Regional Cultures in the USA (5/5): The Far West and the America of Today and Tomorrow

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USA-Landkarte

The states in the Far West share a paradoxical position: They are dependent on access to the resources obtained through their lobbying in Washington, D.C.; at the same time, they have cultivated an identity of strong individualism and a rhetoric of independence from large, national politics.

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Regional Cultures in the USA (4/5): Central Conflicts and Developments in the 19th Century

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USA-Landkarte

Western expansion largely took place in the 19th century, and was characterized by streams of immigrants and the struggle for influence between the various cultures in the country.

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Regional Cultures in the USA (3/5): The Deep South, the Midlands and Appalachia

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USA-Landkarte

If you travel through the USA, you can still experience regional cultures: Despite a visual homogeneity of the same hotel, restaurant and retail chains, you can detect differences in communication styles, as well as work behavior, education and values. When coaching expatriates, I often observe that they are very surprised when “the” familiar USA (for example experienced in Boston) suddenly requires learning about a new culture in the same country when they move to another region (such as Charlotte).

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Regional Cultures in the USA (2/5): British Colonies Tidewater & Yankeedom vs. New France and New Amsterdam

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USA-Landkarte

As a European immigrant to the USA, I still experience the country with surprise, even ten years later. The reality is different that I expect; it does not fit into my thought process. Current social developments, political processes or bitter debates in the USA regarding things like the role of public schools or states also astonish many Americans. How do these dynamics develop?

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Regional Cultures in the USA (1/5): One Country, 11 “Nations,” 50 States

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USA-Landkarte

Have you never experienced El Norte, the Midlands or Tidewater in connection with the USA? Then welcome to this blog series!

In a total of five segments, you will discover that (as in every country) there are not just “the Americans,” and that today’s states harbor a variety of regional cultures. Discover more about the roots of this great country, and the effects that the history of its founding has had on American society and economy right up to the present. Myths will be examined, and apparent paradoxes in the country made clearer. I look forward to sharing my perspectives with you, based on more than 10 years of living and working in the USA.

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It's "World Day for Cultural Diversity" on May 21!

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It's "World Day for Cultural Diversity" on May 21!

Cultural Diversity – a universal human legacy 

This year, UNESCO is highlighting this topic with its "World Day for Cultural Diversity, for Dialogue and Development" on 21 May. In doing so, UNESCO is once again calling for the preservation of cultural diversity. The ti communication team is also interested in making its mark within the context of the "World Day for Cultural Diversity, for Dialogue and Development". By joining the Charter of Diversity, we are able to follow the corporate initiative, supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in which the primary goal is to promote diversity within companies. The motivation behind these efforts is to define values such as acceptance and appreciation with which to create a corporate culture free from prejudice.

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Cultural understanding á la carte

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Cultural understanding á la carte

Indulgence workshop by Gerhard Hain and Christoph Hauser allows you to dip your senses into foreign cultures

When and to whom do you give your business card at a business meal with Japanese – and which way do you hold it? How many bows or half-bows are appropriate when doing so, and what are the "ten do's and don'ts" for doing business with Arabian business associates? If you are preparing for intercultural business relationships by limiting yourself to such questions, you're doing it wrong, according to Gerhard Hain: "It's not about fixed rules, it's about encounters between people – whether on a national or international level". With his consulting firm ti communication, he, along with 80+ team members, has been successfully supporting companies in internationalizing their businesses for 15 years now. Infineon, Robert Bosch, Hilti and several other international market leaders as well as SMEs are now part of their clientele.

"Learning can be fun and involves the senses"

Hain finds the stolid memorization of rules of conduct to be largely ineffective. Instead, he focuses on a deep understanding of cultural peculiarities and small communication codes, as well as observing without evaluating. "Learning can be fun and involve the senses", is a further principle at ti communication. Thus, it is only a matter of course that Gerhard Hain got together with an indulgence expert in the autumn of 2014 to combine learning and indulging: along with Christoph Hauser, known, among other things, for Hausers Kochschule (cooking school), he now offers "intercultural indulgence workshops". In groups of a maximum of ten persons, a one-day seminar will focus on a specific cultural realm where intercultural communication is explained in theory and practised in practical situations, followed by cooking and eating a typical meal of the respective country, which culminates in a sensory understanding of the target culture.

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World Lacrosse Championship - ti communication trainer Philip Werner on his intercultural experiences as a participant of this sporting event

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World Lacrosse Championship - ti communication trainer Philip Werner on his intercultural experiences as a participant of this sporting event

In July of this year, one of the largest ball sport tournaments took place in Denver (USA): the men’s world lacrosse championships.

You missed the big event? You’ve never even heard of lacrosse? Well, you aren’t alone. In Germany and all of Europe, lacrosse has not yet hit the mainstream. But you can seize the opportunity and follow me into the heart of the lacrosse world and discover the intercultural challenges surrounding such a trip.

What is lacrosse and where does it come from?
Lacrosse is a team sport that is played with a stick equipped with a mesh net and a tennis ball-sized hard rubber ball. Two teams of ten field players each try to score more goals than the opponent. Body contact, including with the stick, is permitted. This ball sport was invented by the Native Americans on the east coast of the USA. Via labyrinthine paths, missionaries and English boarding schools, the sport, which originated as a Native American healing ritual, found its way back to the elite east-coast colleges of the USA.

Today, lacrosse is the fastest-growing sport in the USA, and even internationally, new national associations are cropping up at an amazing speed. Just 30 years ago, only four teams took part in the world championships. Meanwhile, the event has become a great festival of nations, with participants from almost all regions of the world. This year, Uganda was the first African team to compete.

On the field as an intercultural trainer
As an intercultural trainer, during my participation as an active player in the biggest world lacrosse championships to date, I had, of course, my trainer’s glasses on and was able to experience quite a bit. As early as the opening ceremony, cultural differences with regard to clothing and behaviour quickly became evident. The Asian teams seemed to shy away from the sun, and we Germans remained in the shade on the simple grounds of professional preparation for the tournament, while the team from Uganda, armed with drums, danced in the sun for an extended period and completely savoured the event. The Norwegian team showed up in sweaters of the same name, the Scots came in kilts, the Austrians – much to the joy of the American spectators – all wore lederhosen and the Ugandan players trumped everyone with their colourful tribal robes. What was behind the multifaceted fashion show? Self-inflicted stereotyping, perhaps, yet without a negative aftertaste. Generally, the spirit of the games was always positive, and everyone applauded and cheered the other nations.

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“Global Reach, Local Touch – How Streams of Culture are Shaping our Future”…

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“Global Reach, Local Touch – How Streams of Culture are Shaping our Future”…

…was the motto at the SIETAR Europa Congress (Society of Intercultural Training and Research) from 18th to 21st September in Tallinn, Estonia. More than 300 intercultural trainers and consultants from all corners of the world met there to compare notes on new consulting and training approaches and best-practice examples from various cultures. Ti communication supported this issue by serving as one of the primary sponsors of the congress. In this regard, Gerhard Hain, managing partner of ti communication and a participant in Tallinn, stressed that it is extremely important to actively participate in the further development of existing concepts, thus enabling a more efficient and profitable use of existing know-how for our customers.

Once upon a time, intercultural training courses were the focus of conceptual development; in the meantime, consulting services are becoming more prevalent among intercultural service providers. A number of expert discussions on the fringes of the congress served as justification for ti communication in its reorientation as a consulting company. International experts are the right consultants for change, leadership and team development processes and can use their know-how to provide enterprises with targeted strategic consulting.

Today’s leading experts, including Richard Lewis, Milton Bennett, Charles Hamden-Turner, Ida Castiglioni and other lecturers, contributed to the success of the three-day event. Professor Castiglioni’s lecture on “The Mementic Constuction of Culture: Implication for Intercultural Research and Training” illustrated how culture is not able to be perceived based on the description of itself alone, but rather that it is also always a matter of self-fulfilling processes. “Human culture is both the product and the process of that selection”, was her central statement. Using the example of social media, she depicted how so-called “memes”, such as perceptions of issues, communicative behaviour or aesthetic approaches, can become part of a culture. Active participation in a culture thus becomes the object of the description of the culture itself. In cases where outdated models are insufficient, current cultural developments become the focal point.  

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DENMARK-SWEDEN: Identical twins – or Cain and Abel?

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DENMARK-SWEDEN: Identical twins – or Cain and Abel?

Published in the european online newspaper presseureope.com the 18th October, the article titeled DENMARK-SWEDEN:Identical twins – or Cain and Abel? illustrates some differences and commonalities between the two northern countries focussing on immigration politics. Reading this article, I thought of the extraordinary challenges our clients meet when cooperating with Scandinavian countries. In the last months, the  demands for intercultural trainings for Skandinavia were increasing. This article below might help to see the diversity of those two neighboring countries. How do you perceive Skandinavia? Does the difference between Denmark and Sweden play a role in your daily business? Have you been posted to one of those countries? Feel free to share your experiences here or learn more about our open training courses Sweden in 2014 under the following link http://www.ticommunication.eu/de/intercultural-management/offene-trainings?training=interkulturelles-training-schweden-1

 

Few European countries are as similar as Denmark and Sweden. But while the states are becoming more economically integrated, their populations remain divided, writes a Stockholm-based Danish political scientist. Excerpts.

Drude Dahlerup

”Do you know that everything that is not forbidden in Sweden, is mandatory?” This is a joke that has been circulating in the corridors of the Danish political scene for years. Naturally, everyone knew that it wasn’t true, but it got a lot of laughs. It was part of our low-key, standard teasing between neighbours.

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