April 13, 2024
Training, Assessment Tools, Resilience

Do we naturally look for shortcuts?

In my previous blog post, I reviewed a book that argues that there are no shortcuts in missions. Why was this book written? Because supposedly we like to find shortcuts! Those who study cultural differences tell us that Americans and Canadians have a strong short-term orientation. Americans have a reputation for their fast pace of life and desire for quick results. We see their desire for instant gratification in the prominence of American fast-food restaurants and the fact that the USA has the highest average national credit card debt in the world.1 See 30 Credit Card Debt Statistics – 2023 Update | Balancing Everything. So we should not be surprised that shortcuts to achieve mission results are a hot topic in our North American churches. At the same time, it is also not surprising that those who understand the American preference for quick results are cautioning us about adopting these… Read the whole post
Teaming, Assessment Tools, Book Reviews

What is your genius at work?

I have taken many different personality and strength assessments over the years. Myers-Briggs, Grip-Birkman, MinistryStyles, StrengthsFinder, DiSC, Enneagram, and 5 Voices are a few that stick out. Part of my motivation in taking these assessments was to evaluate their effectiveness. I wanted to see how well they helped team members understand one another better. Would they help us in our training of new cross-cultural workers? But I have to admit a big part of my motivation was just my innate curiosity to understand myself better. Shortcomings of personality assessments Each of these assessments has their strengths. I have learned something from each of them about how I am wired. They have helped me to understand the challenges I face in working with colleagues of different personalities. But none of the ones above helped me understand what specific personalities / strengths are needed on a team. How do the different personalities… Read the whole post
Assessment Tools, Cultural learning

Cultural Values About Time and Planning

In this third blog post about the ten value orientations of Cultural Intelligence (CQ), I want to look at cultural values related to time and planning. Time is like a river Time is like a river we all travel. How we view time and how we plan its use can be compared to canoeing a river. For instance, our uncertainty-avoidance orientation may affect whether we portage around rapids or enjoy the thrill of running them. Whether we are short-term or long-term oriented will determine whether we do day trips or week-long trips. Our monochronic or polychronic orientation will show itself in whether we focus on reaching the destination. Or is swimming, fishing, or photography along the way just as important? When I was in high school and college, I led canoe trips for a camp in Maine. On these trips, I observed conflicts from variations in these orientations in the… Read the whole post
Cultural learning, Cross-Cultural Living, Assessment Tools, Evangelism, Multicultural Teams

CQ Communication & Decision-making Cultural Value Orientations

Introduction: In this second blog post discussing the ten cultural value orientations of Cultural Intelligence (CQ), I will focus on the values related to communication and decision-making. It is important for the cross-cultural worker to understand these different values in order to avoid misunderstanding and offense. In order to help you, I offer an example in each value orientation pair. I’m sure you can come up with examples from your ministry context. Again, I’ve included a discussion question after each summary of the three identity related cultural value orientations. Please share your comments. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts. Low-Context/Direct and High-Context/Indirect: Communication styles differ in important ways between low-context and high-context cultures. In low-context settings, the relationship between people is a small factor in many conversations. For instance, the length of the line at a checkout counter is more important than the relationship one has with the cashier when… Read the whole post
Cross-Cultural Living, Assessment Tools, Multicultural Teams, Cultural learning

CQ Identity-Related Cultural Value Orientations

Introduction: Cultural knowledge is essential for missionaries as we make disciples in a multicultural world. SEND U is now using the Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Assessment tool in our prefield training and lifelong development of cultural understanding. The CQ assessment identifies ten cultural value orientations framed in contrasting pairs that present a continuum of possible orientations. But here a warning is necessary. Do not use these cultural value orientations to form stereotypes about particular cultures because cultures change. Globalization accelerates that change and has created a blend of global culture and local cultures often referred to as “glocal.” Don’t be surprised if an individual behaves with one orientation among internationals and a different orientation among his/her local culture. I have written a brief summary of the ten cultural value orientations on the SEND U wiki. In three posts on this blog, I will discuss the ten orientations grouped as orientations related… Read the whole post
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