Who understands others as well as oneself will be granted success in a thousand encounters. 3000 year-old Chinese proverb
“Culture hides more than it reveals and strangely enough what it hides, it hides most effectively from it’s own participants. Years of study have convinced me that the real job is not to understand foreign culture but to understand our own.” Edward Hall
Plan Culture Communication Meetings - Presenting - Negotiating Intercultural Competence
Positivist Relativist Constructivist Assumption Reality is absolute and discoverable Reality is framed by an observer’s perspective, formed within “systems”. Reality emerges from transaction between observer and observed. Implication Discover what is real and unreal in a culture. Assumes ‘finished’ artifacts, non-movement. Culture is a set of roles and rules within a social system. Awareness of other perspective Culture is socially constructed. Conscious of own boundary-setting. Application Adaptation is knowledge of cultural history. Enactment of “do’s & don’t’s” Learn about cultures through contrast analysis. “Informed” role play Adaptation is dynamic, ‘other’ perspective-taking (empathy). Mutual penetration Theories of Intercultural Communication* How do people understand one another when they don’t share a common cultural experience ? * Derived from Milton J. Bennett, BID-LLC@comcast. net
Life style of a people, I.e. the learned and shared patterns of beliefs, behaviors and values of a group of interacting people. (Bennett) Culture is the collective programming of the mind. (Hofstede) Culture is the water we live in. It surrounds us and defines us. (Chinese definition)
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The Declaration of Independence, 1776
How do they affect you now? Think about your own culture How did socialization take place in your own life? Try to recall some of the behaviors and values you were taught early in life.
Culture is like an iceberg observable Not observable
Manners Clothes Food Newspapers, books Monuments Rituals, festivals History Friendship Time and space Negotiation style Communication style Solutions to problems ObservableNot observable
Holland Great Britain Singapore Greece Venezuela USA France Germany South Korea a.b. 1288 991 3367 4258 6634 595 3268 1684 7426
Everything is relative — no right or wrong solutions Intercultural communications
Understanding the inner logic of a culture Success abroad
3. They practice role reversal (empathy) Attempt to understand an international situation through the eyes of others. 1.They “know that they don’t know” Assume difference until similarity is proven, not the other way around. The Four Secrets of Effective Global Managers 2. They emphasize description Observe what is actually said and done rather than interpreting or evaluating. 4. They treat explanations as guesses, not as certainty. Check with colleagues from home and abroad if guesses are plausible.
mental viewing of how something might be not meant to be exact Definition of a theory
Serious Easy-going German American (Ger) (Am) 1Ger stereotype3 Ger exception 2 Am exception4 Amr stereotype
“we” society group identity important: harmony relations over tasks extended family “me” society self-identity important: pro-active tasks over relations success of individual Collectivism Individualism
0204060100 80 KOR SING PORT GREJAP GB USA NETH CAN ITA PL FRA GER Collectivism Individualism SLO
Inequalities not OK Privileges/status not OK Boss democratic Flat hierarchy Staff gives advice Inequalities OK Privileges/status OK Boss paternalistic Strong hierarchy Staff follows orders Less Hierarchy More Hierarchy
0 20406010080 NETH GB GER USA ITA JAP GRE POR FRA PL SIN SLOSWE Less Hierarchy More Hierarchy SPA
Uncertainty O.K. Willing to take risks Non-orderly situations Hope for success Rational generalists There must be order Many rules Consensus Desire for security Experts und knowledge Less Structure More Structure
020406010080 CAN SWE GB KOR SIN USA NETH GER ITA SLO PL SPA FRA JAP GRE Less structure More structure POR
Should a manager have precise answers to subordinates’ questions?
Understanding new behavior D=detect I=interpret E=evaluate
American meetings An informal, relaxed attitude Confident, positive approach Brainstorming Come to the point quickly Active participation Give credit for others’ achievements (piggyback)
engineering point of view Americans: cowboy mind less communication later Americans: many questions decision is binding leader is mediator brain-storming Germans: over analyze more communication later Germans: impersonal decision is a guideline leader is decision-maker Joint Problem Solving
Working on Projects GermansAmericansAmericansGermans tend to….tend to thinktend to….tend to think PROJECT...collect“Why are they…chat informally“Why aren’t they IDEA informationdoing this?”about an ideadoing anything?” PROJECT …get down to“They are cold and…begin with small“They are wasting MEETINGS businessunfriendly.”talktime.” …present detailed“How can they…begin with“They are not plansdiscuss the detailsbrainstormingprepared for the at this stage?”meeting.” …express criticism“They don’t like…be enthusiastic“They are not openlyeach other.”about all the ideassincere.” PROJECT …work individually“They don’t…hold frequent“They are too PROCESS on the taskscommunicate ormeetings; changemany meetings; we assigned to themwork as a team.”tasks as circum-can’t get our work stances changedone.” believe clearly…believe continuous defined milestonescontact guarantees guarantee successcoordination
Cognitive Styles of Germans and Americans Interaction with reality, extracting, organizing and applying knowledge BASICGermansAmericans OUTLOOK tend to be more cautious, conceptualtend to be more optimistic, pragmatic OPENING Do we really need…?Can we have…? QUESTION ACQUIRING Structured way of knowingHypothesis, testing way of knowing KNOWLEDGE Want solid theories, coherenceSpeculate with probabilities, risk taking Deductive: acting on the basis of one’sInductive: understanding a situation through thorough understanding of the situationexperimentation Declarative thinking: focusing onProcedural thinking: focusing on how to get description and explanation of situationthings done Gather information from experts, logicalActive experimentation: learn from peers, analysis of ideasbrainstorming, “think out of the box” Importance of background informationImportance of measurement data, and facts (historical context, “Zeitgeist:, sociology)(how tall, how much, statistics, etc.) APPLYING Development of strategic analysisAbility to get things done KNOWLEDGE Systematic planningTrial and error, learn by doing, can do Decisions are bindingDecisions are guidelines
Good working atmosphere Care for others Harmony Solidarity Modesty People over materialism Performance Polarization Assertive Competitive Displaying success Materialism over people Femininity Masculinity
020406010080 SWE SPA FRA PL GBUSA GER NETH KOR SIN CAN SLO ITA JAP Femininity Masculinity GRE POR
Hall’s Definition Culture determines the style of communication: indirect or direct
Explicit Context not important Thinking-focused Result-oriented Masculine Implicit Context important Feeling-focused Relationship-oriented Feminine Direct (low context) Indirect (high context)
020406010080 CH ITA PL FRA GERSPA GB NETH USA JAP Direct Indirect
German directness British indirectness Jürgen wird an die Decke springen.Jürgen might tend to disagree. Kommen wir gleich zur Sache.I was wondering if could talk. Du sagst nur Blödsinn.I am not quite with you on that. Das kann nicht wahr sein.Hm, that’s an interesting idea. Wir werden dies nie unterschreiben.We’ll have to do our homework.
One activity at a time Schedules very important Task-oriented Linear Punctual Parallel activities Plans are changed Relationship-oriented Interruptions Punctuality unimportant Monochronic Polychronic
020406010080 CH ITA PL FRA GER SPA GB NETH USA JAP Monochronic Polychronic
Differences perceived Differences regarded as difficulties Management conflict between American and German managers
US perception of D as difference difficulty process-oriented yesyes specialised, expertyes rule-boundyes precise, data-orientedyes formalyesyes surnaming / using titlesyes directyes German-speaking, multilingualyes
D perception of US as difference difficulty unstructured yesyes informalyes yes first-namingyes yes humouryes yes English-speaking, monolingualyes exaggerated optimismyes yes fluid agreements (trial and error)yesyes
Underlying regularities American low uncertainty avoidance (low UA) vs. German higher uncertainty avoidance (high UA) American higher context communication (hcc) vs. German low context communication (lcc) American relationship orientation (r o) vs. German task orientation (t o)
How can these differences in regularities be explained?
US perception of D as difference difficulty regularity process-oriented yesyes higher UA specialised, expert yes higher UA, t o rule-bound yes higher UA precise, data-oriented yes higher UA, lcc formal yesyes higher UA surnaming / using titles yes higher UA direct yes lcc German-speaking, multilingual yes
D perception of US as difference difficulty regularity unstructured yesyes low UA informal yesyes higher cc, r o first-name yes yes low UA, r o humour yesyes low UA, r o English-speaking, monolingual yes exaggerate optimism yesyes fluid agreements (trial & error) yesyes low UA
Lesson to be learned US-German communication and co-operation might not be as simple as it appears — especially for Germans
Natural impulse to categorize when reality is too complex to handle. Why do we stereotype?
consciously aware it’s a group norm descriptive and not evaluative modifiable Stereotypes are helpful when:
Cross-cultural perceptions unstructured energetic first-name seem happier overly self-confident narrow perspective of world process-oriented specialized, expert systematic, orderly precise, data-oriented too formal direct perception of Germans perception of Americans
Visitors’ perceptions of Germans perfectionist slow to get to know meticulous about deadlines systematic, orderly fair to a fault eager to do right excessively detailed standoffish pushy stubborn obsessed with rules afraid of making mistakes Those who don’t speak German Those who speak German
Cultural Perception Americans are According to Brazilians Serious Reserved Introvert Cautious Restrained Composed Methodical According to Chinese Friendly Spontaneous Extrovert Reckless Uninhibited Emotional Impulsive ?
Attitudes for better intercultural communications Tolerance for ambiguity Low goal/task orientation Non-judgmental Flexibility Sense of humor Warmth in human relationships Strong sense of self Ability to fail Open-mindedness Empathy Communicativeness Curiosity Motivation Self-reliance Perceptiveness Tolerance to differences
Differences between German and American presentation styles?
American Presentation start with a “big bang” (hook them) show them how they can profit from the talk emphasize entertainment aspect — jokes, anecdotes conclusion is often enthusiastic, visionary –— guaranteed to be a success! audience-centered and interactive –— lots a smiles, speaker wants to be socially accepted
Deductive German Approach Inductive American Approach Major Point Background Information Proof Fact Deductive and Inductive Thinking
Presentations styles Focused on listener Enthusiastic, optimistic Inductive Benefit orientation Showman’s effects Use of personal examples Get to the point Easy-to-remember statements Focused on content Start with straight introduction Factual (sachlich) Deductive Clear transitions Distant through formality Serious (bestimmt auftreten) Detailed explanations
Communication styles emphasizing content downplay relationships appearing credible being objective accentuating content accentuating personal being liked being socially accepted
direct in stating more upgraders more modal verbs more imperative direct in expressing more downgraders more conditionals more questions CredibilityLikeability
Complicated Over analytical Formal und detailed Objective Wants to be creditable Simple Short and concise Informal Friendly and easy going Wants to be liked
The German Desire for Clarity “Jetzt werde ich mit ihr deutsch reden müssen” (Klartext) The German adjective deutlich (clear, plain) and the German verb deuten (explain, interpret) have the same linguistic roots to the word Germans use to refer to themselves and their language — deutsch.
Do’s Look for common opinions Focus on the results Use simple language Expect fewer details Be less direct Listen non-verbally and participate Expect agreement Don’ts Forget to repeat Tell ethnic jokes Forget the small talk Expect critical feedback Be irritated by interruptions Hesitate to ask questions Be so critical Communicating with Americans
Opening lines for “small talk” I hear you are going to be transferred to Rome. That sound great! You and Elke have been married for three years now. When will you have children? I like that pair of shoes you have on. Where did you buy them? John, you look like you’ve gained a few kilos these last few months. Did you see that great Formula 1 race on TV yesterday? Schumacher left all of his competitors in the dust. This weather is fantastic. It’s a great day to go hiking, don’t you think? I’ve heard you come from Zurich. That’s in southern Germany, isn’t it? I just got a great offer. If I accept the job in Chicago, I’ll make $70,000 a year, plus a annual $25,000 bonus. Who will you vote for in the upcoming election? Have you heard that latest rumor? Beatrice is going out with the boss.
U.S. negotiating style Americans tends to make a small talk at the beginning look more at strengths & weaknesses of others than issues maximize benefits to themselves than “best” solution for all create a friendly, personable atmosphere
The typical U.S. negotiator always keeps a poker-face
Experience of Difference Denial Defense Minimization Acceptance Adaptation Integration Ethnocentric Stages Ethnorelative Stages Milton Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity
Denial one’s culture is the only real one unable to construe cultural difference aggressive ignorance “Munich — lots of buildings, too many cars, McDonalds”
Defensive one’s culture is the only good one “we” are superior — “they” are inferior highly critical of other cultures “Americans are superficial and uncultivated”
Minimization one’s culture is viewed as universal obscure deep cultural differences insistently nice “We bankers are all the same all over the world.”
Acceptance one’s culture is viewed as one of many complex systems judgment is not ethnocentric curious about cultural differences “I want to learn German so I can understand Hans better.”
Adaptation internalize more than one complete worldview empathy may intentionally change behavior to communicate better “I’m beginning to feel like a member of this culture.”
Integration one’s self is expanded to include different worldviews cross-cultural swinger ability to facilitate contact between cultures “I truly enjoy participating fully in both of my cultures.”
No longer attached to original cultural group Relativity of values Cross-cultural swinger Multi-lingual Other-culture awareness Intercultural competence
Question for reflection What are the characteristics of an effective multinational team?
recognize diversity members selected for task-related abilities mutual respect equal power super ordinate goal external feedback Effective multinational teams
assume difference until similarity is proven emphasize description, not interpreting or judging practice role reversal more use of conditionals to be more open to compliments Team Charter (example) A commitment to:
expanded horizons less groupthink increased creativity and flexibility Advantages of multinational teams
1.Strong sense of group welfare: Sozialmarktwirtschaft 2.Confidence to do the job right due to thorough training 3.Extremely fair towards others; have vision what is right and wrong 4.A serious and factual attitude toward life 5.Excellent listeners 6.Meticulous about deadlines and appointments 7.Perfectionism: very neat and orderly, pay attention to details 8.Precise execution of activities and products; brilliant organizers 9.“Höchste Leistung bringen”: obsession for high performance with passionate intensity 10. “Durchsetzungsvermögen”: very thorough and effective in work Basic German Values
1.Very proud of political system and the American way of life 2.High self-confidence; rely on own strength and capability 3.Volunteerism: very engaged in community services 4.Trust in people; relaxed friendliness and spontaneity 5.A “can-do” optimism: openness to improvement and change 6.Anti-authoritarian attitude: don’t bow to a higher authority 7.Equality and the rule of law: every person is equal before the law 8.Individualism: everyone has the right to self-actualize 9.Restlessness and impatience: desire to move up the social ladder 10.Pragmatism: prefer the concrete over aesthetic and conceptual Basic American Values