It's the time of year where things are finally slowing down. Whether you want to get a head start on prepping for your summer travels or you really just want some down time to cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate, here's the Intercultural Adventures book club pick:
The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business
This book is for every person who has ever left their native land for an experience outside the norm. While it's slanted towards jet-setting international business folks, there is so much great info all packed into a few hundred pages. Author Erin Meyer is a U.S. born cross-cultural communication specialist and university professor who lives in Paris with her family. She offers unapologetic stories from her own experiences on the frontlines of cultural exchange as well as sound advice that we can all use--even when exchanging on our own home turf.
"When interacting with someone from another culture, try to watch more, listen more, and speak less. Listen before you speak and learn before you act."
Meyer gets into location specific details, which are especially helpful for gappers. She touches on major intercultural communication concepts, like direct vs. indirect communication. Are you spending time in China, Japan, India, or Indonesia? Then you'll have to read between the lines for what ISN'T said. The same goes for many African cultures (Kenya and Zimbabwe) and to a lesser degree some Latin American and Latin European cultures.
The crux of the book outlines a "culture map" that shows how cultures differ from each other and what you, as the "cultural guest" can do to thrive during your next international sojourn.