Tool to Make Better Relocation Decisions

Tools to Make Better Relocation Decisions

These tools to make better relocation decisions,
are not relocation standard.

Assessments, Relocation and Better Decisions.

Many of us took personal assessments before we graduated from high school.  Or perhaps we took them as part of a team building process on the job. But I have not met one person who took these specifically for relocation.

What they measure though, is valuable, if not more valuable in the family setting.  That is because each family member has an innate interest in the relocation.  Outside of the core family, personal assessments can help to identify they type of partners, communities and new friends that create success for the relocating family. 

If you know who you are, the needed whos and whats are more easily identified.

Personal Assessments provide personal knowledge.  Knowledge that can positively impact all decisions and potential success.

What if you believed you had the answer to just about any question, options or conundrum that presented itself?

What if you knew the answer before the question was asked? 

Believing “I’ve got this!” before any question or challenge appeared…opens up options and changes the outcome. 

Assessment Types

Today, we are talking about 4 types of assessments:

      • Personality
      • Temperament
      • Strengths
      • Stress

Knowing these four areas leads to better decisions in every context, like when choosing a school that will embrace and encourage your child, choosing a great employer and negotiating with relocation partners.  Knowing who you are, and all of the “whos’” in the family, affects every relocation decision.  Knowing as much as possible, leads to “right decision” the first time.

      • Who to bring in and who to keep out.
      • What to bring in and what to keep out.
      • How to handle a situation and how not to handle a situation.
      • How each family member gets along best.
      • Which strengths and talents can be tapped into and synergized.
      • What personality types or process types will not work with the family.

When the personal who(s) are known, then it is easier to identify the people, activities, communities and processes that will most likely align with the family.

Personality Type

There are many different Four Quadrant personality type assessments on the market. You, like me, may have taken the Meyers-Briggs assessment in High school and college.  I found it kind of interesting then.  But when I took it later in life it began to make sense due to life experience. 

It reveals personality traits like drive, awareness of details, desire for continuity or even extroversion vs. introversion.  Interestingly, personality assessment can change over time.  This is because personality can be influenced by culture, life experience, what we learn from others and even relocation.

A FREE personality assessment based on the Meyers-Briggs Test is from Personality Hackers.  The nice thing about this company is that they provide immediate results to an email. That free information includes potential personality traits and even how one type gets along with other types.

This assessment takes about 10 minutes.  https://personalityhacker.com/genius-personality-test/

Temperament Type

Temperament is different than personality, in that temperament is hardwired and unchanging.  What I learned through taking this assessment is that I am not as go with the flow as I thought I was.  As a matter of fact, my family was like…”No, you are kind of controlling.  And you always have been.”

Once I made peace with this information I realized it made quite a bit of sense.  I could see it as I looked back over my life.  I always thought my sister was the controller type, but it was really me.  I am the ring leader in my little family,  and that’s OK.

FREE Videos that explain and explore the different temperaments are available from the app “I SAID THIS, YOU HEARD THAT”, available on Apple IOS and Android.  Watching the videos as a family will help everyone easily see which temperament they are.

A workbook is available for approx. $30 with a paper assessment and worksheets at https://www.isaidyouheard.study/.

Strengths Type

The Strength assessment is the fun one.  CliftonStrengths or StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Gallup lists out the strengths for each individual in descending order.  They have interesting titles like Ideation and Woo.

Woo is one of my 5 Strengths – “People exceptionally talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with someone.” From https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths

This assessment show what each individual is strong iin, what they should lean into and where they will most likely experience success.  My dad asked me to do this for years.  When I finally gave in, I found this enlightening especially in relation to how my father and I work together.

https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths Top 5 Strengths $19.99 or
all 34 CliftonStrengths $49.99 per person.

Stress Type

Knowing your stressors and more importantly, how you react in normal situations vs. stressful situations is enlightening.

I think most of us think we will react the same exact way, based on our values and who we are, no matter the situation or the people involved.  But, that simply is not the case.  When I took the Birkman Assessment a few years ago, I was shock to find out that I do not react the same way during stress.  In some situations, I do the exact opposite of what I would in a “normal” situation.

Relocation months 0 to 4 is anything but “normal”.  This is why I found the Birkman Assessment so fascinating and applicable.  During relocation we all experience multiple missed expectations and disappointments, perhaps daily. When the stress response is known ahead of time, the response can be decided in real time.  Knowing that the “normal” response is not the auto response, we have the ability to remember, pause and choose our response.

The Birkman is the most expensive of the four assessments, but it assesses something that the others do not; Stress and stress responses.

Birkman Method Assessment https://birkman.com/solutions/birkman-basics/

Assessment Wrap up

Most importantly, sit down as a family and compare everyone’s results.  Each family member, through this exercise, will learn something new about each of the other family members.  The new knowledge, especially when the kids learn something unknown about their parents, gives the children another way to think about their parents and potentially create another connection.

When talking about each person’s personality, temperament, strengths and stressors each family member, everyone gains new insight and has new ability to understand the others.  This understanding drives compassion.  Compassion drives patience in the time of hardship or disappointment.

Patience is something that everyone in the family needs an abundance of during relocation.

Practically Speaking

On the PRACTICAL SIDE, know this information helps drive those “first right” decisions I talked about in the beginning.  It is through knowing ourselves that we can hire the best partners.  Whether real estate agents, mortgage brokers, movers, inspectors, etc., when we know ourselves we are able to:

      • See the people who will best work with us.
      • Share or adapt to our work ethic and rules.
      • Negotiate for things we now know are important.
      • Educate partners as to how best to work with us(time sensitivity, attitude, work ethic, communication, pet peeves, etc).
      • AND Not bring in people or processes that will slow or hinder our relocation.

Personal assessment knowledge provides a new level of control. 

In Relocation, the last thing we need to is have anyone slow it down or throw in a monkey wrench.  The assessments help identify who and what will not work or serve the relocation.  Even when we must accept the only option, this information provides a reminder to communicate what is most important to a partner so that they can be successful.

For more information about all things relocation explore the ReloMoms Weekly Podcast available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, as well as the other blogs here on ReloMoms.

WE ARE REBRANDING!!  As of October 1st
ReloMoms becomes ReloWomen
Same great mission with more inclusion.  All of us women, whether accompanying or transferred employee, design, create and run our lives and those of our family. 

By including all ReloWomen…we all can Relocate Well!

Ready to NOT relocate alone? 

Try out Whole Life Relocation Coaching. 

Schedule your hour of coaching today!

#5 Relo Challenge Cultural Differences

ReloMoms Cafe and Chairs
(c) creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com

Cultural differences, cliques in school, are in every cafeteria. The smart people sit over there.  The pretty people sit there. The footballers in the middle gregariously demanding all the attention.

Sometimes divided by appearance
while other times belief, interest or personality.

Humans divide themselves into tribes.  A primitive survival instinct, we have done this since the beginning of time for safety and security.

The funny thing is that we don’t really do it all that well.  It’s a work in progress.

SEEING THE UNSEEN

Our son was in 4th grade when we moved to Texas from Minnesota.  Within the first few weeks he said, “The kids are nicer here.”

It wasn’t that the kids were actually nicer.  The Texas kids used a rule of respect for everyone that was similar to our son’s definition of nice.

Every community has a way that it acts.  Hence the stereotypes.

People fall in line with what is acceptable in public, even when they disagree.

ReloMoms Cultural Differences
(c) cc0images | Dreamstime.com

“HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM”

Sometimes the cultural differences attack your rules or sensibilities.

While living in Minnesota, I met a woman born and raised in Philadelphia.  She had been in Minnesota about 3 months when she asked me,

“Why are they looking at me?”  Carol said.
“What?” I responded.
“At the grocery store.  Why are the looking at me?” Carol asked again.
“Minnesotans will make eye contact as an unspoken greeting.  Sometimes they will even ask you if you need help when you look concerned.” I explained.
“Why?  I don’t like it.  What do they want?” she asked with real concern.
“Nothing.  It’s just what they do.”

Carol was truly unnerved.  Being from the Northeast, she had been taught since childhood to keep your head down, get your business done and keep moving.  Eye contact meant trouble or harm.   That Minnesota Nice thing was hard for her to understand and adapt to.

OBSERVE AND LEARN

Expect differences.

Moving around the world or even 30 miles from where you started, expect to find cultural differences from extreme to subtle

Knowing the rules of behavior and watching people in action helps you form an  understanding of where you are. To get back to living your way, this is imperative.

° How do people greet each other?
° What are some of the colloquialisms?
° What do they reference on a regular basis?
° How does the accent affect your perceptions?

Whatever you find different, ponder it.  Where does it come from?  Why do they do that?  Is this part of their cultural history or something more recent?  What are the most important issues of the local community and the larger city?

EXTREME CULTURAL DIFFERENCES

An extreme example are the serious racial problems in Baltimore. These problems have plagued this community for over 100 years.  Everyday language, attitudes, rules and expectation here both perpetuate and fight the conflict.

You might find yourself scream thinking,

“WHY CAN’T PEOPLE BE NICE, GET OVER IT
and MAKE THE COMMUNITY BETTER?

Isn’t that what everyone WANTS???”

Baltimore leaders agree: City has a race problem

Yes and no.  How do you change what is ingrained within the culture of the community?

CAREFUL JUDGING OTHERS

Coming from a like-minded community with a similar value set, causes most people to harshly judge those that live by divergent values.

Judgement creates separation and isolation.

Remember that no matter where you land, though never perfect, people are mostly good and honest.  Approaching the new community with this truth creates an expectation of finding good people and creating strong connections.

Whatever you ask, your brain will provide an answer;
whatever you look for, you’ll find.

Tony Robbins Facebook May 2016

SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN BE UNDERSTOOD ~ Stephen R. Covey

Understanding is about choosing to learn about people before we judge or try to change them or a situation.   No one takes well to be challenged or belittled.  Working to understand shows respect.

Respect is a polite attitude, is not agreement.

Make an effort to understand others, even where a contradictory attitude or belief could be divisive.  We agree 100% with very few people in life, showing respect allows us time to find something we agree with.

This patience and curiosity may also provide a perspective and the space to create a real solution to cultural differences, like that of Baltimore.

CULTURE, YOURS vs. NEW

Culture is communication through words, actions, attitudes, and tone.

What are you communicating and what are they communicating?

Are either of you missing the point or misunderstanding intention?

The Cultural Differences worksheet give you a place to explore the differences between your expectations and this culture’s norms.

Immerse yourself in your community to find them all, especially the new language.

  • New York “Schlep”
  • Atlanta “Ya’ll”
  • Minnesota “You betcha”
  • Southern California “Dude”

Ultimately, you will find commonalities and your place in the new community.  You will create a support system that encourages and allows you and your family to thrive.

Identifying the differences is the starting point to making this home.

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

Annette
A ReloMom currently in the wilds of Texas, working to encourage and inspire others while seeking another adventure.


Resources

Cultural Differences Worksheet

Silent Language by Edward T Hall talks about how the secondary or unconscious culture moves with us from place to place and how it affects our sense of self and our interactions with others.

Avoiding Election Infection: How to keep your influence in a divisive world by Andy Stanley