Continuum of Cultural Differences
When you struggle to understand what someone who is culturally different from you is trying to communicate (could that be almost everyone?), use this tool to help you gain deeper insight into what the differences might be that could affect your styles of communicating.
- Move the blue slider on the continuum where you sense you are in each category.
- Move the brown slider where you think the other might be in that same category.
- Step back and reflect on your answers.
The next step is to have a dialogue with the other person with the intention of discovering a greater appreciation and understanding of one another. Ideally, each of you could do this exercise and then share insights. These discoveries will support you in mutually adapting to one another’s communication style.
Adapted from Stella Ting-Toomey, Communicating Across Cultures, 1999.