The Culture Map – Erin Meyers
The Culture Map is a simple framework for decoding how people think and get things done across cultures. Throughout the book, the author uses real-world examples of how to succeed in managing across the diverse cultural contexts of the current workplace.
“Whether you are sitting at a desk in Boston or eating at a restaurant in Beijing, communicating across cultures is the great challenge of the global economy. Getting it right will be the difference between success and failure.” Erin Meyers
She provides a systematic, step-by-step approach to understanding the most common business communication challenges that arise from cultural differences and effectively give the steps for dealing with these challenges.
Her research and experiences interacting with multicultural teams feed the eight-scale model that is the book’s core. Each of the eight scales represents one key area managers must be aware of, showing how cultures vary from one extreme to the opposite.
When working with someone from a different culture, Erin Meyers encourages the reader to begin by recognizing the cultural factors that shape human behavior and methodically analyzing the reasons for that behavior. Doing this allows one to apply clear strategies to improve their effectiveness at solving the prickliest problems brought about by cross-cultural misunderstandings.
When you live, work, or travel in a foreign country, you pick up contextual cues that help you understand the cultures of the people in that country, allowing you to decode communication better and adapt accordingly. Having lived in Korea for over six years and worked with a multicultural team composed of 13 different nationalities, this book enlightened me on some of the different cultures and traits I experience daily working in a diverse setting. I was able to identify and learn something new about working with people from different cultures. As a result, I now know better how to approach different situations when working and interacting with my colleagues.
Although there is no one size fits all, the scale is a good starting point to smoothly working with people from different backgrounds. This book will help you make sense of the things that were not making sense before with your colleagues from different cultures.
It is essential to all managers no matter the industry, whether you are into the corporate world, government, or simply a world traveler. I, however, would have loved to see more countries from the African continent on the culture map.