We often hear people speaking of ‘a clash of cultures’. What does this mean? First there’s ‘culture’ – linguistically the so-called nominalisation (a word that has been frozen in time and can mean different things to different people). One way of thinking about ‘culture’ is as a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organisation or group.
Do the individuals in your institution, organisation or group share some or all of these characterising attitudes, values, goals, and practices? Or is it sometimes challenging to understand others, to get people to understand you and to get them to do what they are ‘supposed’ to do? If that’s the case, what do you do?
There are various tools, techniques and one particular rigorously tested methodology using psychometrics and the language that others use to facilitate improved organisational understanding and working together. One technique is mentally first of all thinking about the situation from our own point of view and then from the other person’s point of view, next mentally moving to a balcony position noticing the interaction between yourself and that other person. Then from the balcony position mentally moving back to being yourself, taking back the information we have gathered and noticing how we might do things differently next time (or not). This helps us to remember that other people experience the world in a completely different way to us.
I mentioned the rigorously tested methodology using psychometrics and the language individuals use, this is a real help in ‘culture clashes’. Situation: You know what you want to achieve, you can clearly see the benefits, you want to move, now. And they are just not going with you. Conversely as the other person – there’s a lot of detail here and you know what the problems are which you must at all costs avoid and you feel you need some time to consider the matter.
Person A who wants to achieve etc. might say to Person B “I’ve taken some time to consider all the detailed information you’ve given me, and I appreciate the time you have spent on it and the problems you feel we must avoid, so (and really good rapport and a soft tonality is required here) let’s consider why now is the right time to….. Try it out for yourself.” (For what person B would say, contact me).
Some more culture language tips – Are you the kind of person who talks about what you will – attain, obtain, have, get, include, achieve, accomplish about the benefits, advantages. And do people who use this kind of language – avoid, prevent, eliminate, solve, get rid of, won’t have to, let’s find out what’s wrong, drive you up the wall or vice versa? Well experience shows me and hundreds of people I’ve worked with, as well as the statistics; or for others of you I can give you more details on all the information you need to decide showing – that when you use the language of those people who ‘drive you up the wall’, ‘who just don’t see, things the way you do’, or ‘get stuck in the detail when there’s a clear way forward’ then you will get the result you want to achieve …. or be able to avoid the problem. So Culture Club or Culture Clash?
I hope you find this article interesting and useful – it’s food for thought. If you’d like to know more please contact me. Rosie O’Hara: 01224 900748, 01309 676004, 07796 134081, http://www.developingworks.com
Rosie O’Hara is a Certified Trainer of NLP and a Certified Trainer and Consultant of the LAB (Language and Behaviour) Profile®, MIOEE, MinstLM