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.

  1. Move the blue slider on the continuum where you sense you are in each category.
  2. Move the orange slider where you think the other might be in that same category.
  3. 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.

Me=Blue  You=Orange

Concept of Self

Sense of Control

Approach to Risk: uncertainty avoidance

Approach to Power



Approach to Professional Opportunity

The Key to Productivity

Personal and Professional

Sense of Time


Communication Styles

Personal Space


Adapted from Stella Ting-Toomey, Communicating Across Cultures, 1999.

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