Nahu Girma, founder and principal of the Atlanta-based training firm CrossCultural Connections, will lead a series of workshops this month at the World Trade Center downtown focusing generally on Latin America with special attention on Brazil and Mexico. A separate workshop will feature China.
Ms. Girma is originally from Ethiopia and has lived in Canada and Italy. She earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in the U.S. including a master’s degree in human resources and management development from Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio.
“When you deal with people in different cultures knowing the culture is more important than knowing the language,” she told GlobalFax during an interview at the World Trade Center. As an example, she cited Americans who often have problems adjusting to Great Britain.
“Americans take it for granted that they will succeed there because they know English, but they forget that culture is more important than even language,” she said.
And the cost to a company for every manager who returns before an assignment is completed, she said, may be more than $300,000.
Ms. Girma first began developing managing and diversity workshops for corporate clients in the 1980s after she received her master’s degree in Cleveland. She started offering the cross-cultural programs in Atlanta after moving here with her husband, Ephraim Senbetta, in August 1996.
While providing the structural content for each workshop, she draws from Atlanta’s cultural diversity by collaborating with professionals from whatever culture is under review to add depth to the program.
She also is to speak on cross-cultural issues at the East West Conference to be held in Nashville, April 19-21.
For more information about the programs, refer to the cover page of this issue of GlobalFax, or call Joanne Martin at the World Trade Center at (404) 880-1556; fax, (404) 880-1555.