As we prepare for working, traveling and living globally – finding ourselves in places new to us - we talk , read and ask about the differences we’ll find. What will it be like? How will people act? Dress? Do business? (Unless of course we assume everything will be exactly as it is at home and then the surprises begin.)
Looking for similarities offers us a way to feel connected, maybe offers a sense of comfort that comes from what’s familiar. It can help us avoid being overwhelmed by the differences we see and experience in a new environment. We can then move from seeing the familiar to noting the differences – comparing and contrasting.
It isn’t a matter of pretending that differences don’t exist. Rather it’s a way of looking around, being curious, searching for a clues that can help us adapt and understand. What unexpected similarities will you find the next time you are in a new place?