Cultural DeFectives


As you know, Cultural Detective‘s aim is to build understanding, respect, equity and collaboration in our very multicultural world. The primary way in which we do this is by promoting intercultural competence: the ability to work and relate effectively and enjoyably across cultures. Intercultural competence is not a “state” at which we arrive; it is a journey of lifelong learning.

As we continue learning and growing, miscommunication is inevitably part of the process. Rather frequently, if truth be told, intercultural “experts” or “specialists” miscommunicate. We miscommunicate with our partners, children, friends and neighbors, so of course if we are working virtually with people we see infrequently we will miscommunicate! I remember a colleague telling me years ago that the fact that people can communicate at all is, indeed, rather miraculous.

Such “cultural defectives,” or cross-cultural mis-steps, can be therapeutic to share. They are fun, frequently funny, and help us bond. “Cultural defectives” also, importantly, put our differences on the table as something not to be afraid of, but rather to play with, to learn from, to talk about, and to treat with curiosity and respect.

The blog posts and comments in this section are shared with a good-natured spirit of learning, bonding, and trusting that we can be vulnerable with one another and, together, make our world a better place. As our readers have told us:

Cultural Defective + Cultural Detective = Cultural Effective

Please share your story via the form below, or in the comments. Thanks for helping us build a better world!

This entry was posted in Cultural DeFectives - Missteps and tagged , , by Dianne Hofner Saphiere. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dianne Hofner Saphiere

There are loads of talented people in this gorgeous world of ours. We all have a unique contribution to make, and if we collaborate, I am confident we have all the pieces we need to solve any problem we face. I have been an intercultural organizational effectiveness consultant since 1979, working primarily with for-profit multinational corporations. I lived and worked in Japan in the late 70s through the 80s, and currently live in and work from México, where with a wonderful partner I've raised a bicultural, global-minded son. I have worked with organizations and people from over 100 nations in my career. What's your story?

One thought on “Cultural DeFectives

  1. Pingback: Today’s Cultural Defective: A Humorous Short Story | Cultural Detective Blog

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