Business Insider shared this image from Richard D. Lewis’ book, When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures (Nicholas Brealey Publishing 2006), which I found quite interesting. Richard D. Lewis is the founder of the Berlitz Schools of Languages, and creator of the Lewis Cross-Cultural Communication model that classifies cultural norms.

The author developed a visual metaphor to describe how people negotiate deals through conversations and interaction, shown here across American, Canadian, English, French, Italian, German, Chinese (mainland), Hong Kong, Israeli, Indian, Swiss, Singaporean, Australian, Korean, Indonesian, Hungarian, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Norwegian, and more.

These are of course stereotypes and not all are flattering. But that positive or negative view of the interaction pattern also depends on the culture you are from.  What you might consider inefficient in one view, others from that culture may consider yours too unfriendly. What I consider more significant is one’s ability to understand and work with other cultures regardless of the bias and conflict one might have.

Mr Lewis also has another book that bears investigation, When Teams Collide: Managing the International Team Successfully (2012) and is closer to work concerns in which I’m interested, particularly cultural views and being able to lead across cultures.

I think few people have the cultural and work experience to verify these patterns but perhaps we could do it through crowdsourcing. Anyone care to share their view of the pattern per their country’s culture?


Communications Patterns around the World.