Chris Smit

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Chris Smit MSc. (1963) makes companies and organizations more aware of cultural diversity. In business, the im­pact of cultural differences are still under-estimated. We talk a lot about globalization. The world seems to be getting smaller, and yet we all bear the mark of the culture in which we grew up. This often leads to misunderstandings that are detrimental to your business. More attention to cultural diversity should be a top priority for companies and organizations.

Chris puts you on track to efficiently deal with the cultural differences. Since 1993 he has advised thousands of people from more than 100 different nationalities. His work has taken him to more than 45 countries. He is a passionate and enthusiastic speaker with extensive experience in coaching and managing staff at all levels.

The World in Your Pocket

Chris was born in Amsterdam. He has lived in three different countries (US, Netherlands and Belgium, where he still lives).

As a marketing and sales consultant of the Dutch airline KLM, he travelled the world. Meanwhile, he earned a Master’s degree in psychology at the University of Amster­dam. In 2007 he founded the company Culture Matters. Chris helps companies working in an international context to become aware and deal with cultural differences.

The C of Complex

Culture is a complex concept. You get your cultural iden­tity as you grow up, whether you like it or not. This cultural footprint stems from learned behavior. Why is a German always on time? Why is a Frenchman’s lunch break so im­portant? Why is it difficult for Indians to say no? Why are Dutch so much more direct and candid than Belgians?

They might be stereotypes to you, but they are recognizable and there is always a grain of truth. How true is that truth, and how can I use these cultural differences as a lever? How can I avoid cultural diversity as being an obstacle? That is what cultural competence is all about.

The C of Competence

How do you acquire that cultural competence? “For me, cultural competence is that you have the ability to effec­tively deal with people of different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds,” says Chris. You only learn this skill by trial and error. It’s a long process, in which a great sense of nuance is needed. Chris’s insights are an eye opener to see a different perspective of our globalized world.

The C of Concrete

Companies working on their cultural competence reap the rewards, both in time & money. Cultural competence ensures a more focused management, effective produc­tion and more humane HR policies.

Chris is an inspirational speaker and a seasoned consultant. He knows how to trans­late the concept of cultural diversity in a clear and compel­ling story and solution. His great expertise is a source of inspira­tion for a very diverse audience.

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