Michael Gates is Vice Chairman of Richard Lewis Communications and also an Associate Fellow of the Said Business School at the University of Oxford. He is a cross-cultural generalist but also delivers a wide variety of culture-specific training. His specialist areas are the Nordic region and India, but he is able to deliver culture-specific training on most major cultures. Functionally, he delivers training in areas such as negotiation, leadership, presentation and teams. He particularly specializes in negotiation and teaches the cross-cultural module on the Oxford Programme on Negotiation. He has been involved in the development of the Lewis Model and approach from the start, especially in the creation of pedagogical techniques and web-based tools. Clients include corporations, governments and educational institutions. He has published many articles on cross-cultural issues, and has collaborated in books written by Richard D. Lewis.
Coming from a multicultural background (British, Austrian, Czech), Michael grew up having to negotiate cultural boundaries. It wasn't until going to school in the North of England that he lost his Viennese accent when speaking English. He has always had a strong interest in language and although his degree was not directly connected to cross-cultural issues (MA in English Language and Literature at Oxford), it gave him the ability to penetrate beneath the surface of communication and understand the deeper things at stake when people interact, such as their values, world-views and motivations. Working for five years in radio was a great lesson in communicating in a way that engages people to listen. In 1987, he went to work for Richard Lewis in Finland as a Language and Communication Skills teacher, moving into a managerial position after two months, and then helping to set up the new organisation, Richard Lewis Communications, with a strong focus on cross-culture. He has worked with Richard D. Lewis from the start on the pedagogical and business development of Richard Lewis Communications' and CultureActive's services.