Cultural Differences

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I never realized the various differences between cultures.  I find it fascinating that the amount of space between two people from different cultural backgrounds could offend one or the other. Before reading this handout I was unaware of cultural time orientation. I wrongly assumed all cultures viewed time linearly. I think I would experience culture shock in a polychronic culture because I am so accustom to a monochronic culture where there is pressure for action and performance.

After reading this handout, I want to do some more research on various cultures to better understand multiple world perspectives. I believe having a world perspective is extremely important in the 21st century due to rapidly advancing technology.  The Internet and technology have made it very possible to connect to the entire world. I can easily get on twitter and contact someone who lives in Australia. Businesses are also more intertwined throughout the world, turning attention to the global economy.

Being aware of various cultural customs is an advantage to marketing yourself.  I agree that an expatriate and people experiencing new cultures need to be flexible, patient, and tolerant when visiting or living in different cultures.  I think the global manager is a good goal to strive for. Having all the qualities of a global manager would be a great accomplishment. I think it would take time to acquire all the needed skills, but it would be rewarding to be able to easily communicate with people of different cultures and not feel awkward. I think my weakest point of being a global manager is knowing another language. When I went to Europe I remember being very frustrated that I could not communicate with the locals. I felt left out of the conversation and was disappointed I could not learn from them. When I first went to Europe when I was seventeen, I remember being baffled by the lifestyles of the people. In Greece I was shocked to find all the stores closed in the afternoon because this was the time they took naps. Before I went to Europe my thinking was parochial. I never considered people lived a different lifestyle than me.

I think it is extremely important to have a world view. I am looking forward to learning as much as I can about the Humphrey Fellows’ cultures. I think people should try to understand others’ cultures so the world becomes more tolerant and respectful.