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Use Your Difference to Make a Difference: How to Connect and Communicate in a Cross-Cultural World

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Use Your Difference to Make a Difference: How to Connect and Communicate in a Cross-Cultural World

Tayo Rockson

ISBN: 978-1-119-59073-6 August 2019 240 Pages

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Description

Become more culturally competent in an increasingly diverse world

Recent years have seen dramatic changes to several institutions worldwide. Our increasingly interconnected, digitized, and globalized world presents immense opportunities and unique challenges. Modern businesses and schools interact with individuals and organizations from a diverse range of cultural and national backgrounds—increasing the likelihood for miscommunication, errors in strategy, and unintended consequences in the process. This has also spilled into our daily lives and the way we consume information today. Understanding how to navigate these and other pitfalls requires adaptability, nuanced cross-cultural communication, and effective conflict resolution. Use Your Difference to Make a Difference provides readers with a skills-based, actionable plan that transforms differences into agents of inclusiveness, connection, and mutual understanding.

This innovative and timely guide illustrates how to leverage differences to move beyond unconscious biases, manage a culturally-diverse workplace, create an environment for more tolerant schooling environments, more trusted media, communicate across borders, find and retain diverse talent, and bridge the gap between working locally and expanding globally. Expert guidance on a comprehensive range of topics—teamwork, leadership styles, information sharing, delegation, supervision, giving and receiving feedback, coaching and motivation, recruiting, managing suppliers and customers, and more—helps you manage the essential aspects of international relationships and cultural awareness. This valuable resource contains the indispensable knowledge required to:

  • Develop self-awareness needed to be a cross-cultural communicator
  • Develop content, messaging techniques, marketing plans, and business strategies that translate across cultural borders
  • Help your employees to better understand and collaborate with clients and colleagues from different backgrounds
  • Help teachers build safe environments for students to be themselves
  • Strengthen cross-cultural competencies in yourself, your team, and your entire organization
  • Understand the cultural, economic, and political factors surrounding our world

Use Your Difference to Make a Difference is a must-have resource for any educator, parent, leader, manager, or team member of an organization that interacts with co-workers and customers from diverse cultural backgrounds. 

Foreword xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction 1

Why I Wrote This Book 4

What is Connection? 7

How to Use This Book 10

Part I Educate

Chapter 1 Education 13

Chapter 2 Education of Self (Internal Culture) 15

What Does Your Bias Say about You? 15

Understanding Unconscious Bias 15

Identifying Prejudices 20

Knowing Your Emotional Triggers 21

The Goal Here is to Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn 23

Chapter 3 What are Your Core Values? 25

Articulating Your Core Values 26

How Our Biases and Values Help Us Connect 34

The Role of Emotional Intelligence 35

Chapter 4 Education of Environment 37

Learn How to Collect and Gather Information 37

Become an Active Listener 43

Be an Active Member of Your Community 45

Chapter 5 Thinking Like a Sociologist 47

Develop a Habit of Understanding Why Things are the Way They are 47

Study Melting Pots, Tossed Salads, and the Intersections in between Over Time 48

Chapter 6 Applying LORA to Educate 49

Listen 49

Observe 49

Reflect 50

Act 51

Part II Don’t Perpetuate

Chapter 7 Don’t Perpetuate Systems 55

Experiencing Stereotypes 56

The Danger of Perpetuating Stereotypes 58

Chapter 8 Identity 61

Revealing My Identities 61

Making Assumptions about Other People’s Identities 62

Insiders versus Outsiders 64

Chapter 9 Privilege 65

Types of Privilege 65

Equality and Equity 69

Barriers to Connection 70

Chapter 10 The Media 71

Journalism 72

Platforms Have to Acknowledge Their Power 76

Entertainment (Movies, Music, Books, and TV) 79

Chapter 11 Workplaces 83

The Connection between Diversity and Inclusion 84

Assess 86

Arrange 87

Apply 93

Accountability and Analysis 95

Affinity 96

Diversity and Inclusion Starts at the Top 97

Chapter 12 What about Recruiting and Talent Acquisition? 103

Talent Search 104

The Power of Employer Branding 110

Chapter 13 Education 113

History 113

Social Justice 118

Chapter 14 How Allies Can Use Their Privileges and Limit Othering 125

Understand How History Plays into What is Going on Today 128

Understand the Complexities of Your Identity 128

Understand That Intersectionality Exists 130

Do Something! 130

Chapter 15 Applying LORA to Don’t Perpetuate 133

Listen 133

Observe 133

Reflect 133

Act 135

Part III Instead, Communicate

Chapter 16 Actually, Communicate 139

Acknowledging Ideological Differences 140

Silence is Not the Answer 140

The Virus of Apathy 141

Everyone’s Voice Matters 143

Chapter 17 No More Binary Thinking 147

Chapter 18 Finding Mutual Purpose and Shared Meaning 151

Identify Your Feelings 151

Create a Safe Environment 152

Chapter 19 Receiving Feedback 163

Ignore the Impulse to React and Embrace the Pause 163

Understand the Intent-Impact Gap 164

Acknowledge the Feedback 164

Chapter 20 Practice the “Yes, And” 167

Chapter 21 Communicating Like an Architect 171

Architect as a Metaphor for Communication 172

The Architecture of Communication Model for Speaking Out 174

Chapter 22 What Nelson Mandela Taught Us about Seeing the Bigger Picture 177

Mandela Found Freedom in Forgiveness 177

Mandela Was Focused on Goals and a Mission beyond Himself 179

Surround Yourself with People Drastically Different from You 180

Mandela Knew How to Find Unity in Global Moments 180

Educate Yourself 180

Chapter 23 The Path to Reconciliation in Rwanda After Genocide 183

Chapter 24 Healing Our World Today 187

Avoiding Cancel Culture 187

We All Need to Be Forgiven 189

Open Dialogue and Open-Mindedness 190

Chapter 25 The Importance of Cultural Awareness 191

The Four Stages of Cultural Awareness 192

Chapter 26 How Parents Can Help Their Children Be Culturally Aware 195

Encourage Regular Interaction with Other Cultures 195

Encourage Reading Diverse Books 196

Encourage Respect and an Appreciation for Different-Sounding Names 196

Use Food as a Way to Understand Other Cultures 197

Encourage Critical Thinking as Opposed to Assumption 197

Encourage Language Learning 197

Chapter 27 How Schools and Teachers Can Help Children Be Culturally Aware 199

Appreciate and Celebrate the Cultural Backgrounds of Your Students 199

Be Your Students’ Leader and Not Their Dictator 200

Create a Curriculum That Respects and Includes All the People it Serves 200

Chapter 28 Applying LORA to Instead, Communicate 203

Listen 203

Observe 203

Reflect 204

Act 204

Chapter 29 Use Your Difference to Make a Difference 205

Valuing Collaboration 206

Connecting via Technology 207

Inclusion Beats Division Every Time! 207

Glossary 211

About the Author 215

Index 217