As cold weather looms in the United States, our friends in New Zealand are preparing for the summer season. Let's take a warm excursion to the Southern Hemisphere to explore some common cultural facts about New Zealanders and their expectations when it comes to training and development.
New Zealand Trivia:
- True or False? New Zealand was the first country to grant women the right to vote.
- True or False? New Zealanders refer to themselves as "Kiwis."
Tips for Training & Development in New Zealand1:
- Truth is based on objective facts; emotions and hype are not deemed appropriate in business presentations. Stick to the facts when developing your training materials.
- Business interactions are more formal until credibility and rapport are established.
- Despite their proximity, do not confuse Aussie culture with that of the Kiwis. They are entirely different people groups.
- The Maori tribespeople are the earliest known inhabitants of New Zealand, and Maori is still one of the official languages. But with English being the other official language, most Maoris speak English fluently.
- Kiwi executives value individual achievement and are internally motivated. As such, many experience anxiety regarding professional growth or pending deadlines.
- Expertise is greatly valued, so be sure to communicate your corporate and personal achievements to demonstrate aptitude in the subject matter you're training.
- Tardiness is a serious faux pas; even social events start on time.
- A first-name basis is common in New Zealand business interactions, but wait to refer to your counterparts by their first names until invited to do so-or at least until they set an obvious informal tone in your interactions.
Trivia Answer from Above:
- True. In 1893.
- True, and the kiwi--the flightless bird, not the fruit--has become a national emblem.
References:1Morrison, Terri, & Conaway, Wayne A. (2006). Kiss, bow, or shake hands (2nd ed.). Avon: Adams Media.