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36. Saudi Arabia Critical Incident

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Saudi Arabia Critical Incident

John Bing, President, ITAP International, Inc. 

Princeton, New Jersey, USA 

Purpose and learning objectives 

• To provide the participant with a real-life example of a business interaction and provide

him or her with an opportunity to identify possible cultural misunderstandings

• To test a participant’s understanding of what has caused the cultural misunderstandings.

After reading a trigger story, the participant is asked to identify which parts of the incident are culturally based and how culture has impacted the business interaction. The ensuing discussion can be an indication that

− learning still needs to take place in order for the participant to understand how to handle himself or herself well in the target culture

− learning has taken place and the participant has an understanding of possible strategies for interacting with the target culture

• To have the participant analyze a cross-cultural business interaction, determine the cultur-

ally relevant issues, and suggest alternative approaches that would produce a more desirable outcome

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34. Japanese Business Protocol Quiz

Jonamay Lambert HRD Press, Inc. PDF

50 Activities for Achieving Cultural Competency 



This exercise is useful as an introduction to training sessions about protocol or as preparation for interactions with Japanese workers or customers. It is designed to be a “teaser” to stimulate interest in the more in-depth information that should follow. As such, it should be both interesting and fun. These two goals are probably best achieved by letting the participants work in pairs. Follow these steps:

1. Organize the participants in pairs.

2. Distribute a copy of the quiz to each participant.

3. Give the pairs 10 to 15 minutes to complete the quiz.

4. Discuss the questions and their right and wrong answers in the large group.

5. When the questions have been covered, ask the participants:

• “What areas surprised you the most?”

• “What things would cause you the most embarrassment?”

• “What things might interfere with productive business activities?”

• “Have any of you been in a situation where things seemed confusing or awkward

because you didn’t know what was expected? Give some specific examples.”

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18. Forced Choices

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Forced Choices

Richard Friend, Ph.D., Friend and Associates, Inc. 

Chicago, Illinois, USA 

Purpose and learning objectives 

Forced-choice exercises challenge participants to be both interactive and introspective. They require participants to make a choice, take a stance, or put their stakes in the ground about some topic, issue, or challenge. Objectives for this activity include

• promoting active discussion while practicing key communication skills: assertion and self-

disclosure, taking a position, listening for understanding, and giving and receiving feedback;

• energizing the group through the use of physical, visual movement;

• modeling how to create a safe environment in order to communicate about differences

between groups, by recognizing common ground and areas of difference;

• greater understanding of one’s own personal beliefs, opinions, and attitudes, as well as

those of others.

Target audience 

This activity has been effectively used with intact work groups as a meeting energizer and with the general public. A minimum of 12 people is required. When the group is larger than

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42. “Of course I know what a TEAM is! Do you?”

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“Of course I know what a

TEAM is! Do you?”


Eric Lynn, LCT Consultants 

Nürnberg, Germany 


This activity facilitates the team-building process by making differences obvious.

At the end of the session, participants will

• see how the idea of what makes a “team” varies across cultures;

• know that there is no one “right way” of working together;

• be in a position to define their principles for working together.

Target audience 

People who are or will be working together in international teams. With truly mixed multicultural groups, the activity can be used with as few as 4 to 12 people. Generally 12 to

50 or more is workable.


90 to 100 minutes

Materials and environment 

• Flipcharts and board markers at various points (stations) around the room so that each

subgroup has space in which to work and won’t interfere with the work of the neighboring group

• A large room with open space; tables are not required

• Chairs only during debriefing phases


1. Introduce the notion of team in relation to the participants’ presence at the event. Ask provocatively and rhetorically the question “Are you sure you really have the same understanding of team as your colleagues?” (3 minutes)

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46. Cultural Self-Awareness in Leadership Teams

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Cultural Self-Awareness in Leadership Teams

Malati Shinazy, M.Ed., George Simons International 

Palo Alto, California, USA 


Every thought, word, and behavior is either biologically adaptive or taught to us. Learned values, attitudes, and behaviors are often taught to us before we are old enough to know that we are “learning.” Our first teachers are members of our nuclear and extended families.

Adults model and then articulate what we need to learn in order to survive and be accepted by the family or community.

Few leadership-development programs take the time and opportunity to reflect on the cultural rules, morals, taboos, and world-views that are valued by managers and leaders. At work, most managers spend less than 3 percent of their time in inner-directed discovery, an activity that could improve their own performance and the success of every member of their organization.

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence and Working with Emotional Intelligence, stresses that self-awareness is one of the hallmarks of an effective leader.* Cultural selfawareness and its influence on the social behaviors of successful leaders, unfortunately, is simply not part of the repertoire of most organizational leaders or leadership-development programs.

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