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ISACS Division Heads Conference Cross Cultural Communication

4 hour presentation delivered to Division Heads of ISACS Schools. Humans communicate on many levels: spoken language, tone, body language, style and personality. The fact that we have complex cultural identities and a host of differing past experiences increases the probability of cross-cultural miscommunications. This workshop presents major cross-cultural communication theories, ways that cultural values, power, privilege and differences affect the way we communicate, tools for questioning assumptions, and ways to improve cross-cultural communications skills.

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ISACS Division Heads Conference Cross Cultural Communication

  1. 1. What I Said and What I Meant: Cross Cultural Communication ISACS Academy for Division Heads Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Seattle Girls’ School Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  2. 2. About Seattle Girls’ School Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  3. 3. Agenda  Cross Cultural Communication  Cultural Values, Norms of Behavior, and Communication  Activity: Nonverbal Violations  Break  Cultural Identifiers, Power, and Communication  Activity: Whispers  So What? Now What? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  4. 4. Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  5. 5. Dimensions of Identity and Culture This model of identifiers and culture was created by Karen Bradberry and Johnnie Foreman for NAIS Summer Diversity Institute, adapted from Loden and Rosener’s Workforce America! (1991) and from Diverse Teams at Work, Gardenswartz & Rowe (SHRM 2003). Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  6. 6. Cross Cultural Communication  What is it?  How is it Different from Intercultural Communication?  CCC Theories – – – – – Face-Negotiation Theory Conversational Constraints Theory Expectancy Violation Theory Anxiety/Uncertainty Management Theory Communication Accommodation Theory Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  7. 7. Dimensions of Variability Individual - Collectivistic Low Context - High Context Task - Relationship Low Uncertainty - High Uncertainty Vertical - Horizontal Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  8. 8. Factors that Influence  Personality Orientation  Individual Values - Allocentric - Idiocentric  Self Construal - Independent - Interdependent  Individual Socialization  Cultural Norms and Rules Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  9. 9. Discussion: My Style In hearing about communication differences, what would you describe as your cultural communication style? Have you noticed stark differences compared to others? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  10. 10. Cultural Values Norms, and Rules  Values  Value Priorities  Norms of Behavior  Non-Verbal Communication Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  11. 11. Cultural Value Differences RELATIONAL Individualism Collectivism group interdependence self-reliance, independence (mindless follower) (selfis h ) Informality Formality directness, give and take discussion indirectness, protect "face" (rude and abrupt) (stiff and impersonal) Competition Cooperation individual achievement group achievement (egotistical, show-off) (avoiding doing work or taking responsibility) AUTHORITY Egalitarianism Hierarchy fairness, belief in equal opportunity privilege of status or rank (being picky, on a soapbox) (power hungry or avoiding accountability) TEMPORAL Use of Time Passage of Time "Time is money" "Time is for life" (doesn’t get the important things in life) (lazy and irresponsible) Change/Future Tradition/Past Adaptability ensures survival Stability ensures survival (muckraker, stirs up trouble) (old-school, afraid of change) ACTIVITY Action orientation "Being" orientation "Make things happen" "Let things happen" (rushes without thinkin g ) (indecisive and slow) Practicality Idealism Efficiency is always best Always maintain principles (impersonal and unscrupulous) (naïve and impractical) Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  12. 12. Exercise: Non-Verbal Violations 1: Please pick a partner and stand. 2: You and your partner will receive different instructions for nonverbal behaviors. Do not share the information. 3: Begin to converse about your interests and hobbies. 4: INCREMENTALLY dramatize the nonverbal behavior. 5: Make note of thoughts or feelings you experience. Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  13. 13. Non-Verbal Violations: Partner 1 You signal respect by standing physically close to your partner. Stand Approximately 6 inches away from him/her. You enjoy asking a lot of questions to signal conversational excitement and involvement. You also like to touch your partner's arm from time-to-time to signal approval for a good idea. Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  14. 14. Non-Verbal Violations: Partner 2 You signal respect by standing at least an arm's length away from your partner. You constantly check your watch or the clock for fear of running out of time in the conversation. You also like to make loud sounds (ahs, oohs, uh-huhs, sighs, etc.) to signal your approval and great contentment of the conversation. Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  15. 15. Debrief: Nonverbal Violations Did the INTENT of your described behaviors allow you to display them more enthusiastically? What was the IMPACT of the behaviors of your partner? Did knowing that “odd” behaviors may be part of the exercise help you accept your partner’s behavior? In working with people from various communities, what do you take away from this exercise? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  16. 16. Break Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  17. 17. Identifiers, Power, and Communication Internalized Oppression/Dominance Stereotype Threat Accumulated Impact/ Microaggressions Code/Mode Switching Fish Seeing the Water “Normal” versus “Good” “Intent” versus “Impact” Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  18. 18. Exercise: Whispers Rosetta Lee, Adapted from “Double Talk,” Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  19. 19. Exercise: Whispers Form groups of 3. Decide who will be A, B, or C.  Person A reads “whisper script 1.” Based on the instructions, whisper into Person B’s ear. Persons B and C hold a 3-minute conversation about their learning from the workshop that they found most interesting. Rosetta Lee, Adapted from “Double Talk,” Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  20. 20. Exercise: Whispers ROUND 2  Person B reads “whisper script 2.” Based on the instructions, whisper into Person C’s ear. Persons C and A hold a 3-minute conversation about their respective families. Rosetta Lee, Adapted from “Double Talk,” Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  21. 21. Exercise: Whispers ROUND 3  Person C reads “whisper script 3.” Based on the instructions, whisper into Person A’s ear. Persons A and B hold a 3-minute conversation about their career hopes and aspirations. Rosetta Lee, Adapted from “Double Talk,” Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  22. 22. Debrief: Whispers 1. How did the whispers in your ear affect your communication? 2. How did the whispers in the your partner’s ear affect your interpretation of the his/her words and demeanor? 3. Were elements of this exercise familiar? How did (and which of ) your identities make this exercise more/less so? 4. Please share a personal experience (if any) as applies to any of the following: a. Internalized Oppression/Dominance b. Stereotype Threat c. Accumulated Impact d. Code/Mode Switching e. Fish Seeing the Water f. Norm to Normal to Good g. “Intent” versus “Impact” Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  23. 23. Break Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  24. 24. So What? Now What? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  25. 25. Effective Communication Models Common Threads SUPPORTIVE DEFENSIVE Description Evaluation Problem-Orientation Control Spontaneity Strategy Empathy Neutrality Equality Superiority Provisionalism Certainty Brenda J. Allen, Difference Matters: Communicating Social Ide Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  26. 26. Assumptions and Interpretations • Mental Models • Ladder of Inference Belief Conclusions Selective Data Observable Data • Tools of Action Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  27. 27. Checking Assumptions and Interpretations: Steps to Analyze 1. What did you see/hear (raw data)? 2. What are your personal filters (cultural values, norms, and identifiers)? 3. What was your interpretation of what you saw/heard (inference)? 4. How did you feel as a result? 5. What do you want? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  28. 28. Discussion: Individual and Interpersonal Growth Think about a challenging relationship or conflict in your life. How can you might you challenge assumptions or communicate your perspective to improve your relationship or resolve conflicts? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  29. 29. Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) Schematic Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  30. 30. Identifying Growth Zones – The 5Ps • Policy – Enumeration of the school’s diversity commitment through mission, strategic plan, handbooks, websites, etc. • Programming – Diversity training and programming for all constituencies (board, admin, faculty, staff, students, families, etc.). Diversity and inclusivity curriculum. • Practice – Consistent and meaningful revisit of policy and programs. Climate assessments, proactive changes, and meaningful responses to incidents. • People – Critical mass of people who are supportive AND active on all levels. • Pecuniary – Funding allocated in the strategic plan for supporting diversity efforts. Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  31. 31. Cultural Effectiveness “To be culturally effective doesn’t mean you are an authority in the values and beliefs of every culture. What it means is that you hold a deep respect for cultural differences and are eager to learn, and willing to accept, that there are many ways of viewing the world” Okokon O. Udo Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  32. 32. Final Questions or Comments? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  33. 33. Presenter Information Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee 6th Faculty and Professional Outreach Seattle Girls’ School 2706 S Jackson Street Seattle WA 98144 (206) 805-6562 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  34. 34. Identity Resources • Carlos H. Arce, “A Reconsideration of Chicano Culture and Identity” • Atkinson, Morten, & Sue, “Racial/Cultural Identity Development Model (R/CID)” • Mindy Bingham and Sandy Stryker, “Socioemotional Development for Girls” • Vivienne Cass, “Homosexual identity formation: Testing a theoretical model” • William Cross, Shades of Black: Diversity in African American Identity” • Anthony D’Augelli, “ Identity development and sexual orientation: Toward a model of lesbian, gay, and bisexual development” Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  35. 35. Identity Resources • Erik Erikson, “Eight Stages of Man” • J. E. Helms, Various Publications on Racial and Ethnic Identity Development • Jean Kim, “Processes of Asian American Identity Development” • James Maricia, “Four Ego and Identity Statuses” • Suzanne Kobasa Ouellette, “The Three C’s of Hardiness” • Jean S. Phinney, “Ethnic Identity in Adolescents and Adults: Review of the Research” • Ponterotto & Pederso, Preventing Prejudice • Maria P. P. Root, Various Works on Multiracial Identity Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  36. 36. Identity Resources • Patricia Romney, Karlene Ferron, and Jennifer Hill, “Measuring the Success of Diversity Directors in Independent Schools” • Pedro Ruiz, “Latino/a Identity Development Model” • Chalmer E. Thompson and Robert T. Carter, Racial Identity Theory • Alex Wilson, “How We Find Ourselves: Identity Development and Two Spirit People” • Christine J. Yeh, “The Collectivistic Nature of Identity Development Among Asian-American College Students” Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  37. 37. Communication Resources • “Stereotype Threat” by Joshua Aronson • Brenda J. Allen, Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity • William Gudykunst, Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Comunication • Milton Bennett, PhD, Intercultural Communication Institute • “Non-Verbal Communication Across Cultures” by Erica Hagen, Intercultural Communication Resources • • Thrive! Team Dynamics • history.htm Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
  38. 38. Miscellaneous Resources • Karen Bradberry and Johnnie Foreman, “Privilege and Power,” Summer Diversity Institute, National Association of Independent Schools, 2009 • Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, Nurture Shock • Kevin Jennings, GLSEN (Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network) • Allan G. Johnson, Privilege, Power, and Difference • Johnnie McKinley, “Leveling the Playing Field and Raising African American Students’ Achievement in Twenty-nine Urban Classrooms,” New Horizons for Learning, mckinley.htm Michael J Nakkula and Eric Toshalis, Understanding Youth. Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (