• The impact of tiredness on cross-cultural communication

    No matter how much cross-cultural training you've had, how open-minded you are, or how flexible you are to others' communication preferences, sometimes you will get tired and just want to be around those "like you."...
    Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
  • You can’t practise swimming without water

    Hofstede, the infamous grandfather of cross-cultural studies, said, "Studying culture without experiencing culture shock is like practising swimming without water." I think this guy tried to swim without water....Image Source: Gratisography Usually we think of culture...
    Monday, April 24th, 2017
  • Listening – the key to compromise

    Listening is one of the most underrated and undervalued skills. But when it comes to cross-cultural communication, it's absolutely critical. If you are having a moment of misunderstanding or miscommunication with someone else, the only...
    Monday, March 6th, 2017
  • Do you trust me?

    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...
    Monday, February 27th, 2017
  • What makes a good conversation? Wait versus Interrupting Cultures

    The rules of conversation in any culture are not explicit: they are assumed knowledge and no one thinks of questioning them...unless, you're new to a culture and can't work out why everyone is being so...
    Monday, February 6th, 2017
  • Why “Dos & Don’ts” need an update

    Have you ever looked up a list of cultural rules for going overseas and thought, "isn't this just stereotpying?"  I personally think it's about time these typical "Dos and Don'ts" lists had an update. The...
    Monday, November 14th, 2016
  • Maps, flags and dots

    I recently displayed a map of the world at work to highlight all the different countries represented in my team. It brought out some interesting observations that I thought I would share. Firstly, quite a...
    Monday, July 13th, 2015
  • The Monkey and the Fish

    This is a story that I use in my cross-cultural training classes. It's a great metaphor for how cultural assumptions can get us into trouble - even with the best of intentions.* A typhoon had...
    Friday, January 10th, 2014
  • Book Review: Partisan Histories

    "Partisan Histories. The Past in Contemporary Global Politics", edited by Marx Paul Friedman and Padraic Kenney, is a book I had to read for my Honours course. Now before I hear anyone say "booorrring," this...
    Friday, January 3rd, 2014
  • The ice beneath…

    There are some metaphors in life that apply across many situations. For example, the amount of times you boil a situation down to a "fork in the road", or the amount of "the world is...
    Friday, August 9th, 2013