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  • Athena Group International News Canadians Adopted Refugee Families for a Year. Then Came ‘Month 13.’

    The cross-cultural struggle is their daily for immigrants. This is an amazing article on the reality of that struggle. Please take a moment to read it.

    Regards, Pam Pappas Stanoch

    Read the story here

    Posted on March 28th, 2017
  • Athena Group International News

    New Article March 3rd

    Today at yoga class the teacher paraphrased the well-known African idiom:  “Alone you will go faster, but within this community, you will go farther.”  Of course it depends on the community or group, but in general, do you subscribe to this thinking? 

    Despite an increasingly global society, different countries and cultures tend to see the world somewhere between the “I” lens and the “we” lens; where they fall on this spectrum is tied to their core value system. If you were raised in a community that values relationships over tasks, how does this color your opinion of a co-worker who always puts time and getting the job done first, people second?  Do you think they are mean, cold and selfish?  Do you trust them?  Deeply held thinking patterns and beliefs that are rewarded and reinforced by our cultures can show up in unintended ways impacting our ability to build respectful relationships in the workplace and ultimately our careers.


    For example, if your boss is extremely time driven (in the US who’s isn’t?) but you know that taking time to listen, listen more, and listen even more generously to your staff and team members will give you a comprehensive understanding of how best to move forward, what do you do?  Will you be viewed as unprofessional if you have to extend your agreed upon deadline?   Will you be judged as inefficient? 


    Do you go faster alone, or farther within your group?  Knowing where you fall on this spectrum is important among colleagues from your own culture, but is essential when working with people from countries and cultures different from your own.  Our brains are wired differently depending on which end of the spectrum we fall.  Changing the wiring takes awareness and practice. Build skills to adapt when needed, and trust, that then indeed, you will go farther.

    Kim Cermak

    Posted on March 3rd, 2017
  • Athena Group International News

    The End of Reflection


    There are many moments throughout my average day that, lacking print reading material in a previous era, were once occupied by thinking or observing my surroundings: walking or waiting somewhere, riding the subway, lying in bed unable to sleep or before mustering the energy to get up.

    Now, though, I often find myself in these situations picking up my phone to check a notification, browse and read the internet, text, use an app or listen to audio (or, on rare occasions, engage in an old-fashioned “telephone call”). The last remaining place I’m guaranteed to be alone with my thoughts is in the shower.

    “Finding moments to engage in contemplative thinking has always been a challenge, since we’re distractible,” said Nicholas Carr, author of “The Shallows.” “But now that we’re carrying these powerful media devices around with us all day long, those opportunities become even less frequent, for the simple reason that we have this ability to distract ourselves constantly.”

    Click Here to read the article on

    Posted on June 30th, 2016
  • Athena Group International News

    You Break It, You Own It


    The British vote by a narrow majority to leave the European Union is not the end of the world — but it does show us how we can get there.

    A major European power, a longtime defender of liberal democracy, pluralism and free markets, falls under the sway of a few cynical politicians who see a chance to exploit public fears of immigration to advance their careers. They create a stark binary choice on an incredibly complex issue, of which few people understand the full scope — stay in or quit the E.U.

    These politicians assume that the dog will never catch the car and they will have the best of all worlds — opposing something unpopular but not having to deal with the implications of the public actually voting to get rid of it. But they so dumb down the debate with lies, fear-mongering and misdirection, and with only a simple majority required to win, that the leave-the-E.U. crowd carries the day by a small margin. Presto: the dog catches the car. And, of course, it has no idea now what to do with this car. There is no plan. There is just barking.

    Like I said, not the end of the world yet, but if a few more E.U. countries try this trick we’ll have quite a little mess on our hands. Attention Donald Trump voters: this is what happens to a country that falls for hucksters who think that life can just imitate Twitter — that there are simple answers to hard questions — and that small men can rearrange big complex systems by just erecting a wall and everything will be peachy.

    Click Here to read the article on

    Posted on June 26th, 2016
  • Athena Group International News

    The transition that never ends: The ongoing cycle of expat Stayers, Goers and Newbies


    It’s not yet Christmas . . . and already I’m thinking about June. There is a reason for that.
    Where I live people come and go . . . a lot. That’s the part that they don’t put in the brochure when you move abroad . . .

    “Adventure of a lifetime — Explore exotic lands! Learn new languages! Say goodbye to 20% of your friends every summer and random others throughout the year!”

    Sign here.

    It is a big painful part of the expat experience though. Transition that is. Not the expected ones like “culture shock”, bumbling language mistakes and system conversions. We saw those coming from a mile away (1.60934 kilometers). We read books and blogs about those. Some of us even went to seminars and conferences about how to “transition well”. There is no small bit of attention paid to the beginning phases of life as a foreigner. There is also a growing bit of attention surrounding the ending phases — leaving well, saying goodbye, repatriating, reverse culture shock and so on.

    Not knocking that since . . . you know . . . I wouldn’t have a job without it.

    Click Here to read the article on

    Posted on February 26th, 2016
  • Athena Group International News

    Suggested Read: "Know Thyself"

    by IWC Lausanne

    Dear Clients,
    I have had the privilege of working with many amazing people over the years.  One of my clients who has just repatriated from her second assignment shared the following blog with me.   With her permission, I am sharing it with you.   It is a lovely account of the opportunities presented to us when we open ourselves to possibilities.   This is about her self-discovery while on assignment, but, it also applies to coming home.  Continuing to embrace new things, exposing ourselves to new people and continuing to seek new opportunities, provides us with new lenses for looking at the familiar.   

    Click Here to read the article on

    Posted on August 25th, 2015
  • Athena Group International News


    by Travelex

    To tip or not to tip? The oldest of travel conundrums. Every country has a unique set of social customs and tipping etiquette can vary greatly between different cultures.

    Deciding whether or not to tip is the easy part; the real problem lies in deciding how much to tip. Too little might be considered an insult. Too much and you could be viewed as flashy or arrogant. In places like Japan and China virtually all tipping is seen as rude and it’s just not done.

    This short guide is designed to put your mind at rest next time you travel abroad; whether you find yourself in a café in Cairo, a bar in Budapest or a hotel in Honolulu.

    And the bottom line? If the service wasn’t up to scratch, then don’t leave a tip.

    Click Here to read the PDF

    Posted on July 7th, 2015
  • Athena Group International News

    A Mindful Path to Global Leadership

    by K. Cermak & E. Topp

    A Mindful Path to Global Leadership training integrates the practice of mindfulness—attention and awareness—with the practical tools of effective cross-cultural management, enabling leaders to bring a wider range of their capacities to today’s increasingly complex and dynamic work environment.

    Outcomes of program include:
      1. More effective goal attainment through discovering new approaches to work
      2. Increased focus and calmness for maximizing peak performance
      3. Better decision-making ability and clarifying of priorities in stressful situations
      4. Insights for improved relationships with international colleagues, clients and teams
      5. Accelerated technique for growth and leadership development

    Who should attend:
      1. High potential employees considering international assignments
      2. Executives working in or managing international teams
      3. Global leaders

    Price: $3600, 4 hours, up to 20 participants (option for follow up one-one coaching)

    A Mindful Path to Global Leadership is designed to help leaders discover a way to cultivate their deepest potential and lead with excellence and wisdom, ultimately improving their well-being and organizational success.

    Posted on October 14th, 2014
  • Athena Group International News

    Cultural training puts everything into context


    When it comes to international development, one world doesn’t fit all. Here’s why you need to be trained before your train leaves the station.

    A franchisor’s international team must stay at the nicest hotels, dress to the nines and spend leisurely time getting to know prospects over good food at fine restaurants. But before they get to that step, they need to visit and play tourist. It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it. Pam Pappas Stanoch Pam Pappas Stanoch Actually, it is a tough job—and not everyone can do it. Traveling internationally is grueling. Often once the executive lands, he or she jumps right into the business of the trip...

    Click here to read the article on Athena by the Franchise Times.

    Posted on June 10th, 2014
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  • Athena Group International News

    Third Culture Kids: Repatriation

    To our readers:
    Repatriation is often miss-understood. Often times coming home is more challenging than going abroad. People always assume that coming home is going to be easy, you know the culture and the system, how it works. You are often overwhelmed with the expectations of others that you should be happy to be home and your own emotions of loss of the life you built in the country of your assignment.

    The attached article focuses on children and repatriation; specifically “Third Culture Kids”, children who live in another country for most of their lives and then return to their “home country”, where they feel like outsiders in their own country.

    If you have questions regarding repatriation or would like to learn more about our repatriation programs please contact: Pam Pappas Stanoch pps(a)athenagroupintl(dot)com

    Click here to read the article.

    Posted on January 20th, 2014 | By : Pam Pappas Stanoch
  • Athena Group International News

    Women in Expatriation

    To our readers:
    I spent a great deal of time researching material available on female expatriates.  It is an interesting subject, as I feel my experiences are somewhat jaded.  I work with amazingly progressive clients. Companies who choose their expatriates based on talents, skills and the perceived ability to succeed in the foreign market.  The articles I found were not representative of the high increase in female expatriates which I am witnessing with my own clients.

    The women I work with as their cross-cultural coach are finding support from their spouses, their employers and the mentors in their home offices.  The articles I have read don’t necessarily support my experiences. 

    As I searched for the best and most up to date findings on this subject, I am attaching an article which I feel is worth reading.  It is 27 pages, but in my opinion both insightful and thought provoking. I welcome your comments and your feedback.   Please feel free to respond at: pps[at]athenagroupintl[dot]com

    Click here to read the article.

    Posted on September 10th, 2013 | By : Pam Pappas Stanoch
  • Athena Group International News

    News from the President of Athena

    Welcome to our new website.  We would like to create a forum for discussion of current cross-cultural topics, facing global leaders and their teams, remote teams, expatriates and their families, as well as repatriates.  If you have a story to share, please contact us here.

    Once a month we will be sharing suggestions, information on topics of interest in the intercultural field as well as cross-cultural success stories from our clients.  It will give our clients an opportunity to learn from one another as well as team members associated with Athena.

    Posted on August 13th, 2013 | By : Pam Pappas Stanoch
  • Athena Group International News

    Global Programs

    - Global Communication Effectiveness:  August 29th Chester, UK  (private)
    - Global Team Effectiveness:  September 17th, Toronto, Canada (private)

    Upcoming:  Developing a Global Network:  “Relationship first, expertise second”
    Minneapolis, MN USA/May 2014* registration begins January 2014
    Paris, France/Fall 2014  *registration begins May 2014

    Posted on August 12th, 2013 | By : Athena Group INTL