• A simple and powerful process
  • Experiential learning through critical incidents
  • Reliable, repeatable, and structured process
  • Quickly develop applicable skills

Layers of culture

The core of the Cultural Detective Method is the Worksheet, which is used to analyze Critical Incidents derived from real-life scenarios. The Cultural Detective Worksheet is elegant in its simplicity: easy enough for beginners to solve problems successfully, yet it illuminates the complex nuances of intercultural communication to engage and challenge even the most experienced.

Users learn to describe the situation, look for underlying values motivating behavior, and build bridges across cultural divides. And because the Cultural Detective Worksheet is not linear, it allows learners to follow their natural thought patterns, capturing details and insights as they arise or are discussed.

The Worksheet is useful for culture-general and culture-specific learning, for making sense of real-life interactions, and as a planning tool. Values Lenses supplement the Worksheet analysis, promoting deeper insight into the culture(s) being investigated.


From the very first moment with the Cultural Detective Method, learners focus on real people in real situations, rather than dealing with stereotypes and generalizations. The Method encourages learners to look at people as unique individuals, influenced by multiple cultures including nationality(ies), gender, generational identity (age), sexual orientation, and spiritual tradition, as well as contextual factors.