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NAIS PoCC 2010 CCC
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90 minute presentation delivered at the NAIS People of Color Conference 2010. Humans communicate on many levels: spoken language, tone, body language, style and personality. The fact that we have......

90 minute presentation delivered at the NAIS People of Color Conference 2010. Humans communicate on many levels: spoken language, tone, body language, style and personality. The fact that we have complex cultural identities and a host of differing past experiences increases the probability of cross-cultural miscommunications. This workshop presents major cross-cultural communication theories, ways that cultural values, power, privilege and differences affect the way we communicate, tools for questioning assumptions, and ways to improve cross-cultural communications skills.

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  • Introductions - name, school, why this workshop
  • Strand structure: theory, examples, activity, break Goals: information, conversation, activity for experience and to use in classroom and/or professional development. Requests and FYI: Theory overview only, but ask questions if unclear, please hold examples for example section, not everyone can relate to by personal experience so we do activities. Shared experience gives an opportunity to experience or witness something firsthand. Will not get to every theory in depth nor will we be able to share all experiences. Goal is to introduce for further study and gain enough examples to apply. Resource materials: available in hard copy and electronically (USB drive, computer desktop, email). Please take only hard copies you know you will use so we can be as green as possible.
  • CCC - comparison of communication styles and norms across several cultures ICC - what happens when communication occurs between two or more people from different cultures Face Negotiation Theory - different cultures communicate with/without consideration of “face” - self-worth, self-respect, pride, etc. Conversational Constraints Theory - different cultures have different words/modes depending on roles (gender,hierarchy, age, etc.) Expectancy Violation Theory - different cultures have varying norms around what to expect in communication exchange, as well as different responses in how violation of those expectations are dealt with. Anxiety/Uncertainty Management Theory - different cultures communicate differently in situations where roles and norms are not necessarily familiar. Communication Accommodation Theory - different cultures adapt to varying degrees depending on circumstance and relationships. EXAMPLE: Face: “I have two tickets to the school auction for you if you’d like. I’d be pleased if you would join us.” “I know the auction is expensive and you may not be able to afford them. If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to tell me.” Constraints: US Mainstream has “hello as greeting for all.” Korean has 3 levels, informal, casual-formal, and formal. Use of terms communicate respect and role in any relationship hierarchy. Expectancy: God Bless You, Thank you, You’re welcome Anxiety: Accommodation:
  • Dimensions of Variability look at where cultures lie along a continuum between modes of communication. No one dimension explains all facets. Individual-Collectivistic: higher value is placed on the individual or the community and collective. Individualistic cultures tend to have a certain freedom and directness of language, whereas collectivistic cultures tend to have role or in-group based language and social expectations. Low context-high context: communication is either entirely dependent on the words or dependent on a complex matrix of words, nonverbal signals, relationships, and roles. Masculinity-Femininity: NOT about “how men typically” or “women typically.” Rather, communication is either typically for accomplishing tasks or typically for building relationships. However, masculinity-femininity also deals with gender issues at the cultural and individual levels - how gender roles are distributed in a culture. Low Uncertainty-High Uncertainty: Uncertainty Avoidance is the degree to which members of a culture try to avoid uncertainty. High uncertainty avoidance cultures low tolerance for ambiguity, higher levels of anxiety and energy release, need for rules and absolute truth, less tolerance for people or groups with deviant ideas or behavior. Low uncertainty avoidance cultures have lower stress levels and weaker superegos, accept dissent and take risks” Vertical-Horizontal: Power Distance is the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations accept that power is distributed unequally. Members of high power distance cultures accept power as part of society, and stress coercive or referent power. Members of low power distance believe power should be used only when it is legitimate and prefer expert or legitimate power. Cultures have varying mixtures of dimensionality. Russian culture, very collectivistic and horizontal, is also masculine, low context, and low uncertainty. EXAMPLES: Gender: US Mainstream “I want to ask for a favor.” Many Native American cultures long conversation of how things are, and inquiries about family and well being before asking anything of desire or need. Certainty: Chinese Proverb “Add legs to a snake after you have finished drawing it.” US Mainstream equivalent “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
  • Personality Orientation: factor like MBTI Personality types Individual Values: Idiocentrism and allocentrism Self construal: Does one consider oneself a unique and apart individual from others in the community or an element of an interdependent community? Individual Socialization: What was actively taught by parent/role models/peers/society? What experiences has the person had in terms of positive or negative socialization? Cultural norms and rules. These can be dynamic and specific to a time and place. Dangerous to look at cultural identities and assume the whole picture of the person’s communication style is known. Although CCC helps reveal generalities and patterns, there are too many individual factors to make these general patterns universal. EXAMPLE: As an unmarried Korean American woman and immigrant, there are many assumptions that can be made about my communication. However, there are factors like my being an INFP, strong values around doing the right thing, my being an interdependent person who likes to read the context to fit in or fit the need, socialization around being heard when I am assertive or even abrasive, and the fact that I function as a teacher of children in US Mainstream culture, I go closer or further away from those assumptions.
  • A common dichotomous descriptor of communication is direct and indirect communication. Indirect communication assumes that people understand the meaning without having to tell everything. It tones down unpleasant aspects of the message by using convoluted language and metaphors. Pros - gentler to the listener, honors relationships, lyrical. Cons - open to several interpretations, takes time, requires listener to pay attention to the message under the message. Direct communication makes everything explicit. People using this mode of communication tell you exactly what mean in a direct and assertive fashion. Pros - clear, understand the words and understand the message, efficient. Cons - can be abrupt or alienating to the listener, does not take into account relationships or context. What is an occasion you now know to be true, about an interpersonal conflict that really had to do with differing cross cultural communication?
  • • IO/ID - trace cycle of oppression using women and leadership and communication. “sugar and spice” and “snips and snails,” women too emotional, women poor leader IO: women feel the need to “masculinize” herself through clothes, demeanor, and speech. ID: men feel the necessity to speak or lead in meetings. Rewards: “She’s got balls.” “What a real man.” Punishments: “She’s a bitch.” “He’s a pussy.” Negative impact for everybody: people cannot behave with complete freedom. • Stereotype Threat - Joshua Aronson. Took work of Claude Steele further (sidebar: Claude Steele now doing work to go beyond into impact of white people on stereotypes of whites being bigoted). Impact of stereotype threat on tests. I - Test 1: trying to figure out if this is a good test. No performance differences between AA and whites. Test 2: tests intelligence. Often a reflection of academic performance and indicator of future success. Achievement gap appears. II - both groups told test is just to see if it’s a good test. Test 1: no achievement gap. Test 2: boxes to declare race. Achievement gap appears. III - Test 1: all women and all men math tests. No difference. Test 2: all women except one man. Gap appears. Add another man. Gap gets bigger. IV - All white male engineering students taking a math test. Test 1: high achievement. Test 2: we’re trying to figure out why Asians do so much better on these tests. Scores drop. • Accumulated Impact - We know as educators what accumulated impact is “what time is it?” “what time is it?” “what time is it?” 1st few times no big deal. Then annoyance then irritability then anger. Kid 20 doesn’t know your experience and reads the situation as “you’re such an angry person.” when in reality there has been so much happening leading up to that point. You may be able to curb your response at times, but often, we can’t help but respond from the accumulation. Example: AA “You’re so articulate” Obama brought to national discussion. Example: Asian Americans “Where are you from?” • Code/Mode Switching - Because of our cultural identities and socialization, some of us can dress, speak, and be the same way from home to work to friends to clubs to whatever. Others of us have to adopt different modes and codes every time we enter a new situation. Example of teacher who sees student in “the outside world” and noticing tremendous difference. Question: what is the unsafe/unwelcoming culture of the classroom that forces the student to so drastically code and mode switch? PRIVILEGE • Fish Seeing the Water: Ask a fish what water is like and it will not know what you’re talking about. Ask a land-dwelling animal what water is, and it will tell you lots “it’s cold, it’s wet, I can’t breathe in it, this is how you move in it, etc.” White people sometimes say “I have no culture.” Not true. Just fish not seeing the water. Important to understand the culture of dominance so that we can understand how it does not treat some people fairly. • Normal versus Good: What happens statistically frequently is called “norm.” We have a tendency to interpret this as “normal” which has a value judgment associated with it. We then extend normal into good. When someone sneezes, the norm in this culture is to say “bless you.” We then consider this “normal.” Then we judge people who don’t say “bless you” as being rude or uncaring. Not necessarily. When we expect people to speak or behave in certain ways, we need to examine whether we are expecting these things because it’s the norm or because it’s good. • Intent versus Impact: In privilege, we sit in the luxury of concentrating on the intent more than impact. What we say and do can hurt or oppress, but we sometimes dismiss it citing that we “didn’t mean to.” ANALOGY: If you’re driving down the street and you accidentally run over someone’s foot, you’re going to leap out of the car. “I’m so sorry. Are you okay? Are you in a lot of pain? Can I get you to a hospital?” Imagine how ridiculous it would be if we got out of the car and said “I didn’t mean it. It can’t be THAT bad. Aren’t you exaggerating a bit rolling around on the ground like that? I didn’t do it on purpose, so I don’t see what the big deal is.” Yet this is what we do sometimes when someone tells us about an impact our words or actions have on them. Impact that is just as if not more painful than physical injury. We need to stop and listen and acknowledge when these things happen and work to stop and undo the accumulation. EXAMPLE: My walking down the street and asking a struggling man who was missing his arms below the elbow is he “needed a hand.” My intent was trying to be helpful, but impact was probably anger or pain. I need to own it.
  • We all have internal monologues. Sometimes these can be a distraction. If these distractions happen on on daily basis, they can affect performance, concentration, stress level, etc.
  • Exercise in how these distractions can affect us in our communication. Model using louder whisper bur disclaimer that it should be quieter for real exercise. Stress that you are acting as the person you are whispering to. Challenge people to incorporate the conversation into the whispers --- Facilitate - 1st round 5 min, 2nd round 4 minutes, 3rd round 3 minutes Give out debrief questions during the exercise and ask folks to discuss AFTER they have done all three rounds. Give 5-7 minutes for groups to discuss questions then ask back into the room.
  • Exercise in how these distractions can affect us in our communication. Model using louder whisper bur disclaimer that it should be quieter for real exercise. Stress that you are acting as the person you are whispering to. Challenge people to incorporate the conversation into the whispers --- Facilitate - 1st round 5 min, 2nd round 4 minutes, 3rd round 3 minutes Give out debrief questions during the exercise and ask folks to discuss AFTER they have done all three rounds. Give 5-7 minutes for groups to discuss questions then ask back into the room.
  • Exercise in how these distractions can affect us in our communication. Model using louder whisper bur disclaimer that it should be quieter for real exercise. Stress that you are acting as the person you are whispering to. Challenge people to incorporate the conversation into the whispers --- Facilitate - 1st round 5 min, 2nd round 4 minutes, 3rd round 3 minutes Give out debrief questions during the exercise and ask folks to discuss AFTER they have done all three rounds. Give 5-7 minutes for groups to discuss questions then ask back into the room.
  • Higher the difference in cultural identifiers, higher the whispers Higher the number of target identities, higher the whispers Higher the stress level, higher the whispers Sometimes white teachers will ask “why are all the black kids sitting together?” (sidebar: why are all the white kids sitting together?) Maybe those kids are seeking a space to lower the stress and mental exhaustion that comes from whispers, accumulated impact, and code/mode switching. Affinity groups are important for a school-sponsored or work-sponsored space and time that marginalized people can find for such release. Only way to lower whispers is long-term and frequent evidence to the otherwise. Distinguishing behaviors - ocal and visible tagging as an exception to the rule helps. Genuine relationships are even better.
  • Validity of experience. Being PoC does not make you exempt from CCC Conflicts Verbally advocate for yourself. Help others understand these differences and how they affect communication. Take the personal out of these interactions and make them more about reaching for more effective communication.
  • Mental Model - How we understand our world and how it works. Our brains are designed to do it. Ladder of Inference - constantly happening, and when unchecked, forms a mental model that may or may not be true. Give handout example REAL EXAMPLE: Parent calls me in for a meeting about concerns. “You are a very mean teacher, and my daughter cannot approach you for any help.” “She said that you won’t help students unless you make an appointment.” “You told her that she needs to tell you three days in advance if she wants any help from you.” Observable data. Student comes up night before a week-long assignment is due and says she does not understand the assignment. Unfortunately, I have another appointment and cannot help her in that moment. I remind her that she has had a week to ask questions, and though unfortunate that circumstances worked out this way, she can avoid this situation by looking over the assignment early and asking for help earlier so that we have some options for appointments. “Imagine if you asked for help three days ago - I could have had so many options for appointments to get you the help you need.” Tools of Action helps us check assumptions earlier in the process and avoid conflict or erroneous beliefs.
  • Thrive! Group Dynamics communication model asks people in conflict to check assumptions and communicate what is at the core.
  • • Non-Verbal Communication – breakdown of some major categories of non-verbal communication as well as some differences you will find across different cultures. • Cultural Value Differences – some differences in cultural values around categories like relational and temporal. These differences can sometimes lead to major miscommunication and conflict due to value judgment. • 7 Criteria for Values – useful in thinking about values and value systems. I personally believe that TRUE values are never bad, but we tend to judge others based on their value PRIORITIES. The 7 criteria reminds us what makes a value a value and hopefully steers us clear of believing them invalid for someone else. • Values Definition Table – several values and basic definitions. I have found this table useful in values clarification exercises and conflict resolution for the sake of verbalizing what is at the root motivation of actions and statements that lead to conflict. (The last two documents are part of something I developed for an ethics primer for middle school and high school students. If interested in more, please go to http://www.nwabr.org/education/ethicslessons.html#PR . Though the organization is biomedicine focused, the primer is very cross-curricular.) • Yin-Yang Telephone – Direct and Indirect Communication • Whispers – Distractions and Internal Monologues of Intercultural Communication • Left Column Communication – Separating the actual observable data and internal thoughts, feelings, interpretations, and inferences. Includes theory, example, and blank form. • Non-Verbal Violation – Activity designed to demonstrate the discomfort and offense caused by conflicting nonverbal cues and norms. Wonderful activity developed by a fantastic facilitator, Stella Ting-Toomey. • Communication Exercises – I developed this series of communication activities to kick off my school’s all-school anti-bias programming. They are activities designed to demonstrate one-way and two-way communication, importance of objective and careful listening, dialogue and debate (supportive and defensive forms of communication), and intercultural communication and conflict. They were developed for 6th-8th graders, but I have used these exercise with adults with minor adjustments and deeper reflection questions. • Effective Interventions – Material I used in my classroom to give students some tools around interrupting offensive remarks, jokes, and slurs. You may find it a little puerile to use with adults, or you may find it a resource accessible to anyone. No matter what, I hope you find it a useful talking point for people looking to apply oppression, privilege, and power understanding to everyday situations. • Growing As an Ally – A complementary piece I used with “Effective Interventions” to give students tools around being an ally rather than, well, the self-righteous jerks they were being with each other at times. Gives thinking and doing points for folks eager to enter the world of allyship. • Book: Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands by Morrison and Conway. Although meant for the business traveler, this book makes a handy resource for looking up general customs and norms of several countries. Use with caution, of course, that you are using it as an FYI starting point rather than an idiot’s guide to intercultural communication.

Transcript

  • 1. NAIS People of Color Conference 2010 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Seattle Girls’ School [email_address] (206) 709-2228 What I Said and What I Meant: Cross Cultural Communication Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 2. About Seattle Girls’ School Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 3. Agenda
    • Cross Cultural Communication
    • Cultural Values, Norms of Behavior, and Communication
    • Discussion: Cross Cultural Conflict
    • Stretch Break
    • Cultural Identifiers, Power, and Communication
    • Exercise: Whispers
    • So What? Now What?
    Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 4.
    • What is it?
    • How is it Different from Intercultural Communication?
    • CCC Theories
      • Face-Negotiation Theory
      • Conversational Constraints Theory
      • Expectancy Violation Theory
      • Anxiety/Uncertainty Management Theory
      • Communication Accommodation Theory
    Cross Cultural Communication Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 5.
    • Individual - Collectivistic
    • Low Context - High Context
    • Masculinity - Femininity
    • Low Uncertainty - High Uncertainty
    • Vertical - Horizontal
    Dimensions of Variability Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 6.
    • Personality Orientation
    • Individual Values
    • Self Construal
    • - Independent
    • - Interdependent
    • Individual Socialization
    • Cultural Norms and Rules
    Factors that Influence Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 7. Cultural Value Differences Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 8. Discussion: Cross Cultural Conflict
    • Think about a recent conflict which you now know to be true to be at heart a cross cultural communication difference. Using some of the terminology introduced, discuss with a partner or small group what was going on to cause the conflict.
    Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 9. Identifiers, Power, and Communication
    • Internalized Oppression/Dominance
    • Stereotype Threat
    • Accumulated Impact
    • Code/Mode Switching
    • Fish Seeing the Water
    • “ Normal” versus “Good”
    • “ Intent” versus “Impact”
    Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 10. Exercise : Whispers Rosetta Lee, Adapted from “Double Talk,” Thiagi.com Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 11. Exercise : Whispers
    • Form groups of 3.
    • Decide who will be A, B, or C.
    • Person A reads “whisper script 1.” Based on the instructions, whisper into Person B’s ear. Persons B and C hold a 3-minute conversation about their learning from the workshop that they found most interesting.
    Rosetta Lee, Adapted from “Double Talk,” Thiagi.com Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 12. Exercise : Whispers
    • ROUND 2
    • Person B reads “whisper script 2.” Based on the instructions, whisper into Person C’s ear. Persons C and A hold a 3-minute conversation about their respective families.
    Rosetta Lee, Adapted from “Double Talk,” Thiagi.com Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 13. Exercise : Whispers
    • ROUND 3
    • Person C reads “whisper script 3.” Based on the instructions, whisper into Person A’s ear. Persons A and B hold a 3-minute conversation about their respective jobs and responsibilities.
    Rosetta Lee, Adapted from “Double Talk,” Thiagi.com Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 14. Debrief: Whispers
        • How did the whispers in your ear affect your communication?
        • How did the whispers in the your partner’s ear affect your interpretation of the his/her words and demeanor?
        • 3. Were elements of this exercise familiar? How did (and which of ) your identities make this exercise more/less so?
        • 4. Please share a personal experience (if any) as applies to any of the following:
          • a. Internalized Oppression/Dominance
          • b. Stereotype Threat
          • c. Accumulated Impact
          • d. Code/Mode Switching
          • e. Fish Seeing the Water
          • f. Norm to Normal to Good
          • g. “I n tent ” versus “I m pact ”
    Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 15. So What? Now What? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 16. Assumptions and Interpretations
    • • Mental Models
    • • Ladder of Inference
    • Belief
    • Conclusions
    • Selective Data
    • Observable Data
    • • Tools of Action
    Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 17.
    • 1. What did you see/hear (raw data)?
    • 2. What are your personal filters (cultural values, norms, and identifiers)?
    • 3. What was your interpretation of what you saw/heard (inference)?
    • 4. How did you feel as a result?
    • 5. What do you want?
    Checking Assumptions and Interpretations: Steps to Analyze Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 18. Final Questions or Comments? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 19. Resources
    • • “ Stereotype Threat” by Joshua Aronson
    • • Brenda J. Allen, Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity
    • • William Gudykunst, Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Comunication
    • • Milton Bennett, PhD, Intercultural Communication Institute www.intercultural.org
    • • “ Non-Verbal Communication Across Cultures” by Erica Hagen, Intercultural Communication Resources
    • • Thiagi.com
    • • Thrive! Team Dynamics
    • • http://www.analytictech.com/mb021/action_science_ history.htm
    Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)
  • 20. Presenter Information
    • Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
    • 6th Faculty and
    • Professional Outreach
    • Seattle Girls’ School
    • 2706 S Jackson Street
    • Seattle WA 98144
    • (206) 709-2228 x 219
    • [email_address]
    • http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/
    Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (http://sites.google.com/site/sgsprofessionaloutreach/)