"Cultural behavior is the end product of collected wisdom, filtered and passed down through hundreds of generations as shared core beliefs, values assumptions, notions and persistent action patterns.
In other words, culture is a collective programming of the mind, that distinguishes the members of one human group from another." Richard Lewis
The above illustration is a wonderful example of the unclear and diluted communication that is, unfortunately, encountered at my workplace on almost a daily basis. Verbal and non-verbal cue’s play a large impact on how challenges are identified and ultimately resolved.
A lack of understanding is common among both cultures. The workplace culture is sometimes divisive and the collected patterns that arise among small groups within the larger group are often negative and counter-productive.
The culture of my workplace is vastly different from my home culture and although I may be tempted to repeat the message that needs to be communicated, I have found that one “Simple” message will often “stick”. (Heath 16-18)
While my workplace is wrought with competition, chaos and confusion, my home culture is team-oriented, orderly and peaceful.
The “core” ideas in both environments that must be conveyed are essential however, the workplace is the most challenging environment that I face in which to share S imple information. (Heath 16-18)
Both cultures and I have reaped the benefit’s of Heath’s Simple approach to sharing information. The result has often been an easier understanding of the core concept and desired course of action, when necessary.
Often, a lack of understanding amongst my peers at work leads to the need to present information in an U nexpected manner as described in Heath’s model. The use of unexpected presentation practices aids my ability to communicate a S imple “core” message in a clear and concise manner. (Heath 16-18 )
The use of U nexpected (Heath 16-18 ) visual aids, props and, on occasion, guest presenter’s, has allowed the focus to shift from the messenger (me) to the message that I need to convey.
I can easily share information using Heath’s model and I often share information through redirecting the focus of my group or creating a “curiosity gap”. (Heath 16-18 )
This technique works well in both my work and home culture when the expectation during a communication conflict is to receive a defensive response. By re-focusing the group on the commonality of the message and the desired results, I can create an U nexpected arena for both my work and home communications.
Sharing unexpected insights, idea’s or visual’s pulls my workplace culture closer together and creates a common bond or, in the least a shared directive.
The idea’s that must be related in the workplace and in my home culture are more easily understood by my listener’s when I share a C oncrete (Heath 16-18 ) example with them.
In the workplace, there is a common foundation that is shared among the staff. This foundation makes it possible to share C oncrete imagery among my peers because we share the same workplace cultural belief’s. We all hope to help kids to achieve in life and to graduate college. This commonality allows my workplace culture to begin at the same point of understanding in some necessary key areas.
In order to enhance this cultural belief system I often use concrete example’s from our affiliates that reinforce the idea’s or messages that I want to share.
My home culture, like my workplace culture, shares a common foundation of family values, moral’s and ethic’s. When I need to convey a message to my home culture, I often rely on past examples that have bonded the group and resulted in a certain remembered outcome.
These historical example’s provide a clear and focused message that is easily remembered by my home culture.
Credibility in my work culture is only as good as the information shared at any given time. Because of this constant need to re-establish credibility, I rely on shared information among the workplace culture that maintains significance and connections among my peers. If information comes from CIS National, for example, then it is automatically C redible (Heath 16-18 ) to my audience.
My credibility is not challenged so often in my home culture. Although my credibility depends on believability, my home culture is more apt to believe what I share due to our closely matched cultural commonalities and shared understandings.
“… inter-cultural communication competence can only be attained when self-reflective processes increase a person's awareness of her own culture, personality, identity in that particular situation and various other factors.” (Aleksandra)
It is interesting to see that there are common elements in my workplace culture and home culture.
The foundation set by my organization creates a common workplace culture or clearinghouse for our staff to build upon just as my home culture set certain foundation’s for my value's, ethic's and belief's to develop.
This being said, I am able to more fully appreciate the cultural connections that each environment has to offer and I hope to grow in my understanding and application of Heath’s SUCCESs model in my professional and personal life.