I would like to recommend another amazing book to you – The Culture Map by Erin Meyer. Why is it amazing? Well, it talks about the basics of cultural dimensions in a way that is very relatable to people in business, enriching the theoretical ideas with some interesting real-life stories.
It has an additional personal value for me as every other page I had an “A-ha!” moment, suddenly starting to understand the communication difficulties I have been encountering after moving from Poland to the UK. Cross-cultural differences are something I have become really passionate about over the last years. With this post series I’d like to start sharing my passion with you and go deeper into my perspective on the ideas described in Meyer’s book.
As a starting point I used a Culture Map Dimensions on Meyer’s website. I chose my own preferences on each of the eight dimensions and then compared them with preferences generally showed by Polish and UK nationals. You can find my results below.
*At the time of writing this article, the tool was free to access. It seems that now there is a small subscription fee you need to incur to use it, but I’d say it is very affordable and it’s definitely worth doing this exercise for yourself at least once.*
There are 8 scales which are further described in the below articles:
When is it useful to do a cultural mapping exercise?
It is essential to understand your position on each of the dimensions and compare it to other cultures especially when:
- you are moving abroad and will be faced with cultural differences every day from now on
- you work closely with people raised in different cultures and need to communicate with them often
Why is it useful to do a cultural mapping exercise?
Firstly – why not? 😉
- You will get to know yourself more, gain more self-awareness
- You will better understand the reasons behind people’s behaviours
- You will start to think about how to communicate more efficiently with people from other cultures
- You will become a better leader or manager for the people you work with the deeper you get with this topic
- You will enjoy cross-cultural interactions more