Introducing monochronic and polychronic time
- Emphasize linear, step-wise sequencing (like an analog clock)
- Prefer doing one thing at a time or meeting with one person at a time, with preference for clear beginnings and endings
- Fit well with low-context, individual- and task-oriented cultures
- Prefer process thinking, specified procedures, clear tasks, goals, objective or measurable outcomes.
- Emphasize holistic, polyphonic, synchronous action (like a digital clock)
- Prefer doing multiple things (dynamic schedules), responding to a diversity of inputs, or relating to several people at the same time
- Fit high-context, group- and relationship-oriented cultures
Take some time to recall which time modes you most frequently encounter. We hope that these M- and P-time constructs help better prepare you for which ever styles this changing world exposes you to.
Additional resources:As a review and expansion of this step, you might find the “Characteristics and Behaviors” of M- and P-time assessment helpful at these sites: The Concept of Time Your Time or My Time We also recommend the download of Jeff Burglund’s “Time (Chronemics)” entry in the Sage Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication Competence
Intercultural Communication: Dynamics of cultural identities in global interaction
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