April 13, 2024
Cross-Cultural Living, Mission Leadership, Multicultural Teams

Multi-tasking is a cultural trait

Over the past few weeks, I have been listening to a fascinating series of lectures by Dr. David Livermore of the Cultural Intelligence Center.  I purchased the lectures on Audible as part of one of “The Great Courses” that they offer. This course is 12 hours long and is entitled “Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are.” I would highly recommend the course in learning more about other cultures and as part of learning to work in other cultures and on multicultural teams. In one of the lectures, Dr. Livermore talked about how different cultures view time. Besides contrasting a value on punctuality with a value on relationships, he talked about monochronic and polychronic cultures.… 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
Cross-Cultural Living, Assessment Tools, Evangelism, Multicultural Teams, Cultural learning

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
Cultural learning, Assessment Tools

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
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
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