One of the interesting factors you can explore in cross-cultural interactions is how easily a particular culture will trust others. As this map shows, there are some cultures which are high-trust (ie think most people are trustworthy) and other cultures which are extremely low-trust (ie think most people are untrustworthy).
The article where I came across this image is interesting in itself, although it mainly focuses on the data.
I am more interested in exploring the implications of this in cross-cultural communication. What do you do if you’re from a high-trust culture, entering into a low-trust culture? I imagine you would have to work a lot harder at building work relationships, authority, friendships and connections.
And how about the opposite – what if you’re from a low-trust culture entering a high-trust culture? You may be surprised at the kindness and generosity of others; or even the freedom it gives you to have people’s confidence quicker.
This is all speculation of course, but I think it’s important to think this type of concept through – and then try in real life to see if your hypotheses are accurate – or whether there are unexpected implications of high/low trust interactions (within reason of course – don’t get yourself into trouble!).
Have you come across high/low trust interactions? What was your experience?