The Deepest Value

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Competence Comments with Craig Storti

People sometimes ask me how to identify the deepest value in another culture. I suppose there are many ways, but one approach I have found quite helpful is to try to identify what behaviors upset people the most in a particular culture. What is it, when someone does that thing, that really annoys people? If you probe beneath the behavior that produces such a strong reaction, you will find a value that has just been violated. If we use the U. S. as an example, I think there is no quicker or more foolproof way to upset an American than […]

Have We Done Something Wrong?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Competence Comments with Craig Storti

It occurred to me recently that an occupational hazard in our field, a hazard for trainers and lecturers, especially, is that without meaning to—and certainly without wanting to—we put people on the defensive. And needless to say, people who are on the defensive don’t appreciate being there and are not very likely to thank you for upsetting them. Let me explain. Very often in our field, we are trying to expose people to worldviews, values, norms, et cetera that are different from their own, sometimes very different. Nothing wrong with that, of course, and if that’s all we were doing, […]

An Interview with Craig Storti

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Competence Comments with Craig Storti

What first drew you to intercultural communication and cross-cultural work? Like many people of a certain age, it was my time in the Peace Corps. I did not join the PC for an intercultural experience—I joined to escape going to Vietnam—but having had one, I was eventually able to use that experience to start a consulting/training business, helped immensely by the cachet that publishing my first couple of books bought me. What has surprised you most in all your years of training and engaging in intercultural communication work? I don’t know if it’s what surprised me, but what I have […]

Can We Really Teach This Stuff?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Competence Comments with Craig Storti

Dr. Deardorff made a very simple request in her email to me about this column—or so I thought: “Send in something related to intercultural competence.” Fair enough. No problem. But there was a problem, a big one: What the heck is intercultural competence? If you’re going to write about this thing, then you’d better have a pretty good idea what it is. And I really didn’t. So I began thinking. And that’s where all the trouble started. What metric should I use to come up with a definition? In the end I decided that the best, or at least one […]