Trine Scholer-Ericksen is an international cross cultural trainer based in Singapore.

What’s your story?
I have been working in an international setting for the past 26 years across the globe I am continuously inspired by the different ways of solving problems and doing business. In a global world we all speak English, but understanding cultural differences and utilising them is what creates success. Combining my experience with established research and conveying this knowledge is what truly motivates me. It is a pleasure seeing members of multi-cultural teams respecting each other and drawing on the expertise of each other. In buzzing Singapore these kinds of teams are endless.

What excites you most about your industry?
What excites me the most is to work with so many nationalities from all over the globe. People I meet are sometimes frustrated when others do not act, behave or respond as expected and to assist in the process of mutual understanding is a privilege. As a trained engineer it is actually nice to see that business is not controlled by technical specifications, infrastructure, etc. but by humans. It is the human aspect that truly excites me.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I came to Singapore for the first time in 1988 and I have been in South East Asia since 1999. It was work that brought me here in 1999 and being in this warm and colourful part of the world has been an inspiration ever since.
I enjoy experiencing the differences between the countries in SEA which shouldn’t be underestimated. The region and countries have a long and interesting history, making it very unique.

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Although I love several cities in SEA, my favourite has to be Singapore. It being clean, safe with a good infrastructure makes it easy to focus on the core aspects of life. You do not have to worry about getting to meetings on time, spending endless hours in traffic or having access to a stable internet connection.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Listening to feedback and using it constructively, together with working hard and never take anything for granted has been good advice. Feedback is given in many different ways so observing body language and silence, just to name a few, is equally important as the spoken word.

Who inspires you?
The list is long and I use different sources of inspirations depending on the situation ranging from close family members to icons within my field of business. But overall, I am inspired by two great women namely the former secretary of state in the US, Mrs. Madeleine Albright and the Chancellor of Germany, Mrs. Angela Merkel. I admire their strong leadership skills, their visionary approach to challenges, their hands on approach to problems and their courage in standing up for what they believe in.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The positive impact my training had on a major client and their business and the way in which it was shared with me.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If I could turn back time I would have started this business earlier. I realise that I gave my knowledge away for free for years and although money is not everything, I could have done so much more. Something I look forward to do in the near future is launching online courses which will compliment my workshops and seminars.
I could have done so much more, but I prefer to look at future opportunities instead of dwelling on the past.

How do you unwind?
I unwind together with my family, my husband and my youngest son. My eldest son is studying in Europe. I love good company, a nice meal with friends and a good laugh.
I truly enjoy travelling, eating local food and hearing the stories of locals. I am not a great fan of movies unless they are very well done and tell a proper story, but I am a great fan of documentaries and books.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
There is not one particular destination but many. For short getaways, Malaysia is a favourite destination because of its variety in nature, the islands and cities.
I have also been a great fan of hectic Bangkok for years. For me it is the combination of the unique culture, the lovely food, chaos and charm that makes it a favourite. Recently, I visited Phnom Penh for the first time and absolutely loved it.

Everyone in business should read this book:
This is another long list but if you are part of a multicultural team or work with multicultural clients and customers, being aware of differences is crucial. There are many good books in this field but a good start is “The Cultural Intelligence Difference” by David Livermore. It gives a practical introduction on how to increase your own CQ (cultural intelligence).

Shameless plug for your business:
Trine Scholer-Eriksen (M.Eng/MBA) is a cross cultural trainer with 26 years of international experience. Whether it is a lunch hour training, half day or two day workshop, attendees will walk away with new ways of seeing fellow international team members, management or customers. The training can be stand-alone seminars or workshops or being integrated into team building or other training activities. Being in an international setting does require international knowledge and in providing this Trine is a true specialist.

How can people connect with you?
Please contact me by email at: [email protected] or visit my website at www.tseconsult.com

Twitter handle?
I do not use twitter but please connect with me on LinkedIn
“In a global world we all speak English, but understanding cultural differences and utilising them is what creates success.”

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnectsCallum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia.  He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries.  He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence.  A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

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