Book synopsis: The culture map by Erin Meyer

Header Image: Globe (CC BY 2.0 license).

Do you prefer direct criticism or that people adopt a three-positives for one negative approach? Do you communicate in a “mean what you say” or “read the air” manner? In your job are fixed consensual decisions or flexible top-down approaches preferred?

In international environments, these are frequent questions that change according to the culture and background of teams across the world. Erin Meyer, professor at INSEAD (Institute National d’Administration et des Affaires) in Paris, talks about her experiences coaching industries around the globe. In her book, she lists eight common cultural differences (communication, negative feedback, persuasion, leadership, decision-making, trust, conflict, and scheduling) around different cultures on all continents. She also shares practical examples of how they create conflict, miscommunication, and different perceptions of people with different world views. Finally, she gives practical tips on how to navigate them better and harvest the potential of multiculturality.

Cultural fluency might not eliminate misunderstandings, but can definitely minimize them and foster collaboration in international teams.

This article was written by André Plath  as part of a series articles curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

André is one of BioTrib’s Early Stage Researcher‘s who is investigating Boundary Lubrication of Fibrous Scaffolds at ETH Zürich, Switzerland.