Strategic Advantage in the Global Marketplace
Gender cultures are related to world cultures
Low Context Cultures
(Information must be provided explicitly, usually in words)
- Less aware of nonverbal cues, environment, and situation
- Lack well-developed networks
- Need detailed background information
- Control information on a 'need-to-know' basis
- Prefer explicit and careful directions from someone that 'knows'
- Knowledge is a commodity
- Do one thing at a time
- Concentrate on the job
- Take time commitments (deadlines, schedules) seriously
- Are low context and need information
- Adheres religiously to plans
- Are concerned about not disturbing conversations
- Emphasize promptness
High Context Cultures[Relational Gender]*
(Much information drawn from surroundings.
Very little must be explicitly transferred)
- Nonverbal important
- Information flows freely
- Physical contact relied upon for information
- Environment, situation, gestures, mood, all taken into account
- Maintain extensive information networks
- Accustomed to interruptions
- Do not always adhere to schedules
- Do many things at once
- Are highly distractible and subject to interruptions
- Consider time commitments an objective to be achieved, if possible
- Are high context and already have information
- Are committed to people and human relationships
- Change plans often and easily
Source: Edward T. Hall, and Mildred Reed Hall, Understanding Cultural Differences. Tarmouth, ME: Intercultural
List derived from materials prepared by Margaret D. Pusch.
|August 1, 1997
Dr. Judy Rosener
Thank you for your precious time on the phone when I invited you to a showcase workshop of UNMASKING THE GENDER EFFECT: The Strategic Advantage In The Global Marketplace. I am going to take you up on your invitation to call you in and meet with you this fall.
You did ask me how my work is different and if you could tell what I do from my materials. Your book title, America's Competitive SecretUtilizing Women as a Management Strategy resonates with my original research for the president of a Fortune 500 company, "What is the Contribution Women Make that Could be the Competitive Advantage in the Global Marketplace?" Everything we do is consistent with what you recommend in your book with leadership styles being embedded in gender.
Where we are different from other implementors of your recommendations, is what we add to the lens through which we assess, train, coach and design systems. We make gender differences more palatable, more explicit and broaden its scope by adding:
Gay men, lesbians, and cultural reversalsRelational men and Individualistic womenall feel safe in identifying themselves in degrees of Relational and Individualistic without messing around with masculine and femininenot to mention that men in general are much more engaged with what is a Relational competency as something a man can take on. People of color gain new perspectives on how to promote their own differences, eliminate prejudices and create a new workability in their Individualistic work environments.
I discovered men really identify with "competencies," as a response to Deborah Tannen pointing out that men's greatest fear is being seen as incompetent. Communication differences are a cornerstone to my workas a first step. Differences in communication style only opens the door to the stronger case for "Leadership Style." Yet leadership style is still not put on all resumes, job requirements, and performance reviews unless translated to competenciesand spelled out. Example: Team Player is a different set of actions and thinking in Individualistic and Relational culturesso we have to describe what we mean by and expect from a team player.
We now have Catalyst's statistics that 93% of executive women in Fortune 1000 companies either strongly agree or agree that women bring a different perspective to problem solving and decision making. We must identify the different perspectives in language men understand as competencies for leaders, individual contributors, and people of all cultures to be utilized everywhere and for the fabric of organizational culture to become adaptivefor the competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
I am enclosing a workbook for our training which identifies our gender lenses and competenciesgiving both appreciation for what is value added and freedom from what may be limiting, and in the process, turning liabilities to leadership.
I look forward to meeting with you and expanding on how our differences add value.