What will we do? Reflect Consider communication Wonder about culture Compare working styles Decide on responsibilities Share inspirations
Reflection(s) How well do your staff (all staff not just teaching staff) communicate across cultural /group borders within your community, or do you have national groups who stick together?
Communication What are the potential effects of cultural differences in communication style? Kaplan (1966)
How is it so? English - (includes Germanic languages such as German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish) Communication is direct, linear and doesn’t digress or go off topic. Semitic – (for example, Arabic or Hebrew) Thoughts are expressed in a series of parallel ideas, both positive and negative. Coordination is valued over subordination.
Oriental – (Languages of Asia) Communication is indirect. A topic is not addressed head on, but is viewed from various perspectives, working around and around the point. Romance – (Latin-based languages such as French, Italian, Romanian and Spanish) Communication often digresses. It is fine to introduce extraneous material, which adds to the richness of the communication. Russian – Like Romance languages, Russian communication is often digressive. The digression may include a series of parallel ideas.
So what? Leadership requires communication - yes? How do we communicate with multiple styles of communication in existence in one group of staff?
What is culture? Geert Hofstede ‘My favourite definition of "culture" is precisely that its essence is collective mental programming: it is that part of our conditioning that we share with other members of our community’… Trompenaars ‘Culture is the way a group of people solve problems’ D. O’Neil ‘ Culture is the full range of learned human behavior patterns…Culture is a powerful human tool for survival, but it is a fragile phenomenon. It is constantly changing and easily lost because it exists only in our minds. ’
Why is it so? Understanding is based on interpretations – through attitudes, values and beliefs
Dimensions of culture Hofsted 5 Dimensions Trompenaars and Turner 7 Dimensions
Hofstede’s cultural dimensions Power distance « PDI » Individualism/ Collectivism « IDV » Masculinity / Femininity « MAS » Uncertainty avoidance « UAI » Long term orientation « LTO »
Trompenaars & Turner
In a nutshell? Cultures differ markedly in ways that significantly affect our communication styles and relationships, thus affecting how we can(should?) lead and manage…
Stereotypes & Generalizations Generalizations Stereotypes Be careful though…. Fixed and oversimplified opinions, images or judgments General statements, ideas or principles Always Never All None Either/ Or Most Many Some Usually Typically Generally Corinne Rosenberg
Some examples of contrasting ways of working:
Power distance Low to High Power is decentralised Managers count on the experience of their team members Employees expect to be consulted Ideal boss is a ‘coach’ Hierarchy is for convenience Privileges and status symbols are frowned upon Power is centralised Managers count on their bosses and the rules of the organisation Employees expect to be told what to do Ideal boss is a ‘father figure’ Hierarchy is part of existence Privileges and status symbols are normal and popular Hofstede
How do you communicate to the staff when you wish to implement change? What actions do you take?
Collectivism vs Individualism The relationship between employer and employee is morally based; “I take care of you and you are loyal in return” Feedback is always indirect Praise is given to groups not individuals Nepotism may exist Individuals do not speak up unless asked to The relationship is based on a contract Feedback is direct Individuals expect to be recognised and thanked or their efforts Nepotism is rejected Individuals expect to be able to speak up, add their ideas and be heard. Hofstede How do you deal with staf who have made a mistake? How do you reward/recognise those who have done something well?
1. How do you reward/recognise those who have done something well? 2. How do you deal with staff who have made a mistake?
Direction Internal (locus) vs External Allow people to develop their skills and take control of their learning. Set clear objectives that people agree with. Be open about conflict and disagreement, and allow people to engage in constructive conflict. Give people direction and regular feedback, so that they know how their actions are affecting their environment. regular feedback Manage conflict quickly and quietly. Manage conflict Do whatever you can to boost people's confidence. boost people's confidence Balance negative and positive feedback. positive feedback Encourage people to take responsibility for their work.take responsibility Trompenaars and Hampden Turner
How is conflict dealt with – if at all? What are the issues with this?
Levels of directness Direct vs Indirect Concise, concrete, to the point Not afraid to “say it like it is” Confront difficulties openly OK to give and receive “constructive” feedback Attention given to how messages are expressed Save face and preserve personal dignity Preserve harmony, avoid difficult topics, may not say no Edward T Hall
What is your style?
Responsibilities Cultural differences abound in how work is organised and goals achieved. If there is a difference of expectations, this affects the efficiency of any group and potentially makes a group totally ineffective. How do you ensure that professional communities or committees, (or in fact any group designated to achieve anything) has a shared understanding of how they will achieve their goals? Q. What are you doing about it in your community?
Inspiring action? How do you inspire action on the part of all community members, to ensure excellent communication enhances the school achieving its mission and providing the school with a positive culture of inspiring educational ideals?
Effective communication How can you enhance communication among a)Staff b) Students c) Parents
Inspiring Action? Increase awareness of different communicating styles through workshops/presentations/games/modelling Provide opportunities for responding in different ways to requests for input Increase intercultural intelligence in your school by…. Join us and send your staff to AIE in Mumbai to discuss all of the above and much more!
Come to Mumbai! and enjoy sharing at AIE, your ideas about intercultural understanding
References Kaplan, (1966) Cultural Thought Patterns in Inter-cultural Education, Language learning, Vol 16: 1, Hall, E (1990).Hidden Differences, Doing Business with the Japanese, Anchor, Hofstede, G., (2005) Culture and Organisations - Software of the Mind, London: Mc Graw Hill, UK. Trompenaars and Hampden Turner, Seven Dimensions dimensions.htmhttp://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/seven- dimensions.htm accessed 1/4/2014