Navigating Cultures™

Navigating Cultures™ is a workshop that provides a foundation for intercultural competence, appropriate for business professionals seeking to develop the core skills necessary for succeeding in culturally diverse settings. The program explores how culture affects business and workplace relationships and provides tools that allow participants to leverage the myriad of differences in the workplace. Special attention is given to understanding one’s own cultural programming first, followed by identifying the ways that cultural differences between oneself and others will impact communication, collaborations, team dynamics and business practices.

Key topics include: defining and outlining basic concepts of culture, institutions that influence one’s own and others’ cultures, “dimensions” by which research and experience have shown that cultures tend to vary, case studies to suggest ways to suspend negative judgment of others, and strategies to navigate differences in cross-cultural situations.


  • Sample tool: Global Values Survey (can be posted on your intranet, with questions added or removed to suit your organization)

Concept of Culture Tools

  • Culture: Shared and Learned
  • Organizational Culture: Living out our Company's Values
  • Institutions of Influence: Gen X (or Gen Y, Boomers, etc.)
  • Institutions of Influence: Straight Culture (or LGBT culture, etc.)
  • Institutions of Influence: Military Culture
  • Institutions of Influence: China (or India, USA, Poland, the Netherlands, etc.)

Understanding Your Own Cultural Identity Tools

  • My Core Values
  • My Cultural Influences
  • Why do you Chinese...
  • Why do you Americans...
  • Why do you Indians...

Intercultural Competence Tools

  • Archetype or Stereotype? (quiz)
  • Decision Tree: Cultural Issue or Performance Issue (self-directed activity for managers)
  • Devil's Advocate Game: Practicing Alternative Interpretations
  • Forced Choice: Comparing Behaviors and Cultural Priorites at Work
  • Working Across Cultures (quiz)
  • Me? Ethnocentric?: Activity for Discerning stages of the DMIS and Intercultural Development Continuum (supporting the IDI)

Understanding Others Tools

  • Eye of the Beholder: Interpreting Typical Behaviors from the Chinese (or Americans, Indians, Brazlians, etc.)
  • Eye of the Beholder: Interpreting Typical Behaviors from the LGBT Community (or Straight Community, Ally Community etc.)
  • Eye of the Beholder: Interpreting Typical Behaviors from the Millennials (or Gen X, Boomers, etc.)
  • Working with 4 Generations
  • Quizzes: Working with Culture X
  • Describe-Interpret-Navigate (Global Conference Call Scenarios)
  • Truth Before Peace, Peace Before Truth (self-directed activity and answer key)
  • Which Cultural Dimension Is At Play? (quiz)
  • Comparing Cultural Values

Tools for Building Bridges & Navigating Solutions

  • DIN Model Job Aid
  • E-Case Studies: Appplying the Describe-Interpret-Navigate model to cross-cultural work
  • Working Across Language Barriers article
  • Decoding Degrees of Directness
  • Email or Voicemail? Choosing the Right Tool for Virtual Communication
  • Giving Feedback with LCW's Describe-Interpret-Navigate Model