March 2013
Clues to Intercultural Effectiveness
Tips, Techniques and Resources 
Explores the Complexities of the Culture! 

Cultural Detective African-American, Now Available!


The Cultural Detective team is very pleased to announce the release of one of our most requested and highly anticipated packages, Cultural Detective African American!  It is now available both in Cultural Detective Online and via site license.


Cultural DetectiveŽ African American explores the complexities of the culture and examines the values and communication styles of this community in an effort to bridge cultural gaps and support more inclusive groups, communities, and workplaces. 


It joins other domestic diversity packages in the series, including:

"Truly a work of intercultural significance!"   First official review


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A Cautionary Tale!

Success? It's All in How We Gauge It...


This is a story, or perhaps, more correctly, a cautionary tale, about a very successful expatriate and the highly respected, much-envied western company for which he worked. It is a story that made me think again about how we define success in our lives, and, in particular, how we define success in the global marketplace and success on an expatriate assignment. 


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Stories People Tell Have a Way of Forming Who They Are

by George Simons



In my previous posts (#1 in the series#2 in the series), I stressed how important it is for us to develop a dynamic rather than a static view of culture. Today we will launch our boat on the river of culture and peer into its sometimes clear and often murky waters to come up with a better sense of what's down there. We noticed last time how we are ever talking to ourselves. Everything we create is a result of this inner self-talk, this discourse, our listening. So the things that we call "culture," in the broad sense of the word, arts, music, industry, all of these things are products of this the stories we tell ourselves, this dialogue that goes on within us and around us that helps us shape and break the rules by which we make and do things. 


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Celebrate Good Times, Come On!



CD blog readership

On February 17, 2012, we made a commitment to blog regularly to promote cross-cultural understanding, link theory and practice, encourage best-practice use of tools, share resources and techniques, and raise awareness of the importance of building constructive cross-cultural bridges through communication.


We started our blog with twin themes: 22 posts related to Cultural Effectives and 11 posts illustrating cross-cultural missteps or Cultural Defectives. We welcome your additions to these posts - we all learn from sharing  each other's experiences!


Readers come from 152 countries. Over the last year, we reviewed 19 resources, including five books, five training and coaching tools, three movies, two sources for research data, and two assessment tools. We shared eight exercises/activities, eight free gifts/downloads, six how-tos or tips on using the Cultural Detective Series correctly, and one half-day workshop design. We posted four different research studies and theory reviews, as well as seven pieces of feedback and guidance from customers.


If you have a passion for writing about cross-cultural issues and are interested in joining us as a guest blogger, please contact us.   

"If a Face is Ugly, Don't Blame the Mirror"

by Tatyana Fertelmeyster

 As They Say in Russia


There is a Russian saying, "If a face is ugly, don't blame the mirror." I have been thinking about it lately as the topic of Russia has come up in different mirrors, and it is not looking all that good.

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What's in Your Tool Bag?

 Some Cultural Detective Training and Coaching Activities


All too often we trainers are apportioned a less than useful amount of time for impacting the attitudes of our trainees. This affects our use of Cultural Detective as well as many other tools that we may choose or not choose to use under the pressure of diminished schedules.

When using Cultural Detective, I find it ever more important to differentiate what we do with the Values Lenses and the indigenous discourse that lies behind them from a lot of other intercultural training approaches that focus on dimensions and increasingly lead to stereotyping. When we speak about the values in Cultural Detective, it is important to remember that these have been developed through and by the inner language and feelings of the very members of those cultures that the instruments represent.



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Oldie but Goodie



Moving overseas is an exciting yet stressful time for all involved: the person transitioning to a new position, the expat's family who is relocating, and the organization-both the office dealing with the loss of a valued employee, and the receiving organization. We all know there are a myriad of details involved in preparing someone to work abroad, but where to start and what to include? 


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"Between Expectation and Reality Lies Suffering"

by Vicki Flier Hudson




I once heard a Zen Buddhist monk say that the definition of suffering is the gap between what is and what we think should be. The wider that gap, the more we experience stress. Today's global virtual team, without the right tools, might end up spending a lot of time in that gap. 


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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