Overcoming Cultural Blindness

In his book “The Korean Way in Business“, Boye Lafayette De Mente describes the Korean concept of wiom, which literally translated means “dignity”. According to him, wiom is “a type of stylized behaviour that included keeping emotions under control, maintaining an outward calm that concealed thoughts and protected “face”, using the correct form of speech to whomever was being addressed,…

What Blocks us in Intercultural Encounters?

We assume similarities It is a natural tendency for us to assume that “hey, everybody should think like me”. Putting ourselves into the shoes of another person is just not our natural way of thinking. We are, by definition, self-centered. Our own view is the only one that we understand, and that we are familiar with. In other words: intercultural…

Drawing a Clear Picture on Generalizations

A few days ago we had a discussion about mental models. Today I want to add what I learned about the subject from Ed Catmull (President of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation). He tells us how mental models can give you trouble in terms of drawing. How do we know that a char is a chair? Subconsciously we categorize every…

How to Challenge Your Own Mental Models

Living in a foreign country is awesome. Every day there are situations that challenge your way of thinking. Every day something new and surprising can happen. There are always opportunities for learning. The question is just: do you make use of that? Answer that question to yourself – honestly. I will be frank – I don’t always make use of…

Your Perspective is Never Complete

Your perspective is never complete. Never forget this. I mean, look at the fish. The only thing he can see is the wall. Wow, I feel sorry for him. He must be very lonely. But the humans on the top? They might be able to explore the world, but they still don’t know that in reality they are living on…