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diverse group of six young adults roasting marshmellows over a campfire at the beach

Speech exercise

For this assigned activity we ask you to complete an activity or exercise. First think of a friend, partner, or coworker who is diverse from you. It may be helpful to select a person who prefers a different cultural value dimension than the one you prefer.

Think of a person who is different from you. Perhaps they are a friend or coworker who is much older or younger. Maybe they have a different education than you. Are they of a different gender or gender identity? Perhaps they have a different sexual orientation than you. Do they work at another level in your organization? Do they come from a family system very much unlike your own family of origin? Select someone who has a different religion, politics, or income than you.

Your assignment is to write two different ways to tell a colleague by email or text that a deadline is firm. One way is the way that you expect, accept, or prefer. The second way is to write the email or text in the manner that works best for the person different from you.

For example, if I write an email to a coworker my age, I am generally free to be very plain, direct, and to the straight point. If I write an email to a co-worker who is 40 years younger than myself, I will be more effective if I provide a few compliments on the good work they are doing and how they add to the project. I am more effective in communicating if I consider age or generational diversity when I write the email.

Some of the cultural value dimensions you may select are direct versus indirect communication, low versus high power distance, being versus doing, short versus long-term, cooperative versus competitive and etc.

In the comments, please share the cultural value dimension and have a conversation with your fellow learners.

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Develop Your Cultural Intelligence

Purdue University

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