August 2015Clues to Intercultural Effectiveness
Tips, Techniques and Resources
Just Released! New Book!
by Kathryn Stillings

 

 

Need a powerful story to illustrate your point about intercultural miscommunication? Want to help someone understand that different cultures may utilize the same word, concept, image, gesture, sound or touch to mean different things? Could you use a proverb that gives insight into another person's cultural worldview? Search no more, Joe Lurie, intercultural trainer, Executive Director Emeritus at UC Berkeley's International House, and former Peace Corps Volunteer, has got you covered!

 

Perception and Deception: A Mind Opening Journey Across Cultures, is an entertaining, eye-opening and easy-to-read book that contains dozens of intriguing intercultural experiences, gathered from Joe's research and his decades living abroad and managing Berkeley's International House, one of the largest, most diverse living centers on the planet.

 

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Intergenerational Scarring is Scientifically Proven



 
People raised in some cultures learn that memory transcends generations, that it is passed on to our descendants and carried on a cellular level. I've always intuitively felt this was true and wise, even though in the culture in which I was raised (German-American), I was told that such beliefs were charming but fantastical. Then, here comes scientific research showing that yet another "old wives' tale" is, in fact, true.

The fairly new field of behavioral epigenetics offers some interesting advanced insights into what makes us who we are. Epigenetic research shows that tendencies such as preferred smells or tastes, fears and abilities, strengths and resiliencies, weaknesses and deficits, turn out to be not only socially acquired, but also potentially biologically inherited. This means that "culture" and cultural tendencies may be not just communal, but also biological. 
 
Great Incident to Illustrate Our Method




Consider this: it is your wedding day, and you are a young bride-to-be. Your family and friends have been planning for this event for months. 

Just as the ceremony is about to begin, your future husband has a seizure. What do you do?



  1. Immediately stop the wedding and accompany your future husband to the hospital.
  2. While your future husband goes off to the hospital, explain to your guests that there will be no wedding today, but everyone should enjoy a nice a party since they are already here and there is plenty of food and drink.
  3. Everything is prepared, so just select another man from among the guests in attendance to be your new husband, and go on with the wedding.

 
Online Events You Can't Miss

 

Our complimentary, 90 minute online workshops feature Dianne, creator of our series, or select Cultural Detective authors. They are designed to help participants learn to appreciate and leverage diversity as an asset, rather than seeking to minimize differences.

Check out our full online learning schedule, or click directly to information and registration for one of the following:
Online Tuesday, September 8, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM (GMT-6)

 

Training Design with Cultural Detective (Africa, Americas, Europe, Middle East), with Tatyana Fertelmeyster

Online Wednesday, September 9, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM (GMT-6)

 

Cross-Cultural Effectiveness (Asia, Oceania, Americas): Demonstration of Cultural Detective Online

Online Thursday, September 10, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
 

 Client Engagement, Along With Expert Guidance



 
Clients want to hire experts. Are you an expert? I hope not! At least, not in the sense many of us traditionally think of "experts."

Cross-cultural service providers need to be deeply competent in a variety of disciplines: intercultural communication, learning theory, the context of the organization or community, the people involved, etc. 

However, even though clients frequently push us into the role of "the expert with the answers," assuming that role tends to be the wrong approach to building intercultural competence. 

Integrate the Mind-Body Connection 


 

Many of us wish we could perform with the focus, strength and skill of a professional athlete. To do so requires a strong connection between our minds and our bodies some research shows only 5% difference between imagining oneself performing and the performance itself!

Report from the Field
by Benjamin
Smith


 
Recently, I was invited to lead a cultural sensitivity training for a company facing some key human resource challenges. I was given a little background information prior to my arrival, but stopped the director short as he was bringing me up to speed in our meeting, in order to be able to gather information during the needs assessment without preconceived notions.

The printed workbook and facilitator guide that I use to supplement my training is produced by Cultural Detective, a company with decades of success in the intercultural field. I find that their philosophy dovetails well with mine in that they help me guide users through a process of understanding the "Lenses" through which they see the world.
 
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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