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The Transcultural
Communicator
GeorgeSimons,GeorgeSimonsInternational
MandelieulaNapoule,France
andWaltHopkins,CastleConsultants
CrookofDevon,Scotland
Purpose
This activity introduces participants to an analytical instrument that they can subsequently
use to prepare themselves for cross-cultural communication and negotiation situations.
Targetaudience
Individuals and groups who must communicate or negotiate across cultures. Training in the
use of this instrument can be done in groups of any manageable size.
Time
There are four sections to this instrument. It takes 45 to 75 minutes to introduce and learn to
use one critical section of the instrument, depending on the section you choose. The instru-
ment can also be used as the practical outline for a daylong course on intercultural communi-
cation: introduce two sections in the morning and two in the afternoon. In this case, the
trainer might give more extensive information on intercultural communication in preparing to
present the instrument. Information in Handout 1 will assist in this.
Materialsandenvironment
Copies of Handout 1, “How to Use and Interpret the Transcultural Communicator and
Negotiator,” and Handout 2, “The Transcultural Communicator and Negotiator Instru-
ment” for each participant. (If the participants will be dispersed after the training session,
it would be best to provide them with two copies of Handout 2, so that they can repro-
duce the unused copy for their own use later on.)
Procedure
1. Introduce the instrument and take the participants briefly through each part, using Hand-
out 1 as a guideline.
50ActivitiesforAchievingCulturalCompetency
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2. Choose one or more sections of the instrument to explore.
PART 1: Define the participants.
Introduce the section. (10 minutes)
Ask participants to think of an upcoming influence or negotiation situation, internal or
external (alternatively, provide them with a case study), in which they suspect that
cultural or gender diversity will play a significant role. This might be a role negotiation
for forming a new working team, a business deal with overseas partners, a meeting
over a union demand or grievance, etc. Then tell them to complete Part 1: Define the
Participants in respect to the situation they have selected or the case you have given
them to work with. (10 minutes)
Have them form pairs (or, at most, groups of three) to discuss their situations and their
assessments. Tell them to share their strategies for meeting these diversity challenges.
(20 minutes)
Debrief: Ask participants to share what they learned from the activity. Respond to
questions they might have about how to apply the instrument to actual working situa-
tions. (10 minutes)
Total time: 50 minutes
PART 2: Check the cultural context.
Introduce the section. (30 minutes)
Ask the participants individually to rate themselves on Part 2: Check the Cultural
Context. (10 minutes)
Then form pairs. Try to get individuals of disparate cultures in each pair. Ask the pairs
to share their results and to discuss their differences and preferences in the 13 areas.
(10 minutes)
Debrief: Ask participants to share what they learned from the activity and respond to
questions they have about how to apply the instrument to actual working situations.
(10 minutes)
Total time: 60 minutes
P
ART 3: Observe nonverbal behaviors. This section is used to analyze nonverbal
behaviors in a meeting with multicultural participants. It can be used only if another
meeting takes place or if you were to create a small meeting in a fishbowl in the midst of
your group in order to work on a case study.
Brief the observers on Part 3: Observe Nonverbal Behaviors and tell them what to look
for as observers. (10 minutes)
Hold the meeting for 5 or 10 minutes.
Ask the observers to share in the whole group what they observed and noted in this
section. (10 minutes)

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