Much-Anticipated New Release! Cultural Detective: Bridging Cultures


Cultural Detective Bridging Cultures coverIntercultural understanding is essential to working in a global world, though by itself it is simply not enough. There is a critical need beyond awareness of differences: an ability to generate and demonstrate effective, transformative, out-of-the-box solutions to challenging intercultural situations. Since 2004, the Cultural Detective series has successfully enabled people to do just that.

We are proud to announce the debut of our latest offering, Cultural Detective: Bridging Cultures. This new tool enables individuals, teams and organizations to purposefully strengthen mindsets and skills in order to leverage cultural differences as assets. It contains worksheets, exercises, tools, tips, and complete instructions. The learning package is authored by Kate Berardo.

Not every situation can be bridged, perhaps not every situation should be bridged, and the act of bridging, as many things in life, may involve an investment of time and energy. This new set of learning materials begins, therefore, by helping you distinguish whether “to bridge, or not to bridge.”

Cultural Detective: Bridging Cultures will enable you to understand how you tend to react when encountering cultural bridging opportunities, identify more effective strategies for bridging both in-the-moment and over time, and practice putting these skills into action. More specifically, you will:
  • Identify when a conversation is about to spiral up or down.
  • Identify “bridge builders” and “bridge blockers” to your successful intercultural communication.
  • Learn techniques for in the moment bridging of differences to ensure conversations spiral upward instead of downward.
  • Develop holistic strategies that consider influencing factors such as history, context, and structure of the interaction.
  • Learn how to expand, filter and test effective bridging solutions.
  • Develop high-impact, creative bridging solutions to both prepare for and repair intercultural relationships.
  • Practice, and receive feedback, on bridging strategies in situations that are real and relevant for you.
Cultural Detective: Bridging Cultures is organized around four main competencies that are essential to bridging cultural differences. They are:
  1. Self-Awareness: Being aware of the mindset you bring to challenging intercultural situations, and knowing both your strengths and blocks in turning such situations into bridging opportunities.
  2. Course Correction: Recognizing points in an interaction where misunderstanding or conflict starts to occur, and responding appropriately.
  3. Holistic Analysis: Being able to analyze complex intercultural situations in a detailed and holistic way that considers a variety of influencing factors, and, thereby, more effective solutions.
  4. Creative Solving: Learning skills and methods to generate “beyond the obvious” solutions to bridge intercultural differences.

While this is not to suggest these are all the skills needed to work effectively across cultures, these are often under-developed abilities that need to be strengthened to enable effective intercultural bridging, and, therefore, are the focus of this package.

SAMPLE EXERCISE

How about an exercise to get you started? The purpose of this activity is to learn what bridging and blocking look like for you, so you can hold a bridging mindset more often.

Let’s begin with some simple definitions.

Blocking Mindset:
  • Focused on own agenda
  • May become defensive or impatient
  • Unintentionally harming the relationship

Think about a challenging interaction in your own life (who, what, when, why) during which you held a blocking mindset. How did you feel? What did your blocking mindset look like? What behaviors did it entail? What outcomes did you achieve?

What do your reactions tell you about yourself and how you might improve your intercultural effectiveness?

Bridging Mindset:
  • Open and curious about others
  • Willingness to meet others more than half-way
  • Belief that others are NOT “out to get us” but that they have positive intentions

Think about a challenging interaction in your own life (who, what, when, why) during which you held a bridging mindset.  How did you feel? What did your bridging mindset look like? What behaviors did it entail? What outcomes did you achieve?

Learn more about Cultural Detective: Bridging Cultures; view a short video on the core Cultural Detective method, which a major software manufacturer credits with a 30% increase in customer support satisfaction; purchase small quantities of the package; or contact Kris Bibler about a site license.

5 thoughts on “Much-Anticipated New Release! Cultural Detective: Bridging Cultures

  1. I have been anticipating this CD Bridging Cultures package since I first heard that Kate was working on it. Congratulations Dianne, on the production of another amazing Cultural Detective training tool!

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    • We are very excited about the good this new package can help all of us do in the world, Vall. It really rocks: a very practical, solid, new approach to bridging that builds on our Cultural Detective Worksheet and skills the way CD Self Discovery does. Thank you for helping us get it put to good use where it’s needed!

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  2. Thanks for letting us know about this, Dianne. While many of us are familiar with the Cultural Detective and its methodology, I think that the issue which Kate Bernardo has addressed in this instrument is critical to all of us who attempt to do intercultural work and find solutions to the misunderstandings and conflicts that can occur there, to say nothing of wanting to profit from the synergy that diversity brings to the table. We all want to know how to connect people better and more productively.

    Of course, making sure that everyone is trained in cultural awareness as well as in the culture specific mentality and etiquette of his or her interlocutors is essential. It often the first thing we think of as needing to be in place to prevent and resolve or “bridge” intercultural conflict. But beyond that truism, it is important to understand our own dynamics, how we may unconsciously block ourselves from finding effective solutions when our values and behaviors don’t match. Kate’s work helps us reset our thinking framework and find the mindset we need to overcome our tendency is to protectively stymie ourselves precisely at the moments when we most need a very open and flexible mind.

    I think most of us have experienced the kind of moment in a conversation when things “went bad” or “went downhill.” Kate helps us prepare for and identify these key points, these “pivots” in our interchanges, so that we can take the right steps to move them forward in a positive direction.

    Good solutions to intercultural dilemmas need a big picture perspective––we need perspective on how they they fit into the working relationship as well as how they will meet our common objectives. We need to know how to act in ways that weight the teeter-totter of decision making in such a way that the right results come to the top. CD Bridging Cultures shows us how to broaden the range of potential solutions, then test and choose those will work best. This is the kind of practical know-how packed into the some 30 pages of this tool.

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  3. Dianne and Kate, I am delighted to see this CD module!! It will really help in my work. I have ordered it and will be using it in my work with a Chinese church which is hosting persons from Uganda this summer. They are asking for basic tools which they can use both in this experience, in their own volunteer work in Uganda, and within their own multi-generational, two-language congregation.

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