Meyer, The Culture Map
The Culture Map is a very precise book that I have ever read on culture. Even though it’s base on an anthropological approach to the business world, the book has many applicable insides that are very helpful for those working on a multicultural environment.
First of all, when I was a missionary for eight years with the Baka people in Cameroon Africa. I was trained to think cross-cultural, and that experience became very handy during our time as lead pastors of our churches. Recently, I was responsible for two campuses with four congregations in each site. Our model of ministry was that of a “one church multiple locations” two of the congregations are English speaking and two Spanish speakings.
They all share a very diverse community. For example, the English congregations have parishioners from Iran, African American, Africans, Koreans Americans, Nepal, China, Philippines, Euro Americans, Europeans from France, second, third and fourth-generation Latin American from South, Centro, and North America. Our Hispanics congregations are also diverse by far. They have parishioners from almost all over Latino America.
As a second-generation Latino, I am also bridging the first-generation Latino that conserves their culture and have a hard time assimilating and integrating and the Anglo American that also has a hard time with been insensitivity of other.
At church, we also have a leadership challenge, and that’s where we spend a lot of time cultivating unity and focusing a great deal of time in the things that we have a common. We eat together because food brings us together. But the Lord brings us closer in unity. One Lord, one baptism, one salvation, one body in Christ (the church)…
As a leader I have to pay attention to the communication. That brings me back to the reading, and I wanted to affirm some observations from Mayer concerning communication in the contexts of criticism. “People from all cultures believe in “constructive criticism.” Yet what is considered constructive in one culture may be viewed as destructive in another”.
Meyer, Erin. The Culture Map (INTL ED) (p. 62). Public Affairs. Kindle Edition.
When I have to address criticism to the Korean leader, I have to do it with so much respect so that I don’t make him feel that he is losing face. Nevertheless, it is true that criticism changes from every culture. Most of our third and ford and generations Anglo American leaders will say what is on their minds and on a direct way whit out beating around the bushes too much.
I am constantly reminded of is to be careful not to create a feeling that will make them feel defensive towards me. One thing to remember is that intercultural communication is essential, and it takes skills to maneuver it.
I am very intrigue about the author observation on feedback. When I am with my Latino leaders, and I ask for feedback, and they don’t respond as I wish. It is not that they don’t have feedback, but what it is that they prefer to show it on their paperwork or around a chill moment of connectivity.
Remember that some stiles of feedback could be verbal, or non-verbal, and in some cases, both it depends on the educational level or cultural upspring. In North American culture, we practice feedback. But don’t bee surprised if you can’t get feedback from me on a Zoom meeting or classroom setting. We may talk about it during mealtime.
I encourage feedback to all of my leaders regardless because it allows for the opportunity to make good judgments about the communication. I usually ask, “how would this… play out in your culture,” and that gets everyone talking. “Feedback the continental European cultures to the left or middle often experience Americans as strikingly indirect, while Latin Americans perceive the same Americans as blunt and brutally frank in their criticism style.”
Meyer, Erin. The Culture Map (INTL ED) (p. 70). PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.
“Your leadership style, you find that the atmosphere slowly improves, and so do the bottom-line results. These are an example of how we use the eight scales and the culture mapping process to effect genuine, powerful changes within organizations, to the benefit of everyone involved”.
Meyer, Erin. The Culture Map (INTL ED) (p. 18). PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.
These are the most challenging aspect of our organization because, in addition to a multicultural team, we have multigenerational and social-economic differences. Navigating over all those differences is always like walking over eggshells. One can assume that because we are believers and share Christ as a comment grand that we work together, but that’s not always true.
First of all, the enemy is busy trying to divide us, and he comes on with the race card of misunderstandings amount other things. When I was a missionary working with a multicultural team, we had all kinds of tension and resistance. In part, it was because it was hard to understand each other. At church, we have less stress, but we confront many challenges like language.
We know that language is a barrier but not just in the word that comes out of our mouth but the body language as well. Like when I preach, sometimes it gets messy when I say inappropriate things. With the leadership, I always have to be sensitive to our the cultural differences,
How I make decision affects, directly and indirectly, in any process we are involved with as a church. My priorities, values, and the way I lead play a big roll in the process. Even my style of preaching and the tone of my voice can sound too much for some people. So, in conclusion, global leadership in the context of a multicultural church in Southern California requires a learning spirit, hambones, be willing to take indirect offense, do your homework, be diplomatic for some and authoritarian for others. Tailor an excellent and clear road map of your multicultural ministry setting