In our second module, we study national cultural differences. Most of you have learned over the years that dealing with cultural differences is not always pleasant and blunders happen. In this discussion, we will focus on the difficult cultural encounters. While you are encouraged to use outside references, you can share your own experiences for this discussion.
Cultural differences are the topic where social and work life overlap. Start preparing your discussion posting by reading David Livermore’s blog post “Weird, Rude, or Different?! Awkward Cross-Cultural Moments” (link: http://davidlivermore.com/blog/2016/11/14/weird-rude-or-different-awkward-cross-cultural-moments/). Then read another article by David Livermore (http://davidlivermore.com/blog/2017/11/16/whats-the-1-conflict-on-diverse-teams/) that describes situations that you may have encountered at work. For instance, meetings have a very different purpose in different cultures. You also learn about cultural differences from the textbook chapter and the lecture. Livermore explains in this blog: “..in many cultures, the social context is the most important environment for building trust.” Livermore offers practical ideas on how to handle these situations. It always takes time to learn to deal with cultural differences.
Some of you may have experienced several cross-cultural blunders, but some may have just started to explore these differences. In this discussion, we will share the difficult cross-cultural encounters you have experienced in your personal or work life (or both) and what they taught you. Sometimes my students say that they did not realize until in this course that something was cultural, not personal. If you cannot remember any cross-cultural challenges, share what types of cross-cultural issues might be complex for you. For instance, if you are an American (born and raised here), you might have a problem with extensive collectivism or relaxed time perception of Latinos, Arabs, or Southern Europeans.