Top 10 Ways to Learn about Another Culture…or Just 1: Ask!

 I started to write a simple “10 Quick Steps to Preparing for Your International Visitor,” as in preparing to meet your mother-in-law from Argentina for the first time or hosting the new team from Korea for a business conference, but I realized it rang of insincerity.  Sure, you can (and should) read works of fiction…

Help Connect the Dots Between School and Presidency: Help Damon Weaver Get His Interview

The Huffington Post has taken up the cause of 10 year old Damon Weaver, reporter for the Kathryn E. Cunningham Canal Point Elementary school TV station,  to get a one-on-one interview with President Obama.   As his story continues to grow, he did get credentials to cover the Inauguration.  Dwayne Wade also has offered to play…

Using Your Midlife Crisis as a Catalyst for Intercultural Parenting

 According to psychologytoday.com, a mid-life crisis can hit around age 40, plus or minus 20 years, and can include “questioning decisions made years earlier and the meaning of life.”  However, in the words of English novelist George Eliot (aka Mary Anne Evans), “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”  As…

Four No- or Low-Cost Ways to Jump Start Intercultural Dialogue in Your Home in the New Year

 While today’s economy might prevent international travel for a spell, there are plenty of inexpensive things to do to share cultural traditions, inspire curiosity and empathy and improve your intercultural communication skills.  Here are just a few: 1) Hang a map of the world on your wall! Ignorance breeds indifference. Point out locations of world…

Family Friday: More Than a Bad Word, Explaining the Power and Context of the N-Word

My 7 year old learned the N-word a few weeks ago, and was immediately told that it was bad, 1.) Because he would get beat up if he used it (explanation from my dad) and 2.) It was just a bad word, “Like the F-word” (explanation from me).  I was left with a fear from…

Family Friday: Children, Prejudice and Modeling Culturally Sensitive Behavior

 With an American mom and a Brazilian dad, you’d think our child would spontaneously be a model of behavior in multicultural settings.   A dinner conversation this week, however, reminded me that while setting a good example is important, a parent’s job is much more complex.  You can’t assume your child will learn how to be…

Cross-Cultural Communications Competence: Practical Applications and Loving Your Family

 Call it “How to win friends and influence people,”  “Getting to Yes“, or call it cross-cultural communications, but it’s all the same thing–how to communicate to come to agreement or understanding with people who are different from you to achieve your objective.   In business, no matter how you slice it, it all flows back to…