Stories of Cross-Cultural Learnings

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Level of process: 
Intent or purpose: 
To create a set of stories with learnings about cross cultural situations and to experience trust in telling of successes and failures in dealing cross culturally
Used as component of: 
Developing learning from cross cultural experiences
Types of Participants: 
Any with experience working in a culture different from their own.
Recommended size of group: 
Optimal amount of time needed: 
189 Min.
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
Typed up stories about positive and negative experiences in cross culture situations
Level of participation: 
Ideal Conditions: 
relaxed atmosphere a few weeks after people have had an international experience.
Potential Pitfalls: 
People unwilling to share.
How is success evaluated: 
The richness, quanity and quality of the stories
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: 
Open and trusting
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Facilitation skills required
Setting and Materials: 
Comfortable chairs
Resources Needed: 
a tape recorder.and blank tapes.
Pre-Work Required: 

1. We want to begin this session with telling stories. We want to capture these stories in written form. Before we try to get them written down. I would like us to just tell some stories. We can tell stories about other people and we can tell about ourselves. Please say which you are doing.<br><br>

<i>Initial Stories</i><br>
A story is more than an analysis. It describes what happened in usually chronological order. There should be a context. What was the situation before the story began? What was the action during the story? What was the behaviour of the characters in the story? What were some of the emotions that you saw and that you experienced? What was the conclusion? What did you learn?<br>
1. What was the funniest experience you have had internationally?<br>
2. What was the most interesting?<br>
3. What was the scariest?<br>
4. What was the most difficult?<br>
5. What was the most enjoyable?<br>
6. What is a story about a time when you learned something about dealing with another culture?
<i>Using a format</i><br>
7. Lets us take a few minutes and look at the form - this is just a way of thinking about the stories. <i>Go through the form.</i><br>
8. Take a few minutes to think about a story that should be told to other people who are going to have to go overseas. Say they are new to the department. Say they don?t have much international experience. Please fill in the form. Just make notes rather than write out the whole thing. <br>
9. Please tell your story.<br>
10. In this next exercise we want to begin to capture some of the stories so they can be shared. Now let us divided into pairs. Think of other stories that should be told to people going to international assignments. One of you tell a story and the other writes it down. The other one tells a story and the first story teller writes it down. Keep going until you have several stories. Lets? check signals in one hour.<br>
11. <i>Check to see if people are done.. Also check to see if the notes are readable.</i> What are some of the stories?<br>
12. Now I would like to begin to capture some of the learnings from the department. Take a few minutes to brainstorm insights about working in a different culture. I would like to have learning about different cultures in general if possible and not about a specific country. Write down 20 learnings.<br>
13. <i>List the learnings on flipover sheets.</i> Let?s go around and get one idea per person. We will keep going until we are out of ideas. <br>
14. Let us look at the list. <i>Read through it if possible.</i><br>
15. What categories do you see? What items should go together?<br>
16. <i>Group all of the items.</i> Now let us give the categories to the names.<br>
17. Think o f the stories what stories goes with each of the categories? <i>Check to see that at least one story goes with each category. If a category doesn?t have a story, check to see if it is a real category or if someone can create a story for the category.</i><br>
18. How do we get these typed up?<br><br>
1. What were some of the events of today?<br>
2. What was the best part of the day?<br>
3. What did you learn? <br>
4. What is the next steps?

How flexible is the process?: 
Follow-Up Required: 
The stories should be typed up and distributed along with the categories.
Jon Jenkins
Derived from: 
This is a variation of the myth writing workshop of the ToP strategic planning method and the story telling of Appreciative Inquiry.
History of Development: 

This was prepared for the Training Department of Dutch Telecom when it was internationalizing.

License Model: 
Free (or unattributable)
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Imaginal Training Groningen Netherlands
Namesort descending City Country
Imaginal Training Groningen Netherlands
Namesort descending City Country
Imaginal Training Groningen Netherlands