Feedback, criticism, and motivation across cultures

As a leader of a culturally-diverse team, have you ever been surprised by the reaction of a team member to your well-intended feedback? For example: Have your direct, constructive suggestions for improvement ever caused strong, negative ... Read More

Team Leaders in the Pacific NW – Take a Time Out for Yourself!

As a leader of a culturally diverse team, charged with delivering outstanding results on increasingly ambitious projects, you know that it's important to step back once in a while and take a time out for yourself: to reflect, refocus, and reenergize ... Read More

Reverse Culture Shock – Going Forward, Not Back Home

Every time I work with people who are preparing to move home after an international assignment or study abroad opportunity, I remember what my good friend, Juliet, says about the common experience of reverse culture shock. She reminds me that it is ... Read More

Finding your Place

More than once during this graduation weekend at Whitman College, my parents commented that "this place was tailor-made for our Katie." This campus, these trees, this amazing rock-climbing gym, and this rigorous, casual learning environment, where ... Read More

Reconnecting with Home

Looking back over the blog posts I've written in the past twelve months, more than a few things surprise me: First, and maybe most surprising, is that I actually kept my commitment to write and post something on this blog once a week. Some posts ... Read More

The Art of Coming Home – Part Two – “Choose Learning”

Most people expect it to be difficult to adjust to living in a foreign country, so they prepare themselves and expect to experience some degree of culture shock. But most of us expect returning home to our own culture to be relatively easy. After ... Read More

The Culture of Composting

This small plastic pail showed up in our driveway several weeks ago, along with a helpful step-by-step brochure titled "Include the Food: Your guide to successful food scrap collection." The new Portland Composts! program had apparently worked well ... Read More

“Closed Sundays” and the culture of convenience

The first time we ran out of milk on a Sunday while living in The Netherlands, our reaction was less than positive. All the stores were closed, as usual, and we were frustrated by the inconvenience. With a 3-year old at home, we didn't want to wait ... Read More

Culture Shock and The Yoga Effect

A few years ago I asked the graduate business students in my Intercultural Competence and Communication class to bring a copy or description of one of their favorite resources to share with their classmates: a book, article, film or website that had ... Read More

The Best Medicine

One of the nicest things our landlords gave us when we leased their home in Holland for a few years was a two page list of their favorite local places to eat and shop, along with the names and phone numbers of various English-speaking service/repair ... Read More