December 2012
Clues to Intercultural Effectiveness
Tips, Techniques and Resources 
Are You Losing Customers?




Nearly every organization these days, even the smallest and most local, works with diverse customers, team members, vendors, and service providers.

  • A corner grocery store serves people from different age groups, ethnicities, and spiritual traditions. So, which holiday greetings should the grocery store use, if any, so as not to offend or exclude? Why do some of the regular customers talk only to male employees? Could the store increase profits or attract new customers if it started offering halal meats or Latino grocery items?
  • What about the graphic designer who puts up a website or Facebook page designed to attract local clients, only to find that the first inquiries come in from overseas? The mere fact that you have an online presence can mean you offer your products and services worldwide. 
  • And what about the free clinic that finds itself dealing with patient care issues of recent immigrants from places halfway across the planet? 
  • Or disaster relief agencies attempting to coordinate aid from around the world, getting it to the places it needs to be, quickly...
Respect for All Spiritual Traditions

 Quotes for Reflection and a Good Joke


Our belief systems, particularly our spiritual beliefs and traditions, are increasingly

important dimensions of culture. We must be able to bridge religious and spiritual differences if we are to live together in a collaborative, inclusive, respectful world. Yet this dimension is far too often overlooked and shortchanged in the intercultural literature.


This article offers up a few quotes that speak to me about this topic. It is my hope that taking a few moments to reflect might help each of us better do our part to promote inter-religious understanding.

    Read the Article 

Intercultural Movie Night



Reprint from SIETAR India Newsletter, November 2012

Written by Sunita Nichani


The topic of cultural dimensions (suh as individualism vs. collectivism, monochrone and polychrone) is almost de rigeur in intercultural training workshops, yet most of these models remain quite theoretical in the minds of our Indian participants.


As I watched the Bollywood film "English Vinglish," I saw some great examples of these dimensions being acted out, and am delighted that some of these scenes can be used to illustrate these dimensions in a way that will resonate with Indian audiences... 

 About the Film

5 Tips for Useful Online Learning




What makes for a truly useful online learning tool? Intercultural trainers seem to want to be able to emulate the face-to-face environment as much as possible, keep the learners' attention, make it experiential, real and applicable, and make them think! Learners don't need "the answers," they need to know how to come up with real solutions when they find themselves in the midst of cross-cultural conflict...


Learn More

Favorite Assessment Tools




We tend to get a lot of phone calls asking us to recommend a cross-cultural assessment instrument. Usually I ask what seems to me a very logical question: "What is it you are trying to assess?" I am then often shocked to hear that the caller is not able to answer my question!


As an organizational effectiveness practitioner I am concerned with individual and interpersonal effectiveness as well as that of the overall organization. We all live and work within systems, and if that system rewards and encourages us NOT to be cross-culturally competent, we are going to nurse burnout if we try to demonstrate and develop that skill. Organizational systems and structures need to support and reinforce individual and interpersonal competence. That is why "Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World" is one of my favorite assessment tools.


 Improve Intercultural Performance




Milton Bennett's Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), first published in 1986, provides a well-regarded theory about the process people go through as they learn to make sense of the complexity of cross-cultural communication. In the late 1990s after much research, an assessment for measuring intercultural sensitivity based on the DMIS was developed. Version 3 of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) is currently in use by qualified practitioners. Owners and users of the IDI have in turn used their results to revamp the DMIS into the Intercultural Development Continuum (IDC)... 


 Develop Your Facilitation Abilities




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Cultural Detective is a core method for developing intercultural understanding, productivity, and effectiveness. Attend this workshop and leave able to:

  • Develop competence in yourself and others in a broad variety of international, cross-cultural, and diversity situations
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  • Use Cultural Detective as a backbone to design, reinforcing learning from a variety of experiences in a coherent developmental spiral

The two-and-a-half-day Facilitator Certification weaves intercultural theory with practical application. Customers worldwide rave about the workshop and use the method and materials in courseware, staff development, coaching, teambuilding, and conflict resolution. Participants will receive a one-month subscription to Cultural Detective Online.


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Note that the Cultural Detective method and materials are usable under license; certification is not required. However, even 30 year+ experienced intercultural facilitators rave about what they learn in these workshops. We trust you'll join us!

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We record the latest news updates, and have archived past issues of this newsletter, on one of our web pages. Past issues include instructions for interesting activities, theoretical discussions about intercultural issues, and links to many intercultural resources. Please take a look and enjoy the resources you find!

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Vanessa G. Hernández