“Getting to Yes” is a popular book about winning negotiations, but when talking about inter-cultural communication, “Getting to No” might be more instructive. Professor Zeng’s humorous description of different ways to handle a demanding McDonald’s customer shows deep cultural differences in seeing the world. The American way is to stand on rules, communicating the reasons in
It appears that culture heavily influences how well people incorporate the context of an environment versus how well they can filter out the context to focus on a prominent object. This has been illustrated in eye measurements of Asians versus North Americans as they evaluate photographs, of Japanese & Americans recalling foreground objects versus background
Can something be true and not true at the same time? East Asian & Western philosophies have had very different ways of answering this question that still affects the ways people in various cultures reason. The collectivist culture of Asia emphasizes harmony & a constantly changing environment in which contradictions are natural, & truth depends
Several studies indicate that children in more individualist culture countries learn to identify & classify objects faster than those in collectivist cultures. This could be language-related, as Asian languages don’t distinguish generic names that indicate category. In English, if I say “the ducks,” it is specific, but if I use just “ducks” it indicates the
Most of us recognize that time is treated differently in different cultures. This usually comes up when someone from another culture is late for a meeting & makes a joke about being on “local” time. But there are deeper consequences of the truth that people experience time differently depending on their cultural background. Many Asian
Death and life, the cycle repeats over and over. The ghosts of the past turn to the bountiful harvests of tomorrow. The Phi Ta Khon Ghost Mask Festival is a vibrant, raucous celebration of the cycle of life, rooted in a fascinating mix of local and national cultures. Every year, previously at some time
When I was in the US Air Force, I witnessed several examples of the downside of goal-setting. The structure of promotion often rewarded holding certain positions over the actual performance in the position. One example particularly sticks in my mind of a “fast burner,” or someone on the fast promotion track, who was shifted over
Life is difficult, and we will encounter challenges. We’ll come to places where we need to step up and grow. This is a common story about everyone, told in different ways. Here’s one story about making a decision to change…to break barriers. Your Story: Your Experience of Soft Power Skills Academy from Soft Power Skills
Our own brains can battle against effective decision-making because of cognitive biases. Limited models in our minds and unconscious efforts to take the easy and obvious road skew our view of the world of possibilities we should consider in a decision. But these 5 methods help us open up our options for better solutions.
Three types of thinking styles tend to reflect your cultural background. Try this quiz to see how you think!