What is culture?

What is culture?

Culture is a set of shared values that a group of people holds.

These values affect how you think and act but also how you judge others

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How Culture Controls Communication

forbes.com

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Cultures are either affective or neutral

An affective culture is defined by the ability to readily show your emotions whereas a neutral culture keep their emotions in neutral and they do not show their feelings, but keep them carefully controlled and subdued.

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High-context cultures e.g. Mediterranean, Slav, Central European, are understood through context, nonverbal cues, and between-the-lines interpretation of what is actually said. 

Here, the meanings are created often through what is not said e.g. in body language, silences and pauses, relationships and empathy.

Low-context cultures e.g. most Germanic and English-speaking countries, expect messages to be explicit and specific. Here, the emphasis is on sending and receiving accurate messages directly, and by being precise with spoken or written words.

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Cultures are either sequential or synchronic

Some cultures think of time sequentially – as a linear commodity to “spend,” “save,” or “waste.” Other cultures view time synchronically – as a constant flow to be experienced in the moment, and as a force that cannot be contained or controlled.

Whether time is perceived as a commodity or a constant determines the meaning and value of being “on time.”

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Defining group norms

Group norms are the set of informal and formal ground rules that specify how people interact. The rules help members of the group determine how to behave. Advantages of clear ground rules within teams:

  • Meetings and communication are more constructive.
  • Teammates have a shared value system and work together to achieve goals.
  • Everyone knows what is expected of them, and they live up to the expectations.
  • Conflicts can be resolved more effectively and with understanding.
  • New teammates can integrate more quickly.

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How to Create Healthy Group Norms for Team Communication

doist.com

Emoji may create misunderstanding

The emoji is inherently ambiguous. Symbols only have meaning because of a shared cultural context.

We can't assume everyone is interpreting emoji the same way. It can lead to tension and embarrassment - especially in a work context.

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How to (appropriately) use emoji at work

zapier.com

Cultural Intelligence (CQ)
  • After IQ and EQ, Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is a new type of intelligence on the rise due to globalization and a complex, competitive and dynamic business environment.
  • Employees having a high level of CQ are able to act as a bridge that connects to a diverse group of peers, transferring knowledge and helping build interpersonal connections.
  • Their multi-faceted, multicultural approach gives a global, vibrant flavour to the product or service that they are working on while driving up innovation and creativity within the team.

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Why You Need Cultural Intelligence (And How To Develop It)

forbes.com