King County Dispute Resolution Center Cross Cultural Communication

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Information about King County Dispute Resolution Center Cross Cultural Communication

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: leerosetta



2 Hour session delivered to volunteer mediators of the King County Dispute Resolution Center, as well as additional participants from the general public. 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.

What I Said and What I Meant: Cross Cultural Communication King County Dispute Resolution Center Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Seattle Girls’ School Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

About Seattle Girls’ School Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

Agenda  Cross Cultural Communication  Cultural Values, Norms of Behavior, and Communication  Cultural Identifiers, Power, and Communication  So What? Now What? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

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 (

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 (

Dimensions of Variability Individual - Collectivistic Low Context - High Context Task - Relationship Low Uncertainty - High Uncertainty Vertical - Horizontal Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

Factors that Influence  Personality Orientation  Individual Values - Allocentric - Idiocentric  Self Construal - Independent - Interdependent  Individual Socialization  Cultural Norms and Rules Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

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 (

Cultural Values Norms, and Rules  Values  Value Priorities  Norms of Behavior  Non-Verbal Communication Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

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 (

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 (

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 (

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 (

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 (

Break Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

Identifiers, Power, and Communication Internalized Oppression/Dominance Stereotype Threat Microaggressions/Accumulated Impact Code/Mode Switching Fish Seeing the Water “Norm” “Normal” “Good” “Intent” versus “Impact” Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

Discussion: Cross Cultural Conflict Think about a recent conflict which you now know to be true to be at heart an identity and power difference. Using some of the terminology introduced, discuss with a partner or group of three what was going on to cause the conflict. Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

So What? Now What? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

Assumptions and Interpretations • Mental Models • Ladder of Inference Belief Conclusions Selective Data Observable Data • Tools of Action Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

Checking Assumptions and Interpretations: Steps to Analyze 1. What did you see/hear (raw data)? 2. What are your personal filters (cultural values, norms, identifiers, experiences)? 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 (

Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

Discussion: How Will I Apply All This? 1. How do you see materials from this workshop applying to your roles? 2. What questions do you still have? 3. What are your personal action steps? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

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 (

Final Questions or Comments? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

Resources • “Stereotype Threat” by Joshua Aronson • David K. Berlo, The Process of Communication (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1960) • Brenda J. Allen, Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity • William Gudykunst, Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Comunication • Milton Bennett, PhD, Intercultural Communication Institute • National Coalition Building Institute • “Non-Verbal Communication Across Cultures” by Erica Hagen, Intercultural Communication Resources • • Thrive! Team Dynamics • Nonverbal Violations 
by Stella Ting-Toomey • history.htm Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (

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 (

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