Tina Varughese

Topics

50 Shades of Beige: Communicate with the Cross-Cultural Advantage

Successful organizations understand that being able to communicate cross-culturally in the workplace leads to enhanced productivity, performance and employee engagement. Managing diversity drives profitability, leads to innovation and promotes an inspiring workplace culture.

Key takeaways

  • Cultural differences in communication: Indirect vs. direct speaking styles
  • Individualistic and collective cultures: How values change the way we communicate
  • Effective day-to-day communication when English is a second language
  • Non-verbal communication: Why the “unspoken” word is the most important
  • How global companies lose millions in revenue due to a lack of understanding of cultural differences
  • How to use the VAK model of Communication (visual/audio/kinesthetic communication styles) using the cross-cultural advantage

What is Unconscious Bias? Making a First Impression in Seven Seconds or Less

First impressions, positive or negative, are made in seven seconds or less. We all make quick assessments of others without even realizing it. We are not born with bias. Biases are formed by past situations, experiences, background and culture. Unconscious biases typically exist
towards gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability (both physical and mental), and weight. Most of us will say “I see people for who they are” but do we? Unconscious biases affect and impact decision making both professionally and personally with real impact. Recognizing, managing and mitigating unconscious bias promotes diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion drives
innovation, increases productivity, and stimulates creativity while promoting a healthy, happy, engaging workplace culture.

Key takeaways:

• The Neuroscience behind Unconscious Bias (“No blame, no shame”)
• Managing and Mitigating Unconscious Bias in Recruitment, Retention and Employee
Engagement
• Breaking Bias- Strategies for Gender, Maternal, Affinity and Ageism
• Sesame Street 2.0- One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just
doesn’t belong…..or does it? How Diversity Drives Innovation, Creativity and
Productivity
• Why Creating a Culture of Inclusion affects Positivity, Profits and Purpose

Recruiting and Retaining Foreign Workers for Success and Sustainability

Successful organizations understand that being able to attract, recruit and retain a qualified worker with appropriate skills, personality, attitude and motivation can be challenging at the best of times, let alone when chronic labour shortages exist in both skilled and non-skilled occupations. A shortage of skilled labour limits the ability to increase sales or production, which is why many successful organizations recruit foreign workers. The top source countries for foreign workers are India, China, Pakistan and the Philippines, all collective in nature. Collectivists often recommend suitable candidates because of their commitment to family and community, giving employers access to a rich database of potential recruits. However, managerial hiring practices are not standardized globally. Religious practices coupled with English as a second language can also affect productivity and profitability if not managed effectively.

Key takeaways

  • Why Canadian hiring practices sometimes inadvertently ‘screen out’ suitable candidates
  • Effective interview techniques with individualistic and collective cultures
  • Face to face, phone and email: Effective day-to-day communication when English is a second language
  • Workplace conflict resolution across all cultures
  • Death by meeting: How mismanaged global teams waste time and money
  • Non-verbal communication: To shake hands or not to shake hands… that is the question
  • Are we speaking the same language? Constructive feedback across cultures

Gen Zen: Communicate, Collaborate and Cooperate in the Changing Workplace

Successful leaders understand today’s increasingly multigenerational, multicultural and multifaceted workforce brings both opportunities and challenges if not managed effectively. To create trust, collaboration and creative work environments, inclusive leaders need to effectively communicate, understand and listen to their fellow employees. Everybody wants to be seen, wants to be heard and wants to be acknowledged. Learning how to communicate and cooperate in the workplace leads to a healthier, happier, motivating and inspiring workplace where everybody benefits.

Key takeaways

  • Are you generationally ‘savvy’?
  • Does your leadership style reflect “gen zen”?
  • Play nice in the sandbox- team building through collaboration and understanding
  • Empowering introverts in the workplace
  • Individualistic and collectivist cultures: how values change the way we communicate
  • What time is it? The difference between monochromic and polychromic cultures and why it matters to the workplace

Ctrl-Alt-Del: Give the (Re) Boot to Work-Life Balance

Only 23 per cent of working Canadians are highly satisfied with life. In fact, one-third of Canadians feel they have more work to do than time permits. Work-life balance is not a gender issue. Men have the same issues balancing career and family as women do and also struggle with obtaining work-life balance. With technological advances coupled with more women entering the workforce due to economic pressures, work-life balance can seem evasive and unobtainable. But with essential tools, tips and strategies, employees can minimize stress, maximize efficiency, improve productivity and boost positivity both at work and at home. Increased work-life balance leads to lower employee absenteeism and turnover rates and higher levels of employee engagement.

Key takeaways

  • 168 hours=168 hours: Why more time does not mean more balance
  • Five key stress busters that are essential for a healthier, happier, and more balanced life
  • Tips and tools for difficult conversations at work and at home
  • Increasing your work-life balance score with the Japanese concept of ‘kaizen’
  • Cultural differences in the perception of work-life balance
  • The high cost of always saying ‘yes’
  • Retrain your brain for positivity
  • Having it all… or having it all right now?
  • Prioritize your life the way you want your obituary to read

Tina Varughese

Cross-Cultural Communication Expert | Work-Life Balance Advocate

Described as a ‘dynamic, engaging, knowledgeable and humourous’ speaker, Tina’s interactive and energetic approach is insightful and her delivery is highly entertaining. She breaks down barriers to create a comfortable and fun space where people ask the questions they might otherwise be afraid to ask.

Tina is an Indo-Canadian daughter of first generation East Indian parents, which allows her to find ‘the best of both worlds’ and shed light, knowledge and most importantly universal humour into the intercultural workplace. Her experience as a mother, daughter, wife, sister and friend impacts her keynote delivery on work-life balance and generational differences. Her key message is to “Strive for progress rather than perfection.”

For fifteen years, Tina Varughese, B.A.; B.Comm, worked with immigrants in her roles with the Province of Alberta’s immigration office as well as running her own successful relocation and settlement firm. She is a contributing writer for the Human Resource Institute of Alberta’s Network magazine, Calgary Real Estate News, Home to Home magazine and nationally syndicated Mompreneur Magazine.

Tina has been the face of diversity, literally, when she was chosen to be in Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty representing beauty in diversity. With two kids, five fish and one husband, she resides in Calgary where she recently began hip hop classes.

Background

A national and international speaker in both Canada and the US for cross-cultural communication and for the recruitment, retention and engagement of foreign-born employees

Keynoted multiple leadership conferences where audiences of 500 plus “Bollywood danced” (willingly!)

Bachelor of Arts (Political Studies); Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing)

Managed Immigration office for the Province of Alberta (Economic and Immigration)

Became Provincial Nominee Specialist for the Province of Alberta’s Advanced Technology Department

President of tWorks Inc. – relocation and settlement services

Professional Member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers

Winner of the inaugural Shining Star Speaking Competition for the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (Calgary) for platform and speaking skills

Topics

50 Shades of Beige: Communicate with the Cross-Cultural Advantage

Successful organizations understand that being able to communicate cross-culturally in the workplace leads to enhanced productivity, performance and employee engagement. Managing diversity drives profitability, leads to innovation and promotes an inspiring workplace culture.

Key takeaways

  • Cultural differences in communication: Indirect vs. direct speaking styles
  • Individualistic and collective cultures: How values change the way we communicate
  • Effective day-to-day communication when English is a second language
  • Non-verbal communication: Why the “unspoken” word is the most important
  • How global companies lose millions in revenue due to a lack of understanding of cultural differences
  • How to use the VAK model of Communication (visual/audio/kinesthetic communication styles) using the cross-cultural advantage

What is Unconscious Bias? Making a First Impression in Seven Seconds or Less

First impressions, positive or negative, are made in seven seconds or less. We all make quick assessments of others without even realizing it. We are not born with bias. Biases are formed by past situations, experiences, background and culture. Unconscious biases typically exist
towards gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability (both physical and mental), and weight. Most of us will say “I see people for who they are” but do we? Unconscious biases affect and impact decision making both professionally and personally with real impact. Recognizing, managing and mitigating unconscious bias promotes diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion drives
innovation, increases productivity, and stimulates creativity while promoting a healthy, happy, engaging workplace culture.

Key takeaways:

• The Neuroscience behind Unconscious Bias (“No blame, no shame”)
• Managing and Mitigating Unconscious Bias in Recruitment, Retention and Employee
Engagement
• Breaking Bias- Strategies for Gender, Maternal, Affinity and Ageism
• Sesame Street 2.0- One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just
doesn’t belong…..or does it? How Diversity Drives Innovation, Creativity and
Productivity
• Why Creating a Culture of Inclusion affects Positivity, Profits and Purpose

Recruiting and Retaining Foreign Workers for Success and Sustainability

Successful organizations understand that being able to attract, recruit and retain a qualified worker with appropriate skills, personality, attitude and motivation can be challenging at the best of times, let alone when chronic labour shortages exist in both skilled and non-skilled occupations. A shortage of skilled labour limits the ability to increase sales or production, which is why many successful organizations recruit foreign workers. The top source countries for foreign workers are India, China, Pakistan and the Philippines, all collective in nature. Collectivists often recommend suitable candidates because of their commitment to family and community, giving employers access to a rich database of potential recruits. However, managerial hiring practices are not standardized globally. Religious practices coupled with English as a second language can also affect productivity and profitability if not managed effectively.

Key takeaways

  • Why Canadian hiring practices sometimes inadvertently ‘screen out’ suitable candidates
  • Effective interview techniques with individualistic and collective cultures
  • Face to face, phone and email: Effective day-to-day communication when English is a second language
  • Workplace conflict resolution across all cultures
  • Death by meeting: How mismanaged global teams waste time and money
  • Non-verbal communication: To shake hands or not to shake hands… that is the question
  • Are we speaking the same language? Constructive feedback across cultures

Gen Zen: Communicate, Collaborate and Cooperate in the Changing Workplace

Successful leaders understand today’s increasingly multigenerational, multicultural and multifaceted workforce brings both opportunities and challenges if not managed effectively. To create trust, collaboration and creative work environments, inclusive leaders need to effectively communicate, understand and listen to their fellow employees. Everybody wants to be seen, wants to be heard and wants to be acknowledged. Learning how to communicate and cooperate in the workplace leads to a healthier, happier, motivating and inspiring workplace where everybody benefits.

Key takeaways

  • Are you generationally ‘savvy’?
  • Does your leadership style reflect “gen zen”?
  • Play nice in the sandbox- team building through collaboration and understanding
  • Empowering introverts in the workplace
  • Individualistic and collectivist cultures: how values change the way we communicate
  • What time is it? The difference between monochromic and polychromic cultures and why it matters to the workplace

Ctrl-Alt-Del: Give the (Re) Boot to Work-Life Balance

Only 23 per cent of working Canadians are highly satisfied with life. In fact, one-third of Canadians feel they have more work to do than time permits. Work-life balance is not a gender issue. Men have the same issues balancing career and family as women do and also struggle with obtaining work-life balance. With technological advances coupled with more women entering the workforce due to economic pressures, work-life balance can seem evasive and unobtainable. But with essential tools, tips and strategies, employees can minimize stress, maximize efficiency, improve productivity and boost positivity both at work and at home. Increased work-life balance leads to lower employee absenteeism and turnover rates and higher levels of employee engagement.

Key takeaways

  • 168 hours=168 hours: Why more time does not mean more balance
  • Five key stress busters that are essential for a healthier, happier, and more balanced life
  • Tips and tools for difficult conversations at work and at home
  • Increasing your work-life balance score with the Japanese concept of ‘kaizen’
  • Cultural differences in the perception of work-life balance
  • The high cost of always saying ‘yes’
  • Retrain your brain for positivity
  • Having it all… or having it all right now?
  • Prioritize your life the way you want your obituary to read

Video

Testimonial

I LOVED your keynote and could have sat in that conference room all day listening to you. It really shows that you are in your element and love what you do. Thank you for speaking with such passion about a topic that a lot more people need to hear about these days. You were definitely one of the people that I automatically felt a draw to. You have a beautiful soul and possess the energy of a million watt light bulb. Keep up the good work!

— Kevin Robitaille, Bilingual Coordinator Groups, Porter Airlines

Testimonial

Sometimes people cross your path and make a difference in the direction you are going. Interestingly you did this for me with your ‘work-life’ balance presentation. You have such a charismatic way of presenting your topic! Your sense of humour and your personal experience brought your presentation to life. You made accountants laugh... imagine.

— Marie-Josee Catin, CGA, Divisional Corporate Controller, Stuart Olson Dominion Construction