Going Intercultural with The Culture Map by Erin Mayer

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I’m an absolute admirer of Erin and her best-seller book “The Culture Map” – I wish I read it five years ago, just following my move to Amsterdam.


Well-structure with practical examples to have a deeper understanding of intercultural differences in business and illustrates how different cultures perceive the world. It could minimize misunderstandings and maintain conflict-free communication, regardless of where we are in the world.

Each of the eight scales in the Culture Map’s model represents one key area that managers need be conscious about, showing how cultures vary along a spectrum from one extreme to its opposite:

Communicating: low-context vs. high-context;
Evaluating: direct negative feedback vs. indirect negative feedback;
Leading: egalitarian vs. hierarchical;
Deciding: consensual vs. top-down;
Trusting: task-based vs. relationship-based;
Disagreeing: confrontational vs. avoids confrontation;
Scheduling: linear-time vs. flexible-time;
Persuading: principles-first vs. applications-first;

Understanding cultural-based patterns is an invaluable part of holistic self-awareness in a business environment. Understanding the team’s intercultural differences helps build a more efficient, respectful, and flexible corporate culture.

The simple way to bring this knowledge to your business and personal life:
1. Understand yourself – read the book or take a Personal Profile tool test at https://erinmeyer.com/;
2. Understand others – use the Team Mapping Tool;
3. Discuss! Talk through! Reflect! Start a conversation with your team, partners, friends to create a common field of understanding on differences and how you can benefit each other;

Bringing diversity and stepping out from your typical behavioral style into more relevant to context and audience could enormously benefit the organization and team dynamic and achieve targets in more harmonious way.

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