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  • Introductions of presenters. My name is, where did I come from, how long have I been in the United States, and why am I telling this story. Both Al and Savita
  • Al
  • Al
  • Al: I know you are working on projects that have US colleagues. So, a high level understanding of their culture is important to make your team work better. But we should also remind ourselves that not to think that one equal all. Don’t forget that predicting someone’s behavior due to culture is a generalization. Everyone is an individual. Savita: as we team across cultural lines, different countries is important to know what the other person’s cultural tendencies are. The project can get off a bit better if we take time to respect and understand the other party’s culture.
  • Savita: Everyone is an individual … but culture has its place Al: That’s right. I have heard the story from Jon Iwata, Sr VP of Communication of IBM how he has to cope and adjust.
  • Al: This course is to explore what is hidden so we have a better sense why people behave the way they do.
  • Savita: So, what do we mean by culture. It determines our preferences … The food we like, how to dress. It also affects how we consider what is right or wrong ..
  • Al
  • Al: Americans are not all alike, In fact the US society is very diverse and we are struggling with cultural acceptance and sensitivity ourselves. American Society is continuing the journey to be inclusive. Live up its Declaration of Independence: All men are created equal … rights to pursue happiness
  • Savita:
  • Al
  • Al: This is no differently necessarily for Chinese to think of themselves as Middle Country. That name originated from a perspective that their country is the center of the universe.


  • 1. United States Cultural Class Presented by: Al Lun, Savita Katarya 1
  • 2. U. S. Culture Course Agenda• Module 1: Overview• Module 2: History, Geography, Government• Module 3: Values, Traditions, Religious expressions, Holidays• Module 4: Communications 2
  • 3. Module 1: Overview• Purpose of the course• Cultural psychology 3
  • 4. Purpose• Scope: A high level introduction of U.S. culture – Make it easier for you to work with your U.S. colleague – Not meant to be comprehensive or “gospel” truth• Objectives – Insight, better collaboration with U.S. colleagues – Better communication – Starting point for success 4
  • 5. Cultural Psychology• Everyone is an individual … but culture has its place – One of IBM’s 9 Foundational Competencies is “Passion for the Business” • Different cultures have different ways to demonstrate this competency and can be misinterpreted – Rah-rah vs quiet commitment 5
  • 6. Importance of Cultural AwarenessWhat we observe Behavior and practices CultureWhat is hidden Values Assumptions 6
  • 7. What is culture?• External – Preferences • Food and clothing • How they work, live and play• Interpretation – How they judge what is right or wrong – Is someone well mannered or rude? 7
  • 8. What is Race, Ethnicity, Nationality?• 3 Major Races: Caucasian, Mongoloid and Negroid• In USA the ethnic groups include African Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics and Latinos, and Native Americans• Nationality refers to a person’s country of origin 8
  • 9. Framework for a global team• Appreciate diversity• Recognize stereotypes• Avoid discrimination• Enhance inclusivity• Don’t let the cultural course be the only perspective and assumptions to work with your US colleagues, partners and friendsBuild cross-culture teams based on respect and understanding. 9
  • 10. Emotion Regulation• Conflict and misunderstandings are inevitable in intercultural communication• Negative emotions will hinder us in constructive negotiations and interactions• We need to learn how to control our negative emotions• Those who can do this will be able to engage more successfully in intercultural communication and experiences. 10
  • 11. Learner’s perspective• Your perspective should be from the US citizen’s point of view• It’s about getting to know why they do what they do• And less about passing judgment on their worldview• You develop understanding and empathy for them in order to better work with them 11
  • 12. Is it America or USA?• For whatever reason, US citizens call themselves Americans and their country America.• While many non-US citizens may disagree with these terminologies with justifications, in this class the learners should just take it the way it is.• If you want to get along with your hosts (the US citizen), even if you might disagree technically with the labels they use for themselves, it is respectful just to accept them.• And throughout this class, we may use the terms America and American people interchangeable with the more technically accurate terms of United States of America and US people. 12