This book is the backbone of thediscussion: • Foreign to Familiar by Sarah Lanier
Relationship vs Task Orientation• Relationship Based • Task Oriented• Communication must • Communication must create a “feel-good” atmosphere provide accurate• Society is feeling oriented information• Efficiency and time do not • Society is logic oriented take priority over the • Efficiency and time are person high priorities and taking• “Business-talk” is them seriously is a inappropriate upon first arriving even if it is a statement of respect for business meeting or a the other person business phone call
Countries considered hot/cold• Canada • Southern US States• Northern US States • Asia• Northern Europe • The Pacific Islands (Switzerland and above) • South America (except• Israel urban Argentina)• New Zealand (white • Africa population) • The Mediterranean• Australia countries• Southern Brazil • The Middle East(except• South Africa (white Israel’s Jewish population) population) • Other parts of the world• Argentina
Direct vs Indirect Communication• Short, direct questions show • It’s all about being friendly respect for the person’s • Questions must be phrased in time, as well as such a way as to not offend by its professionalism directness• A ‘yes’ is a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ is a • Use a third party for accurate ‘no.’ There are no hidden information if you sense that a meanings direct question will be too harsh, or not get the results you• An honest direct answer is are seeking. information only. It does not • A ‘yes’ may not be an answer to reflect on how the person your question. It may be the first feels about you. step in beginning a friendly• You can say what you think interchange. Or verbal (nicely) and it will usually not compliance may be required by be taken personally the culture. • Avoid embarassing people.
This and similar pictures from “East-West by Liu Young.
Individualism vs Group Identity• I am self-standing • I belong therefore I am person, with my own • My identity is tied to the group (family, tribe, etc.) identity. • The group protects and provides for me.• Every individual should • Taking initiative within a group have an opinion and can can be greatly determined by my speak for themselves role. • My behavior reflects on the• One must know how to whole group. make one’s own • The Southern United States would be a hot climate culture decisions that does not necessarily fit the group orientation.• My behavior reflects on • Team members expect direction me, not on the group. from the leader.
A tip for individualists travelling to places where food is highly valued“Eating food in some group-oriented cultures is an acceptance of their hospitality and this has a higher value than the taste of food.”
Inclusion vs Privacy• Group Oriented • People enjoy having time and space to themselves• Individuals know they are • People are expected to ask automatically included in permission to borrow something or conversation, meals, and the to interrupt a conversation other activities of the group. • Each person is considered to be the• Possessions are to be used steward of his or her possessions and has the responsibility to freely by all: food, tools, etc. maintain and protect them• It is not desirable to be left to • In a community setting, it might be oneself. common to label one’s food, tools, etc. to set them apart• It is rude to hold a private from the group’s common conversation or make plans possesions that exclude others present. • It is acceptable to hold private conversations or make exclusive plans with a few people, not including everyone.
Different Concepts of Hospitality• Hospitality is • Hospitality is taken very seriously and spontaneous, often without an is planned for. advance invitation • It is usually not as spontaneous. The• It is the context for host usually needs advance notice of relationship (even a business a visit. relationship) • Travelers are expected to make their• Hospitality usually takes place own arrangements other than what is in the home. specifically communicated to the host• The host fully takes care of the ahead of time. needs of the guest. The guest pays for nothing. • Guests need to expect to pay for their transportation and restaurants if• A gift is usually expected. visiting in the US. If the host plans to• Food and drink are involved. pay, he usually will say so.• Travelers are taken in and • Hospitality is a special provided for. occasion, taking the full attention of the host.
Time and Planning• Are not as oriented toward the • Are time oriented. clock as cold-climate cultures • Are structured in their• Are event oriented approach to life.• Are spontaneous and flexible in their approach to life • Enjoy using time• Respond to what life brings. efficiently.• Saving time is not as important • Saving time is valuable. as experiencing the moment • Expect the event• Recognize that structure is (dinner, arrival of a required in some areas of life guest, meeting) to begin at (the military for example) the time announced.• Have informal visiting as part Visiting or informally of the event chatting happens before or after the event.
Takeaway:• We may not know all the differences but knowing that differences exist will be of help to anyone when dealing with people from other cultures.