Presenter: Ben Yan
Date: 7th April 2010
“Seek First to Understand, then to be understood”
This was a fairly short presentation, barely spanning an hour. Interesting however due to the myriad examples presented with regard to day to day interactions based on cultural differences. Ben compared culture itself to a large tree with dense roots where the above ground component of it was equivalent to the obvious characteristics such as language, attire etc. While the roots signified the hidden expectations, prejudices and so forth. Detailed observation, interpretation and comparative analysis were the key steps outlined for working in a cultural context. In short it was definitely a workshop I would recommend that companies and businesses invest in for their employees, especially in this era of globalization.
As an aside, there was an interesting point he made about how different cultures view crisis. Apparently the Chinese word for crisis contains the characters for danger and opportunity which I found to be a far more positive approach. Although admitted after looking it up on Google, apparently there are a number of people who feel this is incorrect usage.
Image Credit: The Cherry Tree by Gwarf