24 oktober 2005

If the world was a village of 1,000 people

In the village would be:

- 606 Asians
- 138 Africans
- 114 Europeans
- 51 North Americans
- 86 Latin Americans (Central and South America)
- 5 Australian/Oceanians

There would be:
- 335 Christians
- 218 Muslims
- 151 Hindus
- 60 Buddhists
- 38 Chinese Folk Religionists
- 57 People Practicing other Religions
- 142 Atheists or Nonreligious

(Source: Bureau of the Census, 2004)
(Quoted in: Lustig & Koester, Intercultural Competence. Interpersonal communication across cultures, Fifth Edition, Pearson Education, 2006, p. 5)

Lecture 5: Intercultural leadership

Over the last 100 years business and social life have been changing quite dramatically. Especially in the last 15 years, communication has become more and more multicultural (web). If we want to communicate these days, we really need to be interculturally prepared.

How NOT to adapt?
- learn all about target culture: is not realistic, cf. economic "window of opportunity".
- Mimic, adapt as much as possible: is not realistic either, impossible, even insulting.
- Prejudices - cultural superiority

How to adapt?
- Leaders are excellent communicators
- Understand communication (+ link communication-culture)
- Active view on cultures
- Avoid prejudices
- Cultural awareness -> open attitude
- Careful transmission of information
- R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
- Find things in common and common objective(s)

Perhaps the most important question of today's lecture:
What are our common things and common objectives? (People in the classroom described themselves as: Belgian, Macedonian, Portuguese, Flemish, Muslim, Spanish, Christian, Chinese,…)

To get started:
- common objective: reach the level of intercultural competence
- common objective: building up a network of (new) friends in order to be able to contact them again in the future.

Other things we have in common and/or common objectives? Add them in the comments.