How would you feel and what would you do?
You send an email to a colleague asking for her opinion. You think it is a quick question deserving a quick response. You know she is available to read the email as you see she is present on chat. She even sends an email reply – I will get back to you, I need to discuss with my colleagues. What do you think?
- She should have answered this on her own and now you have to wait longer.
- She is getting the opinions of others and you are willing to wait.
Scenario A: Then you are probably from an individualistic culture. You believe colleagues are empowered to take ownership of certain aspects of work. When your colleague is asking others, then she is showing a sign of incompetence as you know the question is in her span of responsibility. Efficiency is important to you, and the extra time to consult with others or get them on board is a waste of time.
Scenario B: You understand the need to consult other colleagues to have full agreement and understanding. Although the question was directed to your colleague, you know she must ensure everyone is aligned, as together they are proceeding forward. Time spent now will be compensated by the efficiencies of having everyone informed and in agreement. You probably come from a collectivist culture and value the importance of staying connected with colleagues.
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Culture Cubes are common generic scenarios to trigger reflection on different perspectives. They are not meant to encourage stereotyping or labeling.