50 Chapters
Medium 9781599961774

1. Coups and Faux Pas

Jonamay Lambert HRD Press, Inc. PDF

Coups and Faux Pas

1

Dr. George Simons, George Simons International 

Mandelieu‐la Napoule, France 

Purpose 

To open an intercultural training program and begin a discussion of how cultural differences affect us in work or daily life

Target audience 

This activity is for groups starting to learn about working or doing business across cultures. It requires some experience abroad (for work or vacation) or experience interacting with people of other cultures. Group members should not be afraid to share personal experiences. Coups and Faux Pas can be used even if most of the people in the group already know one another or are an intact work group. If the group is larger than 16, subdivide it into smaller groups for introductions there.

Time 

Allow 5 minutes to set up the activity and introduce yourself. Then allow 1½ to 2 minutes per person, plus a few minutes to debrief.

Materials and environment 

Handout 1: “66 Ways We Differ” for each participant

Procedure 

Include the handout in the course documentation or put one at each person’s place before the start of the program.

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50. Dimensions of Culture in Organizations

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50

Dimensions of Culture in Organizations

Muriel Lazar, PricewaterhouseCoopers 

Chicago, Illinois, USA 

Purpose and learning objectives 

• To explore how organizational culture and national culture are similar and different

• To make participants aware of how the differences impact both individuals and the

organization itself

Background 

Researchers have been interested in the characteristics of national cultures for a long time and have come up with descriptors for cultures that allow us to compare the norms of various cultures. More recent research and the experience of practitioners show that general dimensions of culture can apply to any identifiable culture: national, geographic, gender, racial, organizational, etc. This exercise deals with four dimensions of culture: power, relationships, time, and communication. These dimensions are present in every micro and macro organizational unit. For example, they are present in the family unit, community groups, office units, business units, geographic areas, and nations. Therefore, these four dimensions can be used in any context to identify common threads in a culture and to compare cultures.

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32. Doing Business in China

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32

Doing Business in China

Celia Young, President, Celia Young and Associates 

Monarch Beach, California, USA 

Purpose 

Based on a real case study, this exercise serves to introduce participants to some of the specific pitfalls of communication and etiquette that are important to recognize and respond to when doing business with the Chinese.

Target audience 

Individuals or teams doing business in China or with Chinese people, or who work directly with Chinese counterparts. The optimum number of participants is 8 to 24.

Time 

120 minutes or more, depending on the size of the group

Materials 

• Handout 1, “Business Meeting Case Study,” for each participant

• Flipchart and markers

• Facilitator Notes

Procedure 

1. Introduce the exercise and break the participants into groups of four to five people. Give each participant a copy of Handout 1. (10 minutes, depending on the size of the total group)

2. In small groups, discuss the business case and identify all the mistakes that Ed made and the pitfalls that he encountered. Then speculate on the cultural reasons for Ed’s difficulties. (30 minutes)

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46. Cultural Self-Awareness in Leadership Teams

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46

Cultural Self-Awareness in Leadership Teams

Malati Shinazy, M.Ed., George Simons International 

Palo Alto, California, USA 

Purpose 

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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8. Working in Unfamiliar Surroundings

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8

Working in Unfamiliar

Surroundings

Marianne Brandt, Global Bonding 

Northville, Michigan, USA 

Purpose and learning objectives 

This exercise will help participants understand what it is like to work in another culture, think in a second language, or start a new job where the rules are unfamiliar. It also creates awareness for coworkers as to what it is like to work in or learn a second language.

Target audience 

This activity targets anybody who works or studies in another country, works with people from different countries or cultures, or is preparing to start a new job or career.

Time 

15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the group. This activity can also be used as an icebreaker.

Materials and environment 

• Stopwatch or watch with second hand

• A copy of Handout 1, “Working in Unfamiliar Surroundings: Quiz,” for each participant

• Pencils or pens

• Overhead projector and transparency or flipchart with correct answers. If you have several

small groups, make copies of Handout 2, “Answers and Discussion Questions for Small

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