Why Cross-Cultural Learning Depends on Both of You

It is no news that when you interact with someone from a new culture, you need to be open-minded and willing to learn. Without that, your communication is deemed to failure. The problem is: no matter how experienced you are in cross-cultural communication, the success of your encounter will always also depend on the other person. In his book Management…

Brahmin or Kshatriya: Which Values Dominate the Indian Society Today?

Brahminical values, those of the knowledgeable class, influenced the India of the past the most. People were expected to be knowledgeable but compliant and to live a simple life in restraint. Excessive behavior was taboo – the one who conformed and lived a life of patience was seen as the “best citizen”. This kind of conformity was also closely related…

Why You Should Never Forget The Past

Erin Meyer surprised me. A lot. While it was always clear to my mind that a country’s history has a strong impact on its culture, I somehow always neglected that fact. Why? Because history has always been a boring subject for me. I preferred to live in the present, rather than philosophizing about the past. Sorry, dear historians! However, as with…

Not just Rubber-Time, But Rubber-Ethics

The Indonesians call it “jam karet” – rubber time. When we Germans say 2, we mean 2. When Indonesians say 2, they could mean anything from 2 to 3, 4, 5, 6. But this is not news for most people who have experience living in Asia. But what was interesting for me was that researchers also found out that Asians,…

Three Ideas on Giving Feedback in Asia

Today I will share with you three great ideas I learned from Will McInnes. While he is not the inventor of these ideas, he is the one who first wrote them down in his great book “Culture Shock. A Handbook for 21st Century Business“. Unfortunately in this limited space I won’t be able to explain what the bigger idea behind…