Each of us comes to the table with our own special blend of cultural influences that shape our values and how we interpret others’ words and actions. Considering where others may be ‘coming from’ – literally – could improve our professional and personal relationships*.
I went to a book launch party a couple of months ago to celebrate the publication of a new book by Hazel Markus, a Psych professor at Stanford, and Alana Conner, a writer & science communicator who got her Ph.D. with Hazel:
Hazel and Alana read excerpts of the book out loud & graciously answered a host of random questions, and I went home and promptly ordered the book online. It was an interesting read, with individual chapters devoted to specific cultural divides.
If you’re having trouble seeing eye-to-eye with someone, perusing Clash! just might help.
Addendum: Watch Alana’s TEDx talk about this book here
*Of course, we need to avoid reducing each other to facile stereotypes… I wouldn’t want you to rely on factoids about my upbringing in lieu of getting to know me, but knowing that I was raised in Canada as the daughter of immigrants from South America would certainly help you to understand my values and perspective on life.