The Culture Map PDF Summary - Erin Meyer (2023)

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The Culture Map PDF Summary - Erin Meyer (1)Breaking the invisible boundaries of global business: how people think, lead and get things done

Some time ago,Business went global.

but not culture.

Erin Meyer‘“The Culture Card"is your guide to effortlessly crossing the cultural barriers and gaining the much-needed skills to “decode cultures that are foreign to you”.

Who Should Read The Cultural Map? And why?

It is just a well-known fact that cultures vary significantly and what is complementary or conventional in one may be rude and eccentric in another.

If you're a businessman, it can cost you millions of dollars worth of business if you don't address this issue.

Although The Culture Map was written specifically for leaders of international teams who want to rise above cultural conflicts in the workplace, Erin Meyer's extraordinary book can also help anyone who wants to improve their communication skills.

The Culture Map PDF Summary - Erin Meyer (2)About Erin Meyer

Erin Meyeris a Minnesota-born American author and Professor of Cross-Cultural Management at INSEAD in Paris, where she currently resides with her husband and two sons.

She developed her interest in cultural differences while volunteering for the Peace Corps in Botswana. Before moving to Paris, Meyer also worked at McKesson, HBOC and Aperian Global.

In 2013, Business Inc. voted her one of the top ten business school professors in the world. The Culture Map, her only book to date, was published the following year and met with widespread criticism.

In 2017, Meyer was voted one of the most influential thought leaders worldwide by both Thinkers50 and HR Magazine.

book summary

At the heart of Erin Meyer's extraordinary book, The Culture Map, is an "eight scale model" designed to help managers and leaders of culturally diverse teams improve their effectiveness by providing them with a platform to evaluate a culture's positioning relatively analyze others and thus decipher the meaning of some actions and gestures correctly.

The eight scales in question - and the two extremes between which Erin Meyer scatters many countries around the world - are as follows:

  • Communicate: Low-Context vs. High-Context
    Evaluate: direct negative feedback vs. indirect negative feedback
    convincing: Principles-First vs. Applications-First
    leading: egalitarian vs. hierarchical
    Decide: consensual vs. top-down
    Trust: task-based vs. relationship-based
    Disagreeing: confrontational vs. avoids confrontation
    planning: linear time vs. flexible time

Meyer devotes a chapter to each of these eight areas.

And so we should have a key lesson—each with the title of the appropriate chapter!

Key Lessons from The Culture Map

1. Listening to the air: communicating across cultures
2. Politeness has many faces: evaluating performance and giving negative feedback
3.WhyAgainstHow: The art of persuasion in a multicultural world
4. How much respect do you want? leadership, hierarchy and power
5. Big D or Little D: who decides and how?
6. The head or the heart: Two types of trust and how they grow
7. The Needle, Not the Knife: Productive Disagreements
8. What time is late? Scheduling and intercultural perception of time

Listening to the air: communication across cultures

Communication is a complex thing.

Just listen to a British comedianComparison of American and British films, or an Americancompare the humor of both countries.

According to Erin Meyer, the reason why Americans have trouble understanding British humor and why Brits think American humor is anything but stupid is pretty simple.

Namely the USAein Low-Context-Land(actually the lowest), and the UK is a medium context nation. In other words, the Americans say everything they mean and the British leave some to the context.

Japan is on the other end of the spectrum: it's theCountry with the highest context, closely followed by other East Asian nations such as Korea, China and Indonesia.

In their cases, most of the communication is implicit.

Politeness has many faces: evaluating performance and giving negative feedback

If you came across itEnglish-Dutch Translation GuideBy now you probably know that what the Dutch hear when the British say: "That's an original point of view" is: "You like my idea!" when actually the British say: "Your idea is stupid!"

This is because different nations value things differently - anything but givingdirect to indirect negative feedback.

Interestingly, the rating scale does not match the communication scale, i. H. some nations (like Israel) may be high-context (implicit) nations, but still give direct negative feedback - in fact, "the most direct".

You will also get direct negative feedback in Russia and Germany, but the Americans will sugarcoat it just like the British.

There's a high chance you don't even know what kind of feedback you've received from a Japanese executive since thenJapan is not only the most contextual country, but also the least direct when it comes to giving negative feedback.

WhyAgainstHow: The art of persuasion in a multicultural world

convictionis an art – but what kind of art depends on the country you are in.

In fact, Erin Meyer says there are so many differences between Asian countries and European-influenced cultures that "an entirely different frame of reference, unrelated to the persuading scale, comes into play" when we talk about Asia.

In short, Asian countries are moreholisticand want to know how things relate to the environment (the big picture), while western countries are moreSpecificAnd respond better to detailed instructions.

The latter includes ancient countries such as Italy and FranceWhy-oriented (principles-first), and the newest countries (USA, Canada, Australia) are more concerned with thehow is(application first).

(AndSimon Sinekinterested in both!)

how much respect do you want leadership, hierarchy and power

Analyzing 100,000 management surveys at IBM in the 1970s, Geert Hofstede, history's most famous intercultural researcher, developed the concept of "power distance".

the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations accept and expect that power is unequally distributed.

However, if you ask a Scandinavian what “power distance” is, he will probably laugh the topic off the table: For the Dane, the Norwegian and the Swede “the best boss is a mediator among equals” and “organizational structures”. are flat."

In contrast to theegalitarianNorth, East is stricthierarchical: In Japan, there is no point in disagreeing with your boss.

Big D or Little D: who decides how?

As might be expected, egalitarian cultures usually make important decisionsconsensualand respect the opinion of each member of the group; However, the same is true for the hierarchical Japanese, who actually rank highest at one end of the decision-making spectrum because their board structures are flat.

Their nearest neighbor, China, is at the other end of the spectrum, second only to Nigeriatop-down decision.

There - as in India and Russia - decisions are made by individuals and the others simply follow.

The Head or the Heart: Two Kinds of Trust and How They Grow

There are two types of trust:cognitiveAndaffective.

Cognitive trust is based on knowledge: you know that someone is capable of doing a job based on their past accomplishments. Affective trust has a lot more to do with the future: you expect someone to do a good job simply because you are close to them and believe that for personal reasons they will not let you down.

is cognitive trusttask related, and if you're American, you know what it means: business is business. Affective trust isrelationship basedand is shared long-term through food and drink in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, India and China.

The Needle, Not the Knife: Productive Disagreements

The art of disagreement could die– or, who knows, maybe it just took on a different form!

Because nations historically and traditionally disagree.

In Israel and France - and to a lesser extent Germany and Russia - you are expected to get itconfrontational,and this will not negatively affect the relationship.

However, you are better offavoid confrontationin total In East Asian countries as it is strictly frowned upon.

what time is late Scheduling and intercultural perception of time

You can be on time if you live in Switzerland, Germany and Japan - countries that respect the idealinear timeand believe in sequential steps, speed and strict adherence to deadlines.

However, this is not the case for Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Kenya and India, where adaptability is much more important andtime is flexible.

In other words, as strange as it may sound to you if you are a German in Nigeria, your Nigerian friend is not wrong if he/she comes 32 minutes after the agreed time.

You were wrong in expecting him/her to be on time.

Do you like this summary?We would like to invite you to download our free one12 minutes approx, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

"Quotes on the culture card"

If we don't know how to avoid...cultural traps that are easy to fall into, we are easy victims of misunderstanding, needless conflict, and eventual failure.Click here to tweet

The vast majority of international managers have little understanding of how culture affects their work.Click here to tweet

Just like fish don't know they're in the water, humans often have a hard time seeing and recognizing their own culture until they start comparing it to others.Click here to tweet

If you don't know what your behavior means, you have no control over the signals you send and the results can be disastrous.Click here to tweet

When in doubt, simply letting the other person lead may be the best strategy.Click here to tweet

Our critical review

The Culture Map is a unique book - so it is not surprising that it has been well received by both the public and professional reviewers.

According to The Huffington Post, "Whether you're a corporate or traditional diplomat, a world traveler, a government official, or a passionate global citizen, this is the one book not to be missed."

"Incl." called it "superb," ​​and we share the magazine's opinion. And this despite the fact that we are not leaders of an international team or CEOs of a multinational corporation.

But thanks to Meyer - now we travel much safer and more relaxed!

The Culture Map PDF Summary - Erin Meyer (4)

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