Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al (livredor) wrote,
Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al
livredor

Cultural mores

The last part of the introduction day I went to earlier in the week was taken up by an "intercultural communication workshop". That sort of thing can be quite fun, but I was there for useful practical information, and with my parents waiting for me I didn't stay for all of it. Besides, the communications guru who was leading the workshop really annoyed me; he was desperately camp, in a slightly upper-class English pretending to be Stephen Fry kind of way, and it just set my teeth on edge.

Anyway, he started off in the traditional way, presenting us with a series of statements and dividing us into buzz groups to discuss them. And I've decided to reproduce his triggers here, because I think they could provoke some interesting discussion. I've altered some of them slightly, partly so as not to plagiarize too much and partly because it became clear in the subsequent discussion that the guru's original phrasing was leading people to discuss things different from what he actually intended us to discuss. So I've tried to make things clearer.

The plan is that if everybody gets to discussing this, it will partly make up for the lack of content posted by me!

OK, instructions for the poll. I have been nice and provided ticky boxes, not radios, but that doesn't mean you should abuse them. The plan is that you should pick one of the first three options, and one of the second three for each question. If you generally agree with a statement, but can think of some bizarre exceptional circumstances where it might not apply, choose "True", and vice versa. And "Undecidable" is meant to cover all the categories of undecidability, such as not understanding the question, not knowing, it depends, needing more information to be able to give a useful answer, etc.

I know the last question is basically impossible, particularly in the three words I've given you space for. But if you want to write an essay, write it in the comments where people can see it, rather than complaining that there is insufficient space in my margins.

Poll #729310 Intercultural communication

I usually plan to do things at particular times, and stick to that.

True
2(6.7%)
False
1(3.3%)
Undecidable
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

In a conversation, if I'm really interested in what the other person has to say, I stay quiet and don't interrupt to show I'm listening carefully.

True
0(0.0%)
False
1(3.3%)
Undecidable
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

Compromise is usually better than confrontation.

True
3(10.0%)
False
0(0.0%)
Undecidable
1(3.3%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

If you don't know someone well, it's polite to maintain a certain distance from them at first.

True
1(3.3%)
False
0(0.0%)
Undecidable
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

Honesty is more important than diplomacy.

True
1(3.3%)
False
0(0.0%)
Undecidable
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

Generally, coaching and motivating workers makes for a better management style than informing and instructing them.

True
0(0.0%)
False
0(0.0%)
Undecidable
1(3.3%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

Emotions can get in the way of an effective, rational approach to an issue.

True
1(3.3%)
False
0(0.0%)
Undecidable
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

Modesty is an important virtue.

Very
0(0.0%)
Not really
1(3.3%)
Undecidable
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

Exceptions to rules should be minimal.

True
0(0.0%)
False
1(3.3%)
Undecidable
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

My family comes first.

True
1(3.3%)
False
1(3.3%)
Undecidable
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

It is important to put your trust in God.

True
0(0.0%)
False
1(3.3%)
Undecidable
1(3.3%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

Efficiency is the key to success.

True
0(0.0%)
False
1(3.3%)
Undecidable
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

If someone asks for my opinion, I usually spend time considering the question before I answer.

True
3(10.0%)
False
0(0.0%)
Undecidable
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably agree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
Most people from my culture would probably disagree with my answer.
0(0.0%)
I don't know how most people from my culture feel about this.
0(0.0%)

Which country do you come from?

If you think your dominant cultural influence is something other than your country, what?



By the way, when we did this exercise, my group consisted of a Japanese guy, a German, a Dutch guy, a Libyan, and me, the only girl in the group. Too small to be meaningful, of course. We got very organized about deciding the best way to represent everybody's opinion on each statement (we settled on including a voting tally rather than trying to come to a consensus), and generally got into the whole meta thing, in the way a bunch of geeks will. We were split 3:2 on a couple, but mostly we quite quickly came to a unanimous decision. Ironically, the one we had the hardest time settling on was whether compromise is better than confrontation!

The Japanese guy (who was, incidentally, rather distractingly good looking) did something that fitted right in with a remark the guru made in the followup session: apparently, in Japanese culture if someone asks for your opinion the polite thing to do is to think about it for a while. This made it quite hard to get him engaged in discussion when the other four of us were more inclined to jump right in with our opinions.
Tags: survey
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