short-hand style, no subject lines or missing attachments, a lack of clear structure, or in some cases simply too many messages in your inbox after a short absence. So, as all complain about this phenomenon, in a round-table discussion with Master students we thought about strategies to improve the situation
In our next category I spoke with some students and asked them what they can’t stand receiving an e-mail message. I was surprised to hear about all that can happen if you don`t have a correct e-mail address.

absolutely hands-on
In third category you will hear Sebastian Dorok, an Apple Distinguished Educator and teacher of English and music at a highschool in Germany. Sebastian talks about his own experiences as a teacher and gives concrete insights into his podcasting project with young students.

absolutely correct part 2
In our last category we will return to our students from RheinAhrCampus, who now give us some advice how to write a good e-mail message.

So, the next time you’ll write an e-mail message to your friends, you familiy or to your colleagues, you know what you have to do.
The next show will be hosted by Anne Fox in Denmark on 30. of April

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Dino Nogarole