As I sit here on my flight home and reflect over my recent travels, I realize how lucky I am to travel around the world for global mobility, immersing myself in local culture to gain a perspective of how they might view the world. On my ride to the airport this morning, I learned all about Uruguay and how the residents pride themselves on a “farm to table” cooking style, using only the freshest ingredients. I was craving a steak and just picked spinach by the time we reached the airport!

One of the things I learned early on in my career was in order to form a long-term relationship, a level of trust must be developed between the client and relocation service provider. This allows you to reach a level of success within a program where you can truly enhance the employee's move experience. To test my willingness to get outside my comfort zone, my client took me to a sushi bar. Before this, my experience eating sushi was eating a California roll or shrimp with sticky rice. Scott, my client, ordered selections like sashimi tuna, fresh eel, salmon eggs and mackerel. 

I guess my Sagittarius side kicked in and I decided I would try everything at least once. Most of his selections are still some of my favorites today. When we returned to his office and finished our meeting, he shared with me that the lunch was a test to see what kind of partner I would be based on my demonstrated flexibility. We enjoyed a long-term relationship that I look back on fondly. I was recently reminded of this relationship on a trip to Singapore where my new client ordered chicken feet during our dim sum lunch. When she challenged me to try it, I thought back to that sushi lunch and took my first bite. My colleagues all cringed but you know what? It was quite good. By the end of this trip I had a new level of trust established with my client and am looking forward to building a long-term relationship with her and her team.

The next time you are traveling and find yourself in a different culture, do as the locals do and immerse a little bit into their culture. Food is an easy way to do that. It will give you a whole new perspective of working across many different cultures chasing similar goals together. 

My new corporate relocation prospect that I have been trying to meet up with just left me a voicemail asking if I had experience in skydiving.  Hmmm... maybe I will wait a few hours to call him back!

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