By Dr. Eileen Borris, Thunderbird Adjunct Professor
Anyone who has ventured from the safety of home to experience different environments has committed cross-cultural blunders. This is part of the learning process. All global explorers have funny, difficult, lonely, humbling or even frightening stories to share. One of my most recent lessons in cross-cultural communication occurred in Peru, when I made false assumptions about the lack of hot water in my hotel shower. The experience left me shivering but otherwise unharmed. This is true of most cultural misunderstanding. While the discomfort or embarrassment fades, the insights about our humanity linger and enrich us. Learn more in the Thunderbird Knowledge Network video below.
Dr. Eileen Borris, a licensed psychologist, is the author of “Finding Forgiveness” (McGraw-Hill). She is Director of Training for the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy in Washington, D.C., and teaches cross-cultural communication and negotiation at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. In addition to her work with full-time students, she teaches in the Thunderbird Online program, Executive Certificate in Global Negotiations.